It’s time for me to make a confession. I am the child of a weird eater. It’s true, my mother goes beyond picky to fully embodied food neurosis. When she served Tuna Helper (oh yeah) back in the 80s, she would be the one to push her peas and carrots to the perimeter of her plate. She didn’t try a strawberry until she was 59 years old. Think about that. Not a single strawberry until the close of her sixth decade. Other things she dislikes without having tried include corn dogs, macaroni and cheese, and 99% of the produce section at your nearby grocery store.
So it probably goes without saying that I didn’t really get a lot of exposure to exotic or, for that matter, even relatively mundane foods until I got a little older. I had my first slice of pumpkin pie when I was sixteen and it was a couple years later that I discovered, and fell in love with, blueberry pie.
This wasn’t just a fickle love affair. Our love has stood the test of time. Every Thanksgiving, I request blueberry pie. And, it’s a pie holiday and I’m a pie person, so that’s a serious commitment.
If you fast forward several years from that initial bite, you’ll find me sitting in a diner in downtown Phoenix savoring the most perfect slice of blueberry pie in the history of blueberry pies. It had a rich, golden crust and a hauntingly familiar undertone I couldn’t quite name (but later learned was Orange Blossom Water). Sweet, but not too sweet. Perfect.
Dana has mastered Blueberry Pie and, believe me, I am well-versed. The inclusion of Orange Blossom Water is, of course, optional, but I highly recommended procuring some for your pie. It works swell in other baked goods and beverages – two of our favorite things – so we like to keep it on hand.
If you want to be super cute, you can use Dana’s cookie cutter method to make the crust. Just make sure you you roll out the crust a little thick so the shape keeps in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden.
This is the bee’s knees of Blueberry Pies. The Blueberry Pie. Dana’s own (no-longer-secret) Orange Blossom Blueberry Pie.
- 3-4 Cups blueberries
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cardamom or ginger
- 1 TBSP Orange Blossom Water (optional, but recommended)
- 1/4 Cup tapioca starch or cornstarch
- 1/4 Cup flour 1-2 TBSP turbinado sugar (granulated sugar is okay too)
- 1 1/2 TBSP melted butter (Earth Balance preferred)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare and pre-bake bottom crust for 10 minutes, let cool.
- Combine blueberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, cardamom or ginger and orange blossom water (if using). Stir together.
- Stir in flour and tapioca starch or cornstarch. These will thicken the blueberry mixture so you don't end up with a soupy pie. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Add filling to pre-baked pie crust.
- Roll out dough for top crust and drape over pie (don't forget to cut some slits into the top so the steam can escape!) or cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. If you choose to cut out shapes, I find rolling the dough out a bit on the thick side will give you sturdy shapes that will be easy to place on top of the filling.
- Brush top crust with melted butter and sprinkle sugar over the top.
- Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool completely, slice, and enjoy!