In Maine blueberries are the last hurrah of summer. They are plentiful in the beginning and middle of August, and then wind down along with the heat of summer. The days here are still hot, but the nights are chilly and the mornings even more so. The kids still swim in the ocean and the pond near our house, blissfully ignorant of their chattering teeth and the goosebumps they acquire from the creeping northerly wind. The farmers market is still crowded and beautiful, but a seasonal shift in the flowers, produce and air is approaching. Tomatoes, zucchini and eggplants are still deliciously bountiful, but it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Cortlands, MacIntosh, and Fujis taking over the market barrels. The sunlight appears more golden in hue and is, of course, more welcome in the brisk mornings. I’ve even started turning on the oven every now and then, too, welcoming back homemade bread and weekend cakes. Soup has been on my mind, but we’re not quite there, yet- that comes in September. August is the time for Maine blueberry pie.
Maines culinary notoriety is lobster and blueberries, and while this may just be my pride talking, we’re superlative in both. I’m not the biggest lobster fan- boiling them alive traumatized me as a child -but blueberries I look forward to every year. Maine blueberries are a special variety, meant to be eaten by the handful, along with the odd stem here and there. I’ve written before about the work that goes into harvesting blueberries (it’s not for the faint of heart), so I carry a special place in my heart for the workers that do it. I do love incorporating blueberries into a variety of summer recipes (see here and here), though they are just as good on their own or sprinkled on granola in the mornings. Maine blueberry pie is one of those foods that are well known, you know, like Philly steak & cheese, or New York Bagels. You’ll find it in just about every Maine restaurant from York to Lubec, and every version is just as delicious as the next if you ask me.
My version of Maine blueberry pie is a classic recipe, though I’ve taken away the top crust and replaced it with a mountainous dollop of freshly whipped cream. Blueberries and cream is a personal favorite of mine (though to be fair, you can’t go wrong with any type of berries with cream, right?!) This Maine blueberry pie recipe also has a beautiful kick of cinnamon, and a deliciously flaky crust. If you have a plethora of blueberries on your hands (or are just craving a traditional Maine blueberry pie) then this recipe is perfect.
Traditional Wild Maine Blueberry Pie
1) The first step for blueberry pie (or any pie) is to make the crust. Measure the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and cut in the butter in small pieces. Make sure the butter is cold, just out of the fridge.
2) Using your fingertips, crush the butter into the flour into small, pea-sized pieces so that you have an even, crumbly mixture of flour and butter. Alternatively, you can use a food processor and pulse the butter into small pieces to save time and energy.
3) Using a spoon, mix in the cold water until a slightly sticky dough starts to form together with no dry spots.
4) Roll the dough into ball and wrap it in cling wrap or clean, dry recycled plastic bag. Flatten the ball into a disc after wrapping and then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
5) Meanwhile, prepare the blueberry filling. Pour half of your blueberries into a pot, along with the sugar, cornstarch, cold water and cinnamon. Turn the stove on medium-low heat and let the blueberries cook about 10 or so minutes, until some of them start to break down, and the mixture all starts to thicken from the sugar and cornstarch. After it’s thick and saucy, turn off the heat, and set the blueberry filling aside to cool for a few minutes.
6) Once the blueberry filling has is slightly warm, mix in the other half of the fresh blueberries. If you’re still waiting on your pie crust, you can set this blueberry filling aside at room temperature.
7) Once your pie crust has had at least two hours in the refrigerator, you can start rolling it- but first- preheat your oven.
8) Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a dry countertop, and with a rolling pin, begin to roll your pie dough into a flat, round shape. It should roll to about 1/4″ thickness, and drape over all sides of your pie pan when placed inside.
9) Lay the rolled out pie dough into the pie pan and fold excess dough around the edges of the pan to form a thick crust. Use the index finger of one hand and your thumb and index finger of your other hand to create a “pinch pie” or “crimped” crust.
10) Use a fork to perforate the bottom of the crust several times, so that it doesn’t rise up while baking. You can also fill the pie crust with pie weights, or dried beans (in tin foil) to avoid the crust rising during the baking process.
11) Bake the crust about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool off slightly. Once the crust is warm to touch, pour in the blueberry filling, spreading evenly. Refrigerate at least two hours.
12) Just before serving, top the pie with freshly whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon! Store in the fridge, covered with cling wrap up to 5 days.’
A bit more about me…
Hello! I’m a food photographer in New England.
Hi! I’m Amber Rogals and I work as a food photographer, stylist and recipe developer throughout the New England area, capturing various food stories, products and recipes. I also write regularly on my food blog, Downeats. I love to inspire others to cook and enjoy delicious, healthy meals with their loved ones. I grew up and still live in Maine with my (gorgeous, wonderful, hardworking) high school sweetheart and our (hilarious, talented and beautiful) children. I believe in living slow and enjoying life and I love to capture shared moments. You can read more about me here. If you are looking for a food photographer or recipe developer please contact me here.