Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Pie

Blueberry Sour Cream Crunch Pie at ThePieAcademy.com

I was reminded the other day of summers past when I dropped by my sister’s home and her grandchildren, Adah and Owen, were in the backyard picking blueberries.

In my New Hampshire summers of yore, berry picking was a regular pastime with my own children and it was heartening to see that the rules had changed little in the past three decades: two berries in your bucket, five in your mouth, wipe hands clean on t-shirts, shorts, and in hair. Rinse child with hose. Repeat.

Blueberry Sour Cream Crunch Pie at ThePieAcademy.com

We may have outgrown the delight of running a berry-stained hand through our own hair, but we can still know the pleasure of baking a fresh-picked blueberry pie. Isn’t this what the carefree days of summer are for, taking pleasure in the moment? The difficulty, if there is one, isn’t about procuring good raw material to work with; fresh blueberries are everywhere right now. It’s deciding their destiny: crumb top or pastry lid? All berry, mixed fruit, or something creamy?

The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course

How about this hybrid, something creamy and crumb topped? How about Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Pie?

Never tried anything like it? Then imagine a cheesecake with berries in the filling instead of on top, and you’ll be off to a good start. Unlike cheesecake, the filling is much creamier, with none of the dryness of a New York style cheesecake. I’ve taken to spiking the cream filling with a spoonful of amaretto, the berries and almond flavor being a great partnership. But feel free to substitute an equal amount of your favorite berry liqueur.

Blueberries on the bush at ThePieAcademy.com

I suppose it could be done, but I’ve not tried to make this pie with a pastry top crust instead of the crumb topping. For one thing, you wouldn’t end up with the pretty little pockets of blue peeking up through the top. Nor would you achieve the distinct textural contrast that you get between the sweet, crunchy brown sugar topping and creamy soft interior.

Blueberry Sour Cream Crunch Pie at ThePieAcademy.com

What to serve with our already creamy pie? Not ice cream or whipped cream; too much cream on cream. Frankly, no garnish is fine, but if you do want to dress it up, peach slices make for a lean and refreshing contrast. Perhaps a sprig of mint from the herb garden, too.

They’ll be more blueberry pie decisions to ponder this summer. But the season is still young, the days are long, and they’ll be plenty of time to consider where to go from here. Enjoy. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe.)

The Pie Academy Featured in ‘The Bluff’ Magazine

The Pie Academy featured in The Bluff magazine

One of the most gorgeous Lowcountry home communities we’ve ever visited is Palmetto Bluff, located about halfway between Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. One day owning a home there is on our bucket list. (Visiting friends there will do for now.)

The community puts out a gorgeous color magazine each quarter – The Bluff – so when they asked if they could include a story about The Pie Academy in their spring issue, we were more than happy to oblige. Click here to read the online version. (When the magazine appears, click on the Table of Contents, top right, then click on story #14.)

Our thanks to author Dylan Sell and The Bluff magazine for a great write up. They did an excellent job of telling our story and we’re proud to be in their pages.

Our Early Pie Bird Special Pricing Ends Soon for The Lowcountry Pie Getaway

That’s right – at the end of June, our special ‘Early Pie Bird’ pricing runs out for this October’s Lowcountry Pie Getaway in Charleston. You’ll save $100 off the regular pricing if you take advantage of this special deal, so don’t delay. And in case you missed the Getaway video we posted last week, you’ll find it here.

If you’re into making pies, meeting other friendly bakers and Pie Academy members from around the country, and having the time of your life in one of America’s greatest towns – Charleston, South Carolina – this is an event of a lifetime and you won’t want to miss it. Send us an email if you have any questions. We hope you can make it.

Finally, if you know of anyone who loves pie like we do, loves blueberries and might appreciate this recipe, please share this post with them. We rely on our members to help spread the word about The Pie Academy and really appreciate it when you do.

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PASTRY NOTES: Any pastry large enough to fit a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan will work for this pie, but I like the GOOD BASIC PIE DOUGH or the FOOD PROCESSOR PIE DOUGH. 

Blueberry Sour Cream Crunch Pie

Ingredients

  • Enough pastry for a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan
  • FILLING
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto or berry liqueur (optional but recommended)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • TOPPING
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. If you haven't already, prepare the pastry, then wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling.
  2. On a sheet of lightly floured wax paper, roll the dough into a 13-inch circle. Invert the pastry over a 9- or 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan, center it, then peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan without stretching it. Sculpt the overhanging dough into an upstanding ridge. Flute if desired, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Prick the bottom of the pie shell 6 or 7 times with a fork. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil about 16 inches long. Carefully - so you don't displace the shell - line the pie shell with the foil, pressing it into the creases so it fits like a glove. Add a thick layer of dried beans, banking them up the sides.
  4. Bake the shell on the center oven rack for 25 minutes. Slide it out and carefully lift out the foil and beans. Re-poke the holes if they've filled in. Slide the shell back in and bake another 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. (Once cooled, dab a little cream cheese or thick sour cream on a fingertip and plug the holes to avoid leaks.) Set the oven to 350°.
  5. Rinse the berries in a colander, picking them over to remove any small stems, sticks or debris. Set aside, blotting them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  6. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until blended. Add the sour cream, sugar, amaretto or liqueur, and extracts. Whisk well. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk this dry mixture into the liquid until smooth and no streaks of flour are evident.
  7. Spread the berries around evenly in the partially prebaked pie shell. Slowly pour the custard mixture over the berries. Using a spoon or fork, gently nudge the berries here and there so the custard settles between them. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. When the pie goes in the oven, make the crumb topping. Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk well, to combine. Add the butter, tossing to coat with the dry mixture. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until you have fine buttery-clumpy crumbs. Refrigerate until needed.
  9. After 25 minutes, slide out the oven rack and carefully - so you don't burn yourself - pile the topping near the center of the pie and spread it around with a fork. (If you'd rather not work with an open oven door, simply remove the pie and put it on top of your stove.) Once the topping is spread evenly, slide the pie back into the oven and bake another 25 minutes or so, until the pie is a little puffy and the topping is golden brown. If you nudge the pie it should jiggle as a whole, and not seem soupy at the center.
  10. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator and cool overnight, uncovered, before slicing. I like to give this at least a 12 hour chill before cutting. Cover and put leftovers back in the fridge right away. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
http://thepieacademy.com/blueberry-sour-cream-crumb-pie/