The first blueberry pie of 2012


I am an American, and I like apple pie. And I can make a damned good apple pie, too.



Somehow, however, I ended up with Partner, and he (and all of the members of his family) prefer blueberry pie.



I have adapted to this. I have made blueberry pies for years now. I have it down to a science.



Well, it’s June, and Stop & Shop just put blueberries on sale (two for one!), so it was time to bake my first pie of the season.



The big problem with blueberry pies is juiciness: if you’re not careful, you get a pieplate full of blueberry soup. I’ve tried all kinds of thickeners: regular flour (no effect at all), tapioca (which creates a creepy gelatinous Blueberry Tapioca Pudding filling), and cornstarch (which is best of all).



(I’ve ordered something from King Arthur called ClearJel which promises to solve all these problems. We’ll see.)



The other problems are sweetness and flavor. Blueberries really aren’t very flavorful, and need some help: sugar, spices (I take my lead from the King Arthur cookbook and add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to my blueberries). Too sweet? Not sweet enough? Hard to tell. If the berries look nice and mature and ripe, I trust them a little more, and add less sugar. If they’re small and nondescript – or if (horrors!) I’m using frozen berries – I add a lot more sugar.



So, on Sunday night, I baked the first official blueberry pie of 2012. The berries were nice and big and fat, so I wasn’t too worried about flavor; I added less cornstarch, and less sugar.



The final result was (I will say) a success. It was sweet without being overpowering, and the spices assisted, but didn’t intrude. (The topic of piecrust deserves a blog of its own someday. But this was a very nice piecrust, savory and soft and agreeable.) The berries stayed whole, but popped pleasantly when you bit into them.



All in all, a good attempt.



(But I would rather have had an apple pie.)


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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