Fresh Blueberry Pie with Almond Pie Crust
We’re sharing a dazzling Fresh Blueberry Pie with Almond Pie Crust today, just in time for berry season.
In the summer, we like to take our kids up to a wonderful little spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway called Graveyard Fields. It’s a popular stop for casual (kid-friendly) hiking and wild blueberry picking.
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles through the Appalachians and was started as an employment program after the Great Depression. It took over 25 years to complete and did, in fact, employ thousands of people. Several friends I have met here in Asheville, tell stories of their grandparent’s housing parkway workers or opening businesses to serve the new crowds coming through.
Although there are many fantastic places to stop, my personal favorites (other than Graveyard Fields) within an hour of Asheville are: Crabtree Falls, Mount Mitchell, and Craggy Gardens. (For more info visit Romantic Asheville or the official Blue Ridge Parkway site.)
But I digress… After picking bundles of wild blueberries, we head home to bake the most classic berry dessert I can think of, Fresh Blueberry Pie with Almond Pie Crust.
Who doesn’t like pie? Really, can you imagine someone not enjoying flaky buttery layers of crust and juicy blueberry filing?
Although I always prefer baking with fresh berries, the great secret of berry pies is that they can be made with frozen berries all year long.
Since berries are generally packaged at the height of the season, berry pies made with frozen berries are debatably just as good. No one has to know your berries weren’t freshly picked!
This particular Fresh Blueberry Pie with Almond Pie Crust is a classic rendition. I like to keep such nostalgic dishes fairly straight forward. The only artist license I took was with the crust.
I tweaked my favorite pie crust recipe by incorporating ground almonds and amaretto. The almonds create a slightly more brittle, but exquisitely flaky crust and the amaretto deepens the sweet, nutty flavor. It is a superb crust, if I do say so myself!
Fresh Blueberry Pie with Almond Pie Crust is a fabulous dessert for your Independence Day celebration this year. Make it the day before, so it has plenty of time to cool and set.
Fresh Blueberry Pie with Almond Pie Crust
For the Almond Pie Crust:
- In a food processor, add the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the cold butter and shortening cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles peas.
- Add the amaretto and 1 tablespoon of cold milk. Pulse again until the dough comes together. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of milk if needed. Dump the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Separate into two equal pieces and flatten into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the blueberries with flour, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and juice in a large bowl. Toss and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Move the rack to a lowest position. Flour a work surface and roll out one disk of dough in a 12 to 13 -inch circle. Fold the dough over the rolling pin to transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan. Repair any cracks and crimp or pinch the edges. Refrigerate the pie crust while working on the top.
- Roll out the second disk of dough and cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter. Cut out 16-20 shapes, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
- Pour the berry filling into the pie crust and top with 2 tablespoons of butter cubes. Arrange the dough shapes over the filling, making sure they overlap a bit, so they stick together while baking. Whisk an egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash over the pie crust.
- Place the pie on the low rack and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 375 degrees F, and bake another 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the blueberry filling is bubbling. (If the pie crust looks brown after the first 15 minutes, cover it loosly with foil to slow the browning.)
- Once out of the oven, resist the urge to cut into the pie and have a slice. The pie needs to cool to room temperature for the filling to thicken up! It usually takes about 2 hours.
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