Fresh blueberries are so good, with such a unique flavour, that even though sometimes tempted, I really don’t like to put anything in this pie that would take away from their flavour. So, my blueberry pie, never a tart, is just blueberries, with a little sugar, some flour for thickening the juices, and a bit of butter for lusciousness. I only make this once or twice a year when the blueberries are plentiful and well priced, and to be perfectly honest, I make it for my daughter Hayley. It’s her favourite. Don’t use frozen blueberries, the pie will be watery and lack flavour, and make sure you have a large jug of rich cream to serve with the pie. Remember, good fats are really good for you! So enjoy it.
Sometimes I make this in a pie pan, but this time I opted to make it as a free form pie, with a few pastry leaves on top for visual interest. For those of you who might say, ‘this can’t be a pie because it doesn’t have a pastry top’, I usually cover the top with pastry shapes, be it leaves as in this case, or some other whimsical shape, but this time I wanted to see a few gorgeous blueberries peeking through, just for fun.
The recipe for the pastry I have used is below. I do hope you give it a try, because as the name suggests, it is truly sublime. However, if you choose to use your own favourite recipe for short-crust pastry, just make sure it’s a lovely buttery one.
This recipe makes a pie that serves 4-6 people, roughly 22cm in diameter.
You will need,
- 500g pastry
- 3 cups blueberries. If you have a little less, don’t worry
- 1/3 cup(75g) sugar
- 2tbsp plain flour
- A scant 1/2tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk, 1tbsp milk for the glaze
- An extra 1 1/2tsps sugar
- Icing sugar to dust
- 2 cups (260g) plain flour
- 1/2tsp salt
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 1tsp baking powder
- 10tbsp (140g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 6tbsp pouring cream, beaten with one egg yolk.
Place flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor and blend for 2-3 seconds. Add butter, and process for 8-10 seconds until blended. Add the beaten egg and cream mix slowly through the feeding tube until the mix forms a damp ball. This will only take a few seconds, don’t over process! Remove from food processor, form into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for a couple of hours before using. I usually leave it overnight.
When you are ready to start baking, remove pastry from fridge, unwrap, and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper. (This is a very soft pastry, so work quickly with it) You will want a circle of about 30cm diameter for this pie, cut off the excess, and put aside to make leaf shapes. Gently mix the blueberries with the sugar, flour and butter, and place in the centre of the pastry in a rough 20-22cm circle, leaving a 4-5cm border around the perimeter. Bring the sides of the pastry up and over to cover some of the blueberries, just drape it, it doesn’t need to be too perfect, and put back in the fridge on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. With a sharp knife cut the pastry scraps into leaf shapes and set aside. Make an egg wash with the egg yolk and milk, remove the pie from the fridge, and with a pastry brush, gently brush the exposed pastry with the glaze. Now place your pastry leaves randomly around the pastry edge, and over the exposed blueberries. Brush them with a little egg wash too, sprinkle with 11/2tsp sugar, and put back in the fridge for ½ hour while you preheat the oven to 200C. When oven is at the correct temperature, put pie in, and bake for 20 minutes. Turn down temperature to 180C and bake for another 10-20 minutes more. Check it every now and then to see that it is not browning too much, if so, turn oven down a little. When cooked, remove from oven, let sit for 15 minutes, dust with icing sugar, and serve with a jug of rich cream.