Classic Blueberry Pie Recipe
Perfect blueberry pie recipe! Use fresh or frozen berries, homemade or store-bought crust. No fail-blueberry pie filling that’s never runny!
*This post was originally published on July 13, 2018. I thought it was due for an update, so I’ve reworked the recipe, and added a step-by-step picture tutorial and answers to some frequently asked questions. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this blueberry pie recipe as much as I do!*
Blueberry pie is one of the best things about summer. It’s a staple for us!
I try to never let the season go by without making at least one for my family to share. We especially love it topped with cold vanilla ice cream!
I love when the filling is thick and glaze-y and full of plump, juicy blueberries. And the contrast with the flaky, buttery pastry is pure heaven!
Why this blueberry pie recipe works
Simple, flavorful ingredients
This simple pie recipe uses wholesome and flavorful ingredients.
You don’t need to add anything fancy to the filling to get a ton of flavor. The star of the filling is the fresh blueberries.
A touch of lemon brings out the bright fruitiness of the blueberries, while the natural pectin from apple and lemon peels thickens the filling.
Extra-thick blueberry pie filling
There are two thickening agents used in the filling, so when you cut into the pie, the filling doesn’t leak juice everywhere. This pie filling holds its shape beautifully!
Both cornstarch and natural pectin from apple cores are used to thicken the filling.
Cooked and fresh blueberries
Half of the blueberries are cooked down with sugar, and the other half are folded into the filling.
There is no flour in the filling recipe, making this pie filling naturally gluten-free.
Blueberry pie filling ingredients
If you make this pie in season, it’s always nice to use fresh blueberries. You will need 3 pints of blueberries, which is equivalent to 6 cups.
However, if it’s not blueberry season you can use frozen blueberries. You don’t even have to thaw them first!
Sugar both sweetens and thickens the filling.
Regular white sugar is fine, or sub for another type of sweetener if you like. As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.
Cornstarch is a colorless, odorless, and flavorless starch that is used to thicken the filling.
Make sure you’re using cornstarch, which is white and powdery, and not cornmeal, which is yellow and gritty and tastes like corn chips.
Salt carries all the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine and that can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Apple core and peel
The core, seeds, and peel of apples naturally contain pectin. Pectin is another thickener, often used in jam and jelly making.
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice “seasons” the filling, lifting the flavor and bringing out the fruitiness of the blueberries.
A touch of butter adds richness to the filling.
There are certain flavor compounds that are only carried by fats, so higher fat foods like butter will really intensify the flavors of everything you make.
I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
For a vegan or dairy free blueberry pie recipe, use a plant-based butter that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.
How to make blueberry pie
It’s so easy to make this homemade blueberry pie filling recipe!
You’ll need about 3 pints of berries, which is equal to 6 cups.
I love to use fresh blueberries when they’re in season, but when they’re not, frozen berries work just as well. You don’t even need to thaw them first!
Toss about half the berries in a pot with sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt.
The cornstarch will thicken the juices, but I have an extra insurance policy to make sure the blueberry pie filling won’t be runny. Here’s where the magic happens: Apple skins, cores, lemon peel, and seeds naturally contain pectin, which will make the filling gel beautifully. Tie them up in cheesecloth, and add them to the pot.
Cook this mixture on the stove over medium-low heat until the berries release their juices and get syrupy and thick.
Keep in mind, this filling will continue to become even thicker as it cools.
Remove the sachet of apple cores and lemon peels from the blueberry mixture once it’s completely cooled.
Then stir in the rest of the berries, along with a good squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest for “seasoning.”
Use a rolling pin to roll out the crust 1-2 inches wider than your pie plate, then slip it inside.
You can use store-bought pie crust if you want, or you can use my favorite homemade recipe.
It’s so flaky you won’t believe it! All because of my unique folding technique.
You can learn lots more about it here: Perfect Homemade Pie Crust.
Transfer the cooled filling into the bottom crust.
Dot the top with cubes of butter.
Bake the pie until the filling is bubbly and thick and the crust is golden brown.
Blueberry pie faq’s
How do you know when blueberry pie is done baking?
Your pie is done when the crust looks golden brown and the juices are bubbling and thick.
It’s best to let the pie cool thoroughly before slicing. This way the filling won’t run out when you cut into it.
- Don’t forget the butter: Be sure to top the filling with small butter cubes before putting the top layer of pastry on top of the pie. Without the butter, the blueberry filling will lack that rich, full flavor.
- Don’t forget the egg wash: Brush the top layer of pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Egg wash crisps the crust and gives it a beautiful sheen and golden brown finish, while the coarse sugar gives the top of the pie added sparkle.
