Blueberriest Pie

Pregnancy cravings are weird! Never in my life have I had a craving so intense that I am so close to jumping in my car at midnight and running to the grocery store or closest fast food place. The cravings are just random too, not just salty or sweet foods, but it seems like everything goes! Some of the cravings are things I have never craved in my life, like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, hot dogs, sweet iced tea, fruit pie, Raisin Bran cereal, and Panera’s Chocolate Chip Bagels, just to name a few. I have also had some major food aversions that reared their ugly head early on and have not gone away yet. The thought of chicken just turns my stomach and don’t even get me started on broccoli! Ugh! It just doesn’t seem to make sense, just when you are supposed to be eating healthy you can’t seem to stomach the thought of it. Before I got pregnant I would eat grilled chicken and broccoli all the time, but definitely not lately. Now I know I am not alone ladies, for all those of you who have gone thorough pregnancy, did you have any weird cravings or aversions? I’d love to hear about them! :)

This recipe is a result of one of my intense pregnancy cravings and the insanely cheap (I am talking $2 a pound!) blueberries that I found at the grocery store. Although I have shared with you a recipe for a blueberry pie before, I am always on a hunt to find an even better recipe. I was really impressed with this recipe because it stood up when sliced and didn’t turn into a runny mess. Blueberries have so much juice that many times if you don’t have a great recipe the pie will turn into a mess when cut. The secret in this recipe is the addition of a grated Granny Smith apple and ground tapioca, which combine to thicken the filling but not interfere with the berries. The apple bits just melt into the berry filling during baking, helping to thicken the filling, but leaving no textural sign of their presence. The pie dough in this recipe uses vodka instead of water to achieve a tender and flaky crust. It always turns out so well that it has become my go to recipe for pie crust! The vodka imparts no flavor and is only used for the incredibly flaky texture. However, if you are concerned about using vodka you can always try the basic pie dough recipe. Up until I tried this recipe I believed that this was my favorite blueberry pie, although both recipes are delicious, this one wins hands down! :D

Blueberriest Pie

Homemade blueberry pie.

Yield: one 9-inch, double-crust pie

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka, cold
1/4 cup cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

For the Blueberry Filling:
6 cups fresh blueberries (about 30 ounces)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2 teaspoons grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, ground
Pinch table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Directions:

For The Pie Dough: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 pulses. Transfer mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. Using a folding motion, use a rubber spatula to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on floured work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
For The Filling, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 3 cups of blueberries in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using a potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.
Roll out the second pie dough disk into a 11-inch round. Using 1 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut round from center of dough. Cut another 6 rounds from dough, 1 1/2 inches from edge of center hole and equally spaced around center hole. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Recipe Notes:
Unthawed frozen blueberries will work as well. In step 4, cook half the frozen berries over medium-high heat, without mashing, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 12 to 15 minutes.
Grind the tapioca to a powder in a spice grinder or mini food processor. If using pearl tapioca, reduce the amount to 5 teaspoons.
Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor; do not substitute

One Year Ago: Chocolate Ice Cream 

32 Responses to “Blueberriest Pie”

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    imagesbytdashfield — June 19, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Oh yum! When I was pregnant with my first I craved blueberry muffins and orange juice :)

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    Linda Gartner — June 19, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    I craved pancakes with all my 4 pregnancies and couldn’t stand even the smell of roast beef or tuna. This pie looks fantastic!

    • Christina replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

      Oh yeah…tuna is terrible! Before I got pregnant I would eat tuna all the time. My husband eats canned tuna almost everyday and it makes me gag whenever he opens up the can! :)

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    mccarronequine — June 19, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    I craved spicy food and chocolate. Taco Bell enchiritos, spicy Italian sausage sandwiches, Italian meatball sandwiches, to be eaten with lots of Hostess cupcakes.

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    Jen — June 19, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    With both my pregnancies I couldn’t eat chicken either. I too wanted only Mac and cheese, loaded baked potatoes, and Doritos with melted shredded cheese and salsa. Oh, and DQ blizzards and Taco Bell (none of which I normally eat). I did run to the store once for cherry pie. That’s it. Just cherry pie. So this recipe would have been right up my alley. Thanks for sharing. Hope you are feeling well!

    • Christina replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

      Haha…almost forgot about the DQ Oreo blizzards I have been craving! ;)

      • Jen replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

        Mine were butterfinger. Literally, the last month I would eat 3 a week. Ha!

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    Karyl — June 19, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I craved Koolaid and hated salads. Usually I love salads and don’t really like Koolaid! Funny thing, my son, now 21 loves Koolaid – always has! :)

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    Karen — June 19, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

    I`m not even pregnant and now I`m craving this pie. Oh well, can you buy ground tapioca or did you grind it up in the food processor.

    • Marcee ...... ILLINOIS replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

      Ha. Funny! Me too. That pie looks pielicious!! We all {{heart}} pie here.

    • Christina replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

      I used Minute Tapioca and used my coffee grinder to grind it into a powder. A mini food processor or spice grinder would work well also.

