Friday, 4 July 2008

blueberry pie & the 4th of july

Happy Fourth of July!

And how better to mark the occassion than with a blueberry pie for Blueberry Week.

Pies make me think of the US and my paternal grandmother. She was a talented pie maker and I don’t think I ever eat a pie without thinking of her.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1922, Grandma seemed to be a typical American woman from her generation.

During WWII she served in the Airforce until she married my grandfather, she sewed all her own clothes, decorated cakes professionally and was an observing Baptist. She was a wonderful cook and was especially good at cakes and pies and desserts.

She was happy and round and warm.

The first time I ever made a pie I stumbled across a wonderful shortcrust pastry which I now use every time. Apricot and peach pies are my favourite kinds to make, but I always dreamed about having enough berries to make a blueberry pie.

With the massive blueberry batch from Shamu, I was able to make my dream come true and created this wonderful blueberry pie. I baked it for a harbour side picnic way back in April to farewell our little sister, Stinky, before she moved to Amsterdam.

Unfortunately the photos of the filling aren’t that good because they were taken on the picnic rug, but you get the idea.

Blueberry Pie

Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 8.



500g blueberries
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest


350g chilled butter, chopped
3½ cups plain flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line pie dish.

2. Sift flour and pinch of salt. Rub in butter until crumbly. Add sugar. Add 2-4 tablespoons of water. Mix.

3. Gather dough. Divide into two balls. Flatten balls and roll into circles large enough to line pie dish. Put one circle in base of pie dish. Wrap and chill remaining circle.

4. In a pan combine the blueberries, sugar, orange rind and half the orange juice, and heat over a gentle flame. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if needed.

5. Mix the cornflour with the remaining orange juice until dissolved.

6. Add to blueberries and stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

7. Pour filling into pie dish, cover with remaining dough and cut edges with a knife to remove excess pastry from sides.

8. Roll out excess pastry and use cookie cutters to shape. Place on pastry lid as decoration, using the beaten egg as glue. Glaze pastry with egg and sprinkle with sugar.

9. Prick pastry to allow steam to escape during cooking. Bake for 50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and crunchy.

Note: my original recipe used only half the pastry ingredients but upon making this again (August 2010) I didn't have near to enough pastry. The measurements you see above are the doubled version which I think will be much better and allow excess for decoration.



  1. Really delicious! Your pie makes me drool...



  2. this is one of my favorites! one big blob of vanilla ice cream and i'm all set. :)

  3. This is the longest 4th of july ever, it started with memories of your American grandmother in Australia, and it's passing by here in the Bay Area ... anyone in Hawaii?

  4. wow, it is really a lovely pie. and very all-american.

  5. That pie looks beautiful!! The filling is perfectly set and not too runny at all - a hard thing to get right. :)


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