- Make the pie crust ahead of time! Make a large batch of pie crust and keep it in your refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in your freezer for up to 3 months. This will speed up your pie baking time, as most of the labor comes from making the crust.
- Make sure the filling is completely cool before adding it to the bottom crust. If the filling is still warm it will melt the butter in the crust and you won’t get that really nice flaky pastry.
- Use a baking sheet and wire rack: Place a baking sheet and wire rack under the pie dish so that any filling that bubbles out while the pie is baking will be easy to clean up.
- Start the oven temperature high: I like to bake my blueberry pie at a higher heat for the first 20 minutes, then turn the oven down and allow it to finish baking at a lower temp. The high temperature helps to puff up the flaky layers of crust and allows the cornstarch to thicken the filling. While waiting for the oven to heat, keep the pie in the fridge so the butter in the crust stays cold.
- Bake long and slow: Blueberry pie takes longer to bake than other fruit pies like apple pie or pumpkin pie. This is because the filling needs to heat and bubble so that it can set and become thick.
- Shield the outer crust: This pie takes a long time to bake, and you don’t want the outer crust to burn. So place a pie shield around the perimeter after about 20 minutes of baking. You can also just loosely cover the outer rim with aluminum foil.
- Cool completely before slicing: Use a sharp knife to cut the pie after its cooled for at least 2 hours. The filling will be runny if you cut into it while it’s still hot. It will thicken up a ton as the pie cools.
Variations on this blueberry pie recipe
Make a lattice crust: For what you see here, I topped my pie with a lattice pie crust. I have a great tutorial for that here: How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust.
Make a double crust: You could also bake it as a double-crust pie, or as a single-crust, open-faced pie. Or you could top it with my favorite crumb topping recipe, and you’d have a blueberry crumb pie, aka French blueberry pie. (If you go the single-crust or crumb-topped route, you’ll want to halve the pie crust recipe below.)
Thicken your filling: I like to thicken my filling with cornstarch, but if you’d rather, you can use all-purpose flour or tapioca starch instead. Use 1/2 cup of flour or tapioca in place of the cornstarch.
Vegan variation: For a vegan blueberry pie, use a plant-based butter substitute that can swap 1:1 for dairy butter.
How long is this good for?
This blueberry pie will keep at room temperature for a day or so. After that, it should be refrigerated.
It should last in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.
You can even freeze the pie before baking it. Just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or foil, then slip it into a plastic bag and freeze.
It will last for a couple of months, frozen. On the day you want to serve it, thaw it in the fridge and bake it at the temperature noted in the recipe card below.
Pro tip: Prep the pie in a foil pan so your nice baking dish isn’t tied up in the freezer!
A few more of my favorite blueberry recipes:
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Classic Blueberry Pie Recipe
- 1 batch* Simply Perfect Homemade Pie Crust, prepared
- 3 pints (946.35 ml) fresh blueberries, or 6 cups frozen blueberries, divided
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch, or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or tapioca starch
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 apple core and peel
- peel & seeds from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons (1 tablespoon) lemon juice, (juice of 1/2 a lemon)
- 3 tablespoons (44.36 g) unsalted butter, cubed
- egg wash, (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (1.5 tablespoons) clear sparkling sugar, (optional garnish)
- 1 batch Basic Streusel Topping, (for a blueberry crumb pie)
- Place half the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch (or all-purpose flour or tapioca), and salt in a small pot and toss to combine.
- Tie the apple core & peel and lemon peel & seeds in a piece of cheesecloth, and add to the pot.
- Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until the berries have released their juices and the mixture is syrupy.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, then allow to cool.
- When the blueberry pie filling has cooled, stir in the remaining uncooked blueberries.
- Roll half the pie dough out to about 3 inches wider than the baking dish and slip it into the pan (for an open-faced or crumb-topped pie, trim, roll, and crimp the crust).
- Transfer the filling to the unbaked bottom crust.
- Dot the filling with butter.
- For a double crust: Roll the second half of the pie dough out to about 3 inches wider than the pie pan and place it over the filling. Trim excess dough, roll & crimp the edge.
- For a lattice-top pie: Roll the second half of the pie dough out to about 3 inches wider than the pie pan. Cut into strips and arrange in a lattice pattern over the filled pie.** Trim excess dough, roll & crimp the edge.
- For a crumb-topped pie: Top with streusel crumb topping.
- For a double crust or lattice-top pie: Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with clear sparkling sugar.
- Place the unbaked pie in the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until evenly browned and bubbling (approx. 45 to 55 minutes).
- Cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.