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    twisterfish — June 19, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    When pregnant I craved chicken sandwiches and apple pie. Couldn’t go near raw chicken or broccoli (raw or cooked).
    This pie looks wonderful!

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    Laura B. — June 19, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    I once had a craving so intense for Lays potato chips, I begged my husband to go out at 2am to get me a bag. He refused and I bawled like a baby. I made him stop the next morning on the way to church to get me a bag…I was still craving them! Also, I lived on Mexican and Italian. I had the worst heartburn and one would think those would aggravate it…but no, only things that didn’t give me heartburn. I couldn’t stand the thought of mango. I bought a box to make a huge batch of pineapple mango salsa and had to give it all away because I couldn’t even stand to cut it up. What’s funny is that my son, who’s almost three, loves mexican and italian foods and wouldn’t even taste mango baby food. LOL

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    Marcee ...... ILLINOIS — June 19, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    Back in the (baby making!) days …. I couldn’t tolerate anything but soups. Mild veggie and sometimes chicken noodle. Crackers, no salt potato chips and graham crackers were okay. I seemed to always crave Sprite or ginger ale. It settled me down a lot.

    The aroma of coffee or even tea made me so sick. Thankfully, I never had to worry about any types of meats, etc., because I never even ate that.

    Fun thinking of these memories.

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    Misha Hunter — June 19, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    I craved citrus, citrus, citrus! And chocolate malts. Odd, I know. :-) This Blueberry pie looks and sounds wonderful! Will have to bake one up when the temps come down some to turn the stove on. Thanks for sharing.

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    Stacy — June 19, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    I craved watermelon! Have you ever tried a blueberry pie with a cream cheese layer just on top of the crust….OMG….to die for. This one looks fabulous too! Might have to go on a run for some blueberries!

    • Christina replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

      Oh I forgot about the watermelon! Yeah I craved that last week! :D Ha! I have never had a blueberry pie with a cream cheese layer on top of the crust, but now I feel the sudden need to! ;)

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    The Teenage Taste — June 19, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    Oooh, this pie looks delicious! Way to satisfy those cravings!

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    Seasweetie — June 19, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    I craved salami and olives. Couldn’t stand the smell of patchouli, and loved the smell of hot asphalt. Go figure!

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    christina — June 19, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had blueberry pie which is weird because I LOVE blueberries! I may have to give this a try.

    The weirdest thing for me about my pregnancy cravings and aversions is that they’re different every time!

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    sixtypercentbaking — June 19, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    OK ok, I have to say it. How on earth do you find the time to make so many amazing dishes?! Honestly, I’m constantly impressed. Everything always looks great!!

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    ChgoJohn — June 19, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    This is another winner, Christina. Will you look at how the piece maintained its shape? I’ve got the blueberries …

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    Yolanda from CA — June 19, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

    I craved peach pie for my first pregnancy! I once had to send my husband out at night to find one and he did! Meats were out, yuck and when I ran into a lump in my hot cereal, GAG, end of that. He once lovingly offered me the last fried shrimp on his place cause I had devoured mine with such relish he still tells that story now, years later! Ah the memories, indeed!

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    Meg Robins (@SweetTwist_Meg) — June 19, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    That is funny, Raisin bran is one of my pregnancy cravings too!! Along with cherries and almost any kind of chips.

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    Julie — June 19, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    Craved oranges and salad (lots of green stuff) and couldn’t stand the smell or taste of bacon :(. Was aweful since my moto has always been that everythings better with bacon.

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    Just A Smidgen — June 19, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

    I craved peanut butter and banana sandwiches..with my son and he loves those.. and sushi with my daughter and she loves sushi.. so who knows what’s going on!!
    I’ve been contemplating a pie.. and I think the addition of tapioca is an excellent idea! And the apple as well.. to prop things up when you slice in! xo Smidge

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    Joy — June 20, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    The pie looks perfect.

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    Elisabeth — June 20, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Cravings? Pickles and Ice Cream. Thankfully not together! Although I could eat a bowl of ice cream and not thing twice about getting some pickles after, but at least they weren’t in the same bowl together. My pickle craving was so bad that I was in the grocery store checking out and someone in front of me dropped a jar of pickles. It smelled so good I HAD to have some. I left my already too long line and went all the way to the other end of the store just to satisfy my craving. And then wouldn’t you know a day or two later my pickle craving was over and I didn’t want them any more!

    I’ve been looking for a good blueberry pie recipe. I had read somewhere else (America’s test kitchen I think) about sprinkling graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of the crust. They absorb the juice and keep the crust from getting too soggy. But your pie looks GREAT!!!!

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    Villy — June 20, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    Dreamy pie!

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    Lauren — June 20, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    I think I just died of sweet, sweet summery goodness overload. My mouth is watering for that corn chowder (minus the bacon, of course, but what could I add in its place??).

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    KarenJ — June 21, 2012 @ 5:06 am

    I’m dying here! I grew up picking wild blueberries in the summer. I now live where a small, 125 gram container of them costs over 4 euros (that’s over $5 for maybe half a cup worth on a good day.) Can I come visit? Do blueberry pies ship long distance? Sob.

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    El Oso con Botas — June 22, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    Looks really delicious and the baby must be happy :)

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