Dinner, Sweet Snacks

Spiced Blueberry Pie “To Feed a Crowd”

Well, it’s getting closer to that food extravaganza that the US calls Thanksgiving. I really like Thanksgiving because while I know there are other things behind it, it is mostly about the food. So, if you are planning to feed a crowd and you are the one pegged with making dessert, this recipe might be for you. It feeds +/- 24 and is made in a half sheet (18 x 13 inch) pan. That’s pretty big. It also weighed about 8 pounds. 🙂 but it was delicious — the spices gave it a nice warm taste.

for the pastry
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, diced
10-12 tablespoons (or more) ice water

for the filling
14 cups blueberries; fresh or frozen
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
4 tablespoons corn starch, mixed with 1/4 cup water
juice from one lemon
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
coarse sugar, for sprinkling

You will also need: a rimmed half-sheet pan (18 x 13 inch)

Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening and pulse in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 8 tablespoons ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more water by the teaspoonful if dough is dry. Gather into ball, then divide where one half is 2/3 of the dough and the other is 1/3 and flatten into two disks. Wrap in plastic and chill 2 hours.

While the dough is resting, make your filling as you pre-cook the blueberries and they must cool completely. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, combine blueberries and sugar. Let come to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. The blueberries will also become soft and release much of their liquid. Add the spices. Whisk in the corn starch slurry and let come to a boil again to thicken. Once thickened, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly spray 18×13 inch shallow baking sheet with baking spray.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger of the dough disks to a 22 x 16-inch rectangle. Place in baking sheet and crimp edges. Dock the pastry with a fork a few times, all the way to the edges. Place the blueberry mixture into the pie crust, spreading it evenly.

This is where you can be creative. You may prefer to create a lattice top for your pie. Alternatively, you can use the second pie crust to create small shapes (flowers or leaves or stars, etc). I decided to go with a semi-lattice and some leaves. After you have decorated the top of your pie, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush over the pie dough and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

Bake pie for 25 minutes at 400F before lowering oven temperature to 350F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling. If the edges or lattice begin to darken too quickly, cover with aluminum foil to prevent additional browning. Cool pie for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.




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