This is my Mom’s pie recipe. The one she taught me to bake when I was 11 years old and the recipe I’ve been using ever since. It is a GREAT pie recipe. Quick, easy and delicious. My go-to for sure. But for awhile now I’ve been thinking I need to really master the art of pie baking. And to do so I need try different crusts, fillings, toppings, etc. I think it’s going to take the rest of my life.
This all started a few weeks ago when an issue of Bon Appétit magazine was in my mail box when I came home from work. On the cover was the most beautiful pie I’d ever seen. EVER. And I thought to myself, “Wow, my pies are boring.” Now, no offense meant to my Mom because my pie is her pie. But I’ve decided to branch out and try all sorts of pies.
I’m kicking off my pie quest with blueberries because blueberries are great right now. And it’s probably my favorite pie. (Apple might be my favorite, I’m not sure.) So I’m doing blueberry pie two ways. This recipe will be my Mom’s classic blueberry pie with vegetable shortening crust. The other will be a butter based crust with some extra fancy things.
The reason this crust has been our family’s go-to is because it’s sooooo easy. And quick as far as pie baking goes. Simply mix your flour and salt and then cut the shortening into the mixture using a pastry blender until a coarse crumble comes together.
Then you add ice cold water (a little bit at a time) and mix with a fork until the dough starts to form. When you get to this dough ball stage, I ditch the fork and blend it the rest of the way with my hands. If it’s not staying together, add a bit more water. If it’s too sticky, add a couple pinches of flour.
The desired result – a nice smooth dough ball. Be weary of overworking your dough. Divide the dough in two for a top and bottom crust. Gently roll dough from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface. It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. Add pinches of flour as you go so your dough doesn’t stick to the counter.
Bottom crust goes in and add your filling. I then use my finger to wet the edge of the crust with the leftover ice water. This helps seal the top and bottom crust. Leaky crust = messy oven :( Add your top crust and cut excess dough away from the edges.
You can seal your edges in all sorts of fancy ways. First, you’ll need to fold one crust over the other. Either the bottom over the top or tuck the top under the bottom. My mom taught me the crimping technique in the picture above. I don’t even know how to explain what to do. You use both index fingers and one middle finger and apply pressure…? Applying pressure with a fork makes for a nice edge too.
Starting with a 400 degree oven will give you that nice browning on the crust. Then you’ll need to lower the temperature to finish cooking the pie.
Now you have two choices. Wait the ideal 4 hours for the pie to properly cool and let the filling set so you have a beautiful looking pie. Or you can let it cool just long enough that you won’t burn your mouth on the boiling sugary pie filling. I made this pie at the farm and had to cut after cooling for only 1 hour because it was lunch time and our employees wanted pie! So the pictures of this finished pie are pretty messy. But like I always say, add ice cream and no one cares how pretty it looks.
This crust works for all types of fruit pies. The amount of fruit, sugar and tapioca varies for different types of fruits, however.
Check back for Part 2 of my blueberry pie quest :)
Blueberry Pie – Two Ways (Part 1)
- Serves One 8-inch pie
- Prep Time 20 minutes
- Cook Time 1 hour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
Pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten (optional)
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant tapioca
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces
DirectionsFor crust, mix flour and salt. Add vegetable shortening and blend with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Sprinkle 1/4 cup ice water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into flour. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together. Using your hands, mold the mixture into two dough balls and refrigerate while mixing filling.
For filling, mix blueberries, sugar and tapioca. Remove dough balls from refrigerator. Roll dough from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface into a 9-inch wide crust. Gently transfer dough to an 8-inch pie plate. Fill unbaked pie crust with blueberry mixture. Top blueberry mixture with butter pieces. Roll out other dough ball and transfer carefully onto filled pie. Trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold bottom edge over top crust. Press edges together to seal and flute as desired. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam. Brush top of crust with beaten egg (Optional - helps with browning). Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for additional 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. For best results, allow pie to cool for 4 hours before slicing.