some days you need pie: blueberry pie

Some days just require pie.

Think about it a minute. I bet you can think of a day or two this year that could have been enhanced by a warm piece of blueberry pie.

Every day over the last month, with the exception of maybe two, I leave work at the end of the day to visit my dad in the rehabilitation center. My mom visits him in the morning or early afternoon, and I visit in the evenings. I sit with him in the rehab cafeteria or in his tiny, shared room, or I wheel him outside in his wheelchair so he can get fresh air and sunlight. Mostly I just keep him company. I’ve tried to stay out of the medical aspects, but it hasn’t worked. So, sometimes I question the staff about his medications, and occasionally I make polite suggestions for changes that I think should be made. Some days he’s encouraged by his progress, and other days he gets depressed. And, without fail, he tells me how much his grandchildren mean to him. That is his goal – to get well enough to spend time with his grandchildren again.

There have been more than a few days that could have been improved by a slice of comforting pie.

So many of you have asked about my dad – and about me and my mother – and for that I am touched. My mom and I (and my brother, too) have spent the last month learning how to care for and interact with a loved one with a brain injury. We’ve had some interesting experiences – and some heartbreaking ones – but mostly, we’ve learned how strong we can be during times of family crisis. My dad is supposed to go home from rehab later this week, and we (my mom, especially) will be faced with a new set of challenges.

But we can handle challenges. After this last month, I’m sure we can handle whatever is thrown our way.

So, let’s have that piece of pie, shall we?

Remember those Chilean blueberries I was suckered into buying? They were the star of the show in this blueberry pie that I made recently. My son, a devoted blueberry fan, requested a blueberry pie one weekend. Since I love him, and since I am not one to say no to making a dessert, I made a pie for him. Well, and for me too.

For this pie, I used my all-butter pie crust dough recipe, but you could easily use a package of refrigerated, rolled pie crust if you like. I chose to make a lattice crust, but you don’t have to. [I’ve included a couple of links at the bottom of the post, below the recipe, that give great guidance on making a lattice crust.] I think lattice crusts are beautiful. Plus, I get to eat the extra pieces of raw dough after I cut all those strips.

As you can see from the photos, I didn’t wait for the pie to cool off completely before cutting a slice. If you’re impatient like me, you’ll get a warm, juicy piece of pie, with plump blueberries oozing out onto your plate. If you have patience and can wait until the pie cools completely, it will set up more and your slice of pie will be prettier than mine.

Regardless, it will be a wonderful piece of pie. And you will thank me.

Yield: Serves 8-10.

Blueberry Pie

You can use refrigerated pie crust instead of making your own, but be sure to use the roll-and-fill kind. If you choose not to do a lattice top, be sure to cut decorative holes in the top crust using a cookie cutter, or at least cut some vents in the top crust.


1 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
6 cups fresh blueberries or 3 (10 ounce) packages frozen blueberries (not thawed)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pasty dough for a double-crust pie, such as this recipe (or 1 package of refrigerated, rolled pie crust dough)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Put a large baking sheet on middle oven rack and preheat oven to 425°F.

Whisk together brown sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, and allspice, and toss with blueberries and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside.

Roll out one piece of dough, keeping remaining piece chilled, on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into pie plate. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out dough for pie crust.

Roll out remaining dough on lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin. Using a ruler to measure, cut 1-inch strips out of the dough. Re-roll the dough and re-cut into 1-inch strips wiht any remaining dough. Chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Spoon filling with any accumulated juices into shell, dot with butter pieces, and layer with the top crust pieces, weaving into a lattice formation (tips below). Trim any overhanging crust to a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold top crust overhang under bottom pastry and press against rim of pie plate to reinforce edge, then crimp decoratively, using your fingers or the tines of a fork.

Bake pie on hot baking sheet in oven for 30 minutes, then cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil to prevent overbrowning. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes more. Cool pie completely on a rack, about 4 hours.

Adapted from this recipe in Gourmet, August 2006.

For more on making a lattice crust:
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33 Responses to “some days you need pie: blueberry pie”

  1. 1
    Taylor — March 2, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    I think every day that ends in Y is a great day for Blueberry pie. Looks Delicious! Will be thinking about you and your family.

    • 1.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

      I like your thinking, Taylor. And, thanks so much for the well wishes!

  2. 2
    Liz the Chef — March 2, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    What a great daughter – and mother – you are. The time you spend with your father is such an important part of he healing. You and your family are in my thoughts…And your pie looks quite fabulous!

