This blueberry pie is largely inspired by my family’s strawberry pie recipe. In my family, strawberry pie is an institution! So many childhood memories and birthdays (one of the advantages of being born in May or June is being able enjoy strawberries, cherries, raspberries, etc.). For this blueberry pie, I didn’t reproduce the last step, which is the icing on the cake… I have divided the recipe into three steps that you can see described below. Soon I shall publish the recipe for strawberry cake in its most elaborate version (which is also sweeter than this blueberry pie!).
For this recipe, I proceed in three stages: I first bake the shortbread dough; then I make a pastry cream that I apply on the crust pastry once they have both cooled down. Finally, I arrange the washed blueberries on top. The fruit is not cooked unlike other fruit pies such as apple pie, apricot pie, etc. This will keep the blueberries’ flavor intact.
Ingredients for the pie pastry
- 1 cup (150 g) flour
- 3 ½ ounces (100 g) butter
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
These proportions are for a small cake mold, 9 ½ inches long (24 cm). If you use a larger cake mold, about 11 ½ inches (30 cm), increase the proportions by half, or 225 g of flour, 150 g butter and 75 g of sugar. This is not the traditional recipe for shortbread but it’s a recipe that works great (it has been tested many times). It contains no eggs and less sugar than the traditional recipe (fruit and pastry cream also contain sugar; I can assure you that it is sufficiently sweet!). It is also by far the fastest crust recipe ever!
Ingredients for the pastry cream
- 1 pint milk
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup caster sugar (I rather put 1/3 cup because I prefer less sweet desserts)
- 1 vanilla bean
Variation: Once I put in a whole egg by mistake. I then rushed to the Internet to see if this could be undone! The answer is yes! I found this version of a pastry cream with whole eggs on the French/Italian website Un Déjeuner de soleil (there are also many inspiring Italian recipes on this website!). This is quite useful when you want to avoid throwing away egg whites!
Ingredients for the filling
- Approximately 1/2 pound (250-300 g) fresh blueberries or 1 pound (500 g) if using a larger cake mold.
If there any blueberries left, there will certainly be a soul that will devotedly take care of them!
1/ Making the shortbread: In a bowl, pour the flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Chop the softened at room temperature butter into pieces and add it to the flour and sugar mixture. Use your fingertips to gently add the butter to the dry mixture. The well-blended butter will first form a kind of sand that can then turn into a beautiful ball of pastry. Once the dough is ready, spread it by hand directly into the dish. Of course, for all these steps, you must have washed your hands thoroughly and have no cuts or any other skin concern! Bake the shortbread for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F (180 °C). The dough crust should be very light brown when you take it out of the oven. Watch out for the end of baking because the crust bakes rapidly and can quickly become brown.
2/ Preparing the pastry cream: In a saucepan, boil the milk with the vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise. In order for the vanilla to release its full flavor, you should scrape the seeds inside the bean and infuse them along with the bean. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to make a smooth frothy batter. Gradually add the flour. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and put the milk back on the heater. Pour the eggs into the milk and whisk constantly until the mixture boils. Turn off the heat and allow to cool by putting the pastry cream in another container (bowl, soup plate, etc.). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
3/ Preparing the blueberry pie: Once the crust has cooled down to room temperature and the pastry cream has become very cold, spread a layer of pastry cream on the crust (more or less a thick one, depending on the thickness of the crust and also on your taste!) and place one by one the washed and wiped blueberries on top.
You can add a verbena leaf as decoration! Enjoy!