This is the best blueberry pie you'll eat, vegan or not, and I make it really easy -- and economical -- by showing you how to make it with frozen blueberries (fresh berries are fine too). You can use a storebought crust, but I've included directions for my foolproof homemade crust which bakes up all crispy and flaky and golden, making sure you'll vow your most important critic--yourself!
Nothing says holidays quite like pie, and today I have for you a recipe for the ultimate Vegan Blueberry Pie.
Like most fruit pies, this is a simple recipe with a few ingredients. You can put it together in about 20 minutes if you're used to making pies, and that includes making the pastry crust.
Pies are always a hit in my home--Desi loves them with a passion--and this one disappeared faster than I could say "Blueberry Pie." Try it, and be sure to come back and let me know what you think.
Fresh or frozen berries?
This recipe needs six cups (around 42 oz) of blueberries and frankly, fresh organic blueberries can break the bank where I live. I have a little blueberry tree in the backyard that produces lots of pretty little berries every summer but there hasn't been a single year when I've been able to get to the ripe or semi-ripe berries before the birds do. 🙂
So I get organic blueberries in a big bag from the freezer at Costco. It costs under $10 for three pounds (18 oz of fresh organic berries cost around $11, so I'd be paying more than $25 for the amount I need in this pie).
The frozen blueberries work just as well as fresh in this pie, and you have lots more left over for more pie or for other desserts or smoothies. Just be sure to thaw them thoroughly and strain out any of the juice that expresses on its own (don't squeeze the berries) before you add them to the filling.
Homemade or storebought pie crust?
I often cheat on sweet and savory pies with a puff pastry crust, but when it comes to a pie crust I usually make it myself because it's just so easy and takes barely five minutes. The results are always wonderful, and it's probably better for you to make it yourself, knowing what the exact ingredients are. But if you prefer a storebought crust, go for it. It'll make this pie an even easier -- and quicker -- one for you.
Make this blueberry pie gluten-free
If you want your pie to be gluten-free, make a double batch of the crust in my Gluten-Free Vegan Caramelized Onion Galette recipe, and add 2 tbsp of sugar to the flour before mixing it into a dough. Gluten-free doughs need more care with handling--roll it out between sheets of parchment paper and make sure you are keeping the dough well-floured as you roll it out. The blueberry pie filling is already gluten-free so no need for any adjustments there.
Helpful tips and tricks
- Prep the berries: If you're using frozen blueberries, take them out of the freezer, measure them, and place them in a colander to thaw, at least four hours before you start to make the pie. Place the colander over a bowl to catch the juices as they drain. Do not squeeze the berries, just let any juice that drains out naturally fall away as the berries thaw.
- Make the pie dough: If possible, make your pie dough in advance as well. I make it around the same time I put the blueberries out to thaw, which gives the dough a few hours to hang out in the fridge. You don't have to do this. You can roll out the dough as soon as you make it, but if possible, do give it at least 30 minutes to sit in the refrigerator before you roll, just so the butter has a chance to firm up again.
- A key thing to remember when making pie dough is to keep everything it comes into contact with cold. First, mix the all purpose flour with sugar, salt and "cut in" the butter, which should be used straight out of the fridge and should be very solid. You want little bits of the butter to disperse throughout the dough without melting into it. When this happens, and your pie dough hits the heat of the oven, those pockets of butter will melt, creating the air pockets that make the crust flaky.
- Cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter until it's in smallish pieces, some about the size of green peas, and has dispersed throughout the flour. At this point start mixing in the water, which should be ice cold.
- Mix the dough with a fork, not with your hands (which are warm), until it just comes together into a ball. At this point halve it and place each half into cling wrap. As you wrap, use your hands over the cling wrap to shape each half into a disc, as evenly as you can. Place the discs into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the blueberry filling:
- While the dough is chilling, mix up your blueberry filling. Place the thawed and drained blueberries in a bowl and add sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix it all well, then set aside while you roll out the bottom pie crust.
- Put the pie together:
- Roll out a disc of the cold pie dough on a floured surface until it's big enough to fit inside of your deep dish pie pan.
