For a true taste of summer, bake a blueberry crumb pie! This delicious blueberry pie recipe can be made with fresh or frozen berries. The best part about this recipe is the generous crunchy crumb topping!
We got to adventure a little this summer, and it was glorious! Our little circus ventured up to Maine earlier this month, and it was so much fun. My littles keep asking when we are going back.
Of course, we tried all the classic Maine foods, including blueberries! We even had a chance to go blueberry picking, which was fun. My oldest kept talking about all the things we were going to make. “Blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, blueberry scones, eat blueberries for breakfast, blueberry oatmeal…” she just kept going!
Even picking almost 4 pounds, it wasn’t enough for everything! I’m glad we prioritized this blueberry crumb pie, and once you try it, you will be too!
We knew we wanted to make a blueberry pie with a baked filling, but when it was time to bake, I realized I only had one pie crust! Instead of making a second crust – I promised pie for dessert that day, after all – I made a crumb topping.
Crumb toppings on fruit pies are easy, look lovely, and add a little crunchy contrast to the baked fruit filling. If you’re new to pie baking and not up for making a lattice or other fancy crust, a crumb topping is your best alternative!
What kind of blueberries should I use for the pie?
You may use fresh or frozen blueberries for this pie, or a mix of the two. For the pie in these images, I used all fresh blueberries, but have made this pie using frozen.
If you are using frozen berries, and happen to find some wild blueberries, pick some up! Wild blueberries are smaller, sweeter, and more flavorful than most of the larger berries found in stores.
I’ve found bags of frozen wild blueberries in my local grocery stores, with Trader Joe’s being the most consistent source.
This is a pie recipe where the fruit flavor is made to really shine through, so flavorful blueberries = flavorful pie!
A baked blueberry pie uses a lot of blueberries.
If you use frozen berries, you don’t need to thaw them. You’ll cook part of the berries down anyway, then the rest can be stirred in without thawing before baking.
Blueberry Crumb Pie Recipe Tips:
You will need a single pie crust for the base of this pie. Make your own, there’s a recipe linked to earlier in this post, buy one at the store and roll it into your 9-inch pie dish, or buy a pre-shaped unbaked crust out of the freezer section. We don’t pre-bake the pie crust in this recipe.
To get a pie filling that will be firm enough to give you lovely clean cuts, you’ll need to cook part of the filling. Cooking the entire filling would give you the most firm filling, but that’s not the best for the final texture. Nobody wants a beautiful pie with a gummy texture.
A mix of cooked blueberries and uncooked blueberries in the filling provides the best balance in structure and texture.
In this recipe, we use cornstarch as our thickener. If you don’t have cornstarch, you may use flour, but the filling won’t be as clear.
Blueberries are naturally high in pectin, which also helps with gelling. We activate that natural pectin with a splash of lemon juice. Between the natural pectin in the blueberries and the cornstarch, it’s easy to get the right filling structure in this pie.
If using fresh in-season berries, or good frozen berries, you won’t need a lot of sugar. I found half a cup was perfect for this recipe. The blueberry flavor was not overpowered by the sugar, but the pie was sweet enough to feel like a dessert.
This crumb topping is a bit simpler than the one I use in recipes like my brown butter peach crumble bars, but it provides a better balance. While apple pies and bars can support a super-crunchy topping, berries just don’t have the same structure.
A simple, classic crumb topping with just butter, flour, sugar, and spices still provides crunch and coverage. It doesn’t squash your pie flat when you dig your fork in though.
We always want to think about details like this when composing our recipes. The enjoyment experience is just as important as the way the recipe looks at tastes, especially for treats!
I hope you love this recipe, darlings! And I hope that no matter when you make it, it brings a little taste of summer to your home. Happy baking!
- 1 9-inch pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
- 5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a fresh lemon)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cool and cubed (see notes)
- In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of blueberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens and looks clear. Your cooking time will be slightly longer if using frozen berries.
- Stir the tablespoon of butter into the hot berry mixture and transfer to a heat-resistant bowl to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F with a lined baking sheet on the middle rack and roll out your pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Prick the crust a few times with a fork to prevent bubbling during baking.
- Stir the remaining 3 cups of blueberries and the lemon zest into the blueberry mixture. Set aside.
- In another bowl, make your crumb topping. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt (if using), and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand with a few pea-sized bits of butter still visible.
- Pour the blueberry mixture into your pie crust. Top the blueberry mixture with your crumb topping.
- Place the pie on the lined baking sheet (it will catch any drips!), and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and baked through. If at any point the crust at the edge of the pie starts to brown too much, tent it with a little foil or a pie protector to slow the browning.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack for at least an hour before slicing. The prettiest slices will come from a completely cooled pie.
- Store extra pie loosely covered on the counter for a day, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- If you are using salted butter, omit the salt in the topping recipe. It doesn't matter if you use salted or unsalted butter in the pie. We haven't noticed a significant difference either way, and I've made it using both.
- The butter doesn't need to be fridge cold but should be cool and easy to cut into neat squares. This helps you incorporate it quickly and easily into the flour. If you'd like, you can also use a food processor to make the crumb topping quickly.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 4gSugar: 29gProtein: 3g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.