Some earnest purists reject the use of any canned or frozen foods as an unwelcome compromise. In truth, good-quality individually quick frozen (IQF) fruits and berries are usually of excellent quality. Fruit bought at the store is usually picked when under ripe for improved shipping and storage qualities, while frozen produce is usually picked ripe and processed close to the fields. Blueberries freeze especially well, and may be used year-round to make muffins, pancakes or pies.
Things You'll Need
4 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
1/4 tsp. salt (a pinch)
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup of corn starch
9-inch pie shell, either commercial or homemade
9-inch pie plate
1 egg, beaten
Coarse sugar, optional
Wooden spoon, or spatula
2-quart saucepan, if using cooked method
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a mixing bowl, and stir. Add the blueberries, and toss until well coated.
Line the pie plate with one round of pastry crust. Fill the crust liberally with the coated blueberries, as they will reduce in cooking. There may be a small quantity left over; return these to the freezer and use them in pancakes or muffins.
Drizzle the filling with a small amount of lemon juice, to brighten the flavor. If using the lower amount of sugar, 1 tbsp. should be adequate; if using more sugar, adjust the lemon juice accordingly.
Dot the filling with cold butter, and cover with a full round of pastry or a lattice crust. Crimp and seal the edges as usual. If using a full top crust, cut vent holes in the top for steam to escape.
Beat the egg with 1 tsp. of water. Brush the top crust with the egg and water mixture, and sprinkle it with coarse sugar if desired. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees for another 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly and thickened. Serve warm or cooled.
Frozen berries vary widely in juice content. An extra tablespoon or two of cornstarch will help gel extra-juicy berries, and reduce the risk of your pie bubbling over.
To keep juices from boiling onto your oven's floor, place the pie plate on a cookie sheet.
If a pie is cut when still hot, juices will seep out and turn the bottom crust soggy. Unless a pie will be eaten straight from the oven, it is best to cool it first, and warm individual pieces as desired.
When the pie is first removed from the oven, the blueberry filling is hot enough to cause a nasty burn. Exercise appropriate caution when moving the pie to a cooling rack, and be sure to keep it out of the reach of children.