Blueberry Crumble Pie
Assuming you’re not totally sick of pie yet this summer…
I’ve got another one for you to try! Speaking of, how are you all doing with July’s Baking Challenge recipe? I’ve seen so many cherry pie pictures on social media and am OBSESSED with your ins-pie-rational creations. Get it? Get it?
(insert nerd emoji)
Thank you to everyone who’s participating this month!
If you haven’t made a pie yet this month, let me try to encourage you to get in the kitchen ASAP. Today we’re making blueberry pie! Ditching that top pie crust and sprinkling the whole darn thing with a buttery streusel-y crumble-tastic topping. It’s like blueberry pie and blueberry crisp in one. Did you read that? Literally the two best summer desserts on the planet in one pie dish. 8 slices of blueberry heaven. The stars have aligned and I’m declaring this the best of the best when it comes to blueberry desserts.
(Though this cake begs to differ.)
I had some trouble with this pie! I tested it 4 or 5 different times. Honestly I lost count after the 3rd and everything after that was a blurry blueberry mess paired with overly emotional and weird pregnancy tears. Dramatic? Me? Never.
With my determination (but mostly a wicked craving for blueberry crumble pie) I conquered this little blueberry beast. The pesky little issue each time? Blueberry soup. Sloshy blueberry soup on top of a doughy uncooked pie crust topped with much-too-buttery crumble on top. Can there ever be too much butter? YES. I’ve seen it. And it’s ugly.
It’s a tall order, but I cracked the code. The filling is juicy– like the best blueberry pie fillings are– the bottom crust is golden brown and flaky, and the crumble topping keeps its shape.
So how do we get there?
There are 3 components to this blueberry crumble pie.
The Pie Crust
Use a solid recipe that can stand up to the heavy and juicy blueberries on top. My pie crust recipe yield 2 crusts so you can pop one into your freezer for the next time you crave blueberry pie. Which, if you’re anything like me, will be about 5 seconds after your last slice of this guy. Make sure to cook the blueberry pie long enough, too. This will help guarantee (1) a golden brown crust and (2) a thicker filling. If using a glass pie dish, which I strongly recommend, you can see when the crust on the sides is browning perfectly.
The Blueberry Filling
Let’s do all we can to keep it on the sturdy side. I typically make blueberry pie with cornstarch as the thickener, but a couple tries proved this isn’t enough in a blueberry crumble pie. Why not? All the butter in the topping melting down creates our not-so-beloved blueberry soup filling. So I gave a mixture of flour AND cornstarch a whirl and was pleasantly pleased with the results. I’ve discussed this before, but I prefer cornstarch as the thickener in summer berry pies. (Read here why.) Flour weighs things down, but proved to be just the ticket underneath this buttery crumble topping. Success!
The Crumble Topping
We want a crumble topping that can hold its shape, crisp up, and generally avoid turning into brown sugar goo. Doesn’t that sound fab? Brown sugar goo? It’s not. The trick with this crumble topping is to use the coldest butter ever. You’ll mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together then cut in super cold butter. Finally, mix in the oats. I add the oats last because I don’t want them to break down when I cut in the butter. I want them to stay whole. Whole oats = more texture on top of your pie!
There’s an obnoxious amount of crumble topping, so I hope you’re not opposed to brown sugar + cinnamon + butter + oats. (um, who is?!)
And, like with all pies, the colder everything stays the better pie success you have. Whenever you’re not directly working with a layer, keep it in the fridge. For example: after you roll out the pie crust and place into the pie dish, refrigerate it while you prepare the filling. Likewise, after you add the filling to the crust, refrigerate the whole thing as you prepare the crumble topping.
If you want to dig in while the pie is still warm, be my guest! But I will warn you– it will be pretty juicy. I find the best time is to wait until it fully cools. This takes several hours but luckily, blueberry pie is THEE best make-ahead recipe. It’s even better the next day! Just keep it covered and refrigerate it. Bring to room temperature before serving. Pie-fection.
All 4 or 5 failed attempts? All the awkward ridiculous tears? WORTH IT.
SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
Blueberry Crumble Pie
- homemade pie crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you'll just need 1)*
- 5 and 1/2 cups (800g) fresh blueberries*
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (50g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
- 2/3 cup (50g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, blueberries, granulated sugar, flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, and zest together until thoroughly combined. It will be pretty flour-y. That's ok. Place filling in the refrigerator until needed in step 4.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (you can freeze the 2nd for later use, see note). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the cold filling into the crust and discard the leftover juices in the bottom of the bowl, if any. Flute or crimp the edges of the crust. Place pie in the refrigerator until needed in the next step.
- Make the crumble: Mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the brown sugar mixture until coarse crumbs are formed. Stir in the oats and sprinkle over pie.
- Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. I also loosely cover the whole pie with aluminum foil to prevent the crumble from browning too quickly as well.
- Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip/freezing: A couple ways to make ahead of time! Make 1 day in advance-- after it cools, cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
*You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
*I strongly suggest using fresh blueberries, not frozen. The pie will be quite soupy if using frozen. If you decide to use frozen, do not thaw first. The pie will take several more minutes in the oven due to the increased liquid. Again, I highly encourage fresh.
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