- Carefully transfer the dough to the pie pan -- it helps to fold it once and then one more time, and then gently place it in the pan and unfold.
- Fit the pie dough to the edges of the pan, then pour in the prepared blueberry filling. You can refrigerate the pie at this stage, if you're in a hot kitchen, until you roll out the top crust.
- Once the top crust is ready--it should be slightly larger than the top of the pie dish -- you can shape it into a lattice top, like I did (my lattice-top-making skills are terrible and I can never get it quite right, but eaters rarely notice, it still looks pretty, and who cares when it all tastes so good?). Another easy way to make a cute top crust is to cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and layer them on, like I did with my Vegan Strawberry Pie and my Vegan Sweet Potato Pie. You can also just do a very plain top crust, like in this Vegan Skillet Apple Pie. It looks great for very little work.
- Bake the pie:
- Remember to preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the pie at that temperature for 25 minutes on a lower rack of the oven. Remember to place a baking sheet under the pie plate when you put it in the oven to make sure it catches any juices that overflow, saving you from a dreaded mess in the oven. Putting the pie on the lower rack in the first half of baking helps nicely cook and brown the bottom crust, and it keeps the top crust from browning too fast.
- After 25 minutes, move the baking sheet with the pie on it to a rack in the middle, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25-30 minutes or until the top is nicely golden-brown.
- Cool the pie:
- This is really important. As tempting and gorgeous as your newly baked pie looks, don't cut it open. All those fruit juices that are flowing around because of the heat need time to cool down and thicken, and if you cut your pie when it's just baked, you'll have a gooey mess on your hands--delicious, but not pie. In the old times, bakers kept their pies on window sills to cool down in the gentle breeze (often tempting pie thieves and animals to make away with them). You can just keep the pie in a cool spot in the home and let it cool down completely before serving. I usually just leave it alone overnight.
Vegan Blueberry Pie
For the pie filling:
- 6 cups blueberries (I use frozen. but fresh is fine. If using frozen, place the berries in a colander over a bowl. Let them stand about four hours or until they thaw completely and any juice drains away. Don't squeeze the berries)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Juice of ½ lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
Make the crust:
- Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the cubed butter. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until you have large crumbs of butter dispersed through the dough.
- Using a fork to mix, drizzle ice cold water into the flour, a little at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball. Don't add too much water, the dough shouldn't be wet. It should just hold together without any dry flour remaining.
- Divide the dough into two and wrap tightly in cling wrap, shaping each ball into a disc as you wrap it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. You can make the dough a day or two earlier as well and refrigerate.
Make the pie filling:
- Place the thawed, strained berries in a bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and lemon juice and mix well.
Assemble the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To assemble the pie, roll out one disc of dough to a width slightly larger than your pie plate (use a deep dish). Fit it into the bottom of the pie plate, leaving a slight overhang. Pour the berry filling inside.
- You can make a decorative lattice top for your pie, like I did--I am not at all good at this but the pie, as you can see, looks decent despite all the mistakes I made. To make a lattice top, roll out the dough to a disc slightly wider than the pie plate and cut it into 12 strips using a pizza cutter. Arrange half the strips on top of the pie and then "weave" in the other half crosswise. Seal the edges, cut out any overhanging dough or tuck it underneath. To make a plain top crust, roll out the dough to a diameter slightly larger than the pie plate's, place the disc of dough gently on top of the filling, and press down the edges of the dough to seal with the edges of the bottom crust using the tines of a fork. Cut four vents at the top of the pie to let the steam out as the pie bakes
- Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet or pan. I like to spritz the top with cooking spray before I put it in the oven to give the crust more color--you can skip this. Bake the pie for 25 minutes, then lower the heat and cook for another 30 minutes. This pie will express a lot of juice as it bakes, and placing it on a rimmed baking sheet or pan in the oven to catch all those juices (and make cleanup easy). .
- Once the pie is golden brown, remove it to a rack and cool thoroughly--which will take several hours--before cutting and serving.
Love this vegan blueberry pie? Check out all of my vegan pie recipes on Holy Cow!