I cannot count the number of times I am asked throughout the summer, “Do you have fresh blueberry pie?” And my answer is always the same, “Yes.” The pie itself is fresh, the blueberries are usually frozen unless it is August. I have long since given up trying to explain why we do not have access to fresh blueberries year round living so close to the self proclaimed “Blueberry Capital of the World.”
I recently had a conversation with a woman who was referred to us for our homemade desserts. She had been inquiring about fresh blueberries and when I told her she would have to wait until August around here for that, she thought I was pulling her leg. She couldn’t understand why a state that is widely known for its wild blueberries only has fresh berries for one month out of the year. I told her is was all a cruel joke we Downeasters played to get people to visit us.
Fresh vs. Frozen
But does fresh vs. frozen truly make that big of a difference? Not in this humble baker’s opinion. I use what is termed Wyman’s IQF blueberries. IQF stands for individually quick-frozen, which means the berries are frozen individually, so I forgo the big block of berries that I must hack through in order to get a portion, and get very easily managed frozen berries. And because the berries were picked and frozen at their peak, I end up with more consistently sized and ripened berries. It’s a time saver too since I don’t have to pick through the berries to make sure all the little stems and leaves are gone.
Here is my recipe that I use in the restaurant. I’m told it’s very good but the pies never last long enough for me to actually snag a full piece. My husband and I usually fight over the dregs leftover in the pie plates and those I can tell you are quite tasty.
August is a celebration of native Maine fruit and an occasional indulgence of antioxidant-laden blueberry dessert is okay!
Milbridge House Blueberry Pie
- 2 9″ Pie Crusts unbaked
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
- 6 Cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Zest and Juice from 1 Lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out one pie crust and put in 9″ pie plate. Roll out second pie crust and keep handy.
Whisk sugar, lemon zest, and cornstarch together in a medium bowl. Stir in blueberries.
Add lemon juice and stir to combine.
Pour berries into prepared pie crust. Top with second pie crust and crimp edges.
Brush an egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1-2 Tablespoons water) over the pie and cut slits for steam to escape. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower the oven to 350 degrees
Fahrenheit and bake an additional 25-30 minutes. Pie is done when crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let the pie cool for at least 30 minutes before you cut into it to give the juices times to cool and thicken.
If you just can’t bring yourself to do a two crust pie (trust me I have those days too) a crumb topping is an excellent substitution. I like a lot of crumb topping on my pies so this recipe makes quite a bit. Feel free to scale back if you prefer a more naked pie.
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Oatmeal
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
Mix together to make soft crumbs and sprinkle over pie. Bake the same as above.