    • 2.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

      Thanks, Liz. I know that you know all about these stressful times, and I so appreciate your thoughts for us. *hugs*

  3. 3
    Angela@RecipesFromMyMom — March 2, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    I like to eat the crust scraps too 😛 It’s such a beautiful pie. How could it not bring smiles? Keep your spirits up for your mom and dad. I know how hard that can be.

    • 3.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Angela.

  4. 4
    Gail — March 2, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    Pie. That’s all that you needed to say.
    Nothing’s bad when there’s pie.

    • 4.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

      I like that: “Nothing’s bad when there’s pie.” Very, very true.

  5. 5
    Flavia — March 2, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    Beautiful blueberry pie, Merry. It’s one of my favorite kinds of pie and I agree that LOTS of things can be improved with pie! I have been following your tweets about your dad and am keeping your family in my thoughts.

    • 5.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Flavia.

  6. 6
    drbabs — March 2, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    If blueberry pie appears, can spring be far behind?
    Hang in there.

    • 6.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

      Spring is pretty much here in north Florida — and thank goodness!

  7. 7
    Mac — March 2, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    All I want to know is if you ship?! LOL! Now there’s a dish that would turn any bad day into a good day, for sure! Beautiful, and looks so yummy 😉 Your photos just “ooze” scrumptious warm blueberry pie. Another job well done.

    Thanks for the update on your dad. You and your family continue to be in my prayers. *hug*

    • 7.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      Thanks so much, Mac.

  8. 8
    Ethan — March 3, 2011 @ 1:08 am

    You had me at “pie”. The fact that it’s blueberry is just a bonus! I’m glad to hear everyone is on the mend and you’ll be back to a normal routine soon enough. For all you’ve been through, cut yourself an extra large slice, but save a sliver for me:)

    • 8.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      Ethan, one day we will share a slice of pie.

  9. 9
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — March 3, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    What a gorgeous pie! I love lattice crusts and wish I could make one myself. I don’t know why, but pie crusts are something elude me. But the purchased ones are not so bad!

    Yes, we all have days that call for a slice of pie. Some days you even need two slices. Praying for you all as you transition into having your Dad at home.

    • 9.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      Lana, you could totally make a lattice pie crust. If I can, you certainly can.

  10. 10
    Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane — March 3, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Your post gave me chills and reminded me of a time a couple years ago when my family’s strength was tested. I can’t even imagine how difficult some of your days are, but I love that your Dad’s goal is to spend time with his grandchildren again. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.

    And, with a pie like that, I wouldn’t have been able to wait to cut into it either. Besides, is there anything better than oozing berries? I think not.

    • 10.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth!

  11. 11

    This looks delicious – I wish I was in my kitchen making pastry right now. Lovely photos too.

    • 11.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

      Thank you!

  12. 12

    I think I need a slice of pie right now! Blueberry isn’t usually my first pie choice (I’m more of a lemon and cherry fan), but this one is calling my name!

    • 12.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

      I usually don’t go for blueberry either, but this one changed my mind!

  13. 13
    Tracey — March 3, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    Blueberry pie is my absolute favorite and yours looks SO good! I’ve been waiting until blueberries are in season to make one, but your post makes me think twice 🙂

    • 13.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

      I wanted to wait until they were in season, too, but my son begged for a blueberry pie. I don’t say no to fresh fruit. Or my son (often, anyway). 🙂

  14. 14
    Cookin' Canuck — March 3, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    What a beautiful pie! It’s true that there seem to be healing qualities in food made with love. You are in my thoughts.

    • 14.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — March 3, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

      Thank you so much!

  15. 15
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 5, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    I would take a piece of blueberry pie any day. This is definitely going to be the year of the pie for me… and this is on my list!

  16. 16
    Lael Hazan @educatedpalate — March 7, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    Yes, a slice a pie goes a long way to helping get life in perspective. Good luck in overcoming your future challenges as beautifully as you created the pie.

  17. 17
    TheGourmetCoffeeGuy — March 7, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

    Very nice post and incredibly “appetizing” photos. Blueberry pie: a favorite. Tapioca is an ingredient we have not used before in our pie, imagine adds great flavor. Thank you for sharing.

  18. 18
    Renee (Kudos Kitchen) — March 21, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Your pie looks simply amazing! I’ve never see a more intriguiging picture of a pie. I’d like to dive right in. That said, I wish your family well.

  19. 19
    Patty H — April 23, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

    It looks awesome – – never mind waiting for it to cool! My motto to my kids has always been, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it tastes good.” But your pie looks delicious, and I hope to find out soon how it tastes!

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