The 1 Easy Trick Professional Bakers Use for the Best Blueberry Pies

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There’s a hot local bakery in Portland, Maine, that’s churning out hundreds of pies a week all year long but especially during the holiday season. At the top of the bakery’s popularity list is Wild Blueberry Pie. In fact, Two Fat Cats Bakery scoops out 210-pounds of frozen Maine Wild Blueberries a week into its delicious pies, scones, muffins, and cakes – that’s seven 30-pound boxes. “We make a batch of 10-15 blueberry pies a day,” says bakery owner Stacy Begin. “In the summer we can’t keep up with the demand.” We visited Two Fat Cats Bakery and chatted with Stacy about why she thinks Wild Blueberry Pie is hands-down her top-selling pie – no matter what the season! She also busts the myths about using frozen Wild Blueberries in pie making, shares some tips on how to use them and says it’s the only way to go to make the best Wild Blueberry Pie.

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What’s behind the popularity?

Well, it’s a couple of things. People who come to Portland have heard so much about Maine Wild Blueberries and they want to try them. For tourists it’s on their to-do list, along with trying a whoopie pie and a lobster roll. Everyone loves Maine Wild Blueberries and Blueberry Pie never goes out of season – even over the holidays.

What makes the Wild Blueberry so distinctive?

Two things. First, is size. The Wild Blueberry is much smaller and this gives it a special quality. Second is taste – it’s sweeter and so different from a cultivated berry. I think people who know the story of the Wild Blueberry – how it’s native to Maine and how it’s grown and harvested – they understand that it’s a very intriguing and special berry.

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Are frozen berries better for Wild Blueberry Pie?

Definitely. Frozen Wild Blueberries are more dependable because they were picked at the height of their ripeness, which preserves their great taste and texture. Not only that, but there are a couple of myths out there. One is that frozen fruit is not as good in a pie. This is just false. At Two Fast Cats, we always use frozen Wild Blueberries in our pie. A second mistake is that people allow the berries to thaw first. We never thaw the berries in advance.

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So how do you make the pie?

  • The trick is to use frozen Wild Blueberries and keep them frozen.
  • Don’t thaw them out in advance.
  • Pour your dry ingredients (sugar, thickener and spices) over the frozen berries and stir gently.
  • Let everything sit for 15 minutes.
  • While this mixture sits, the fruit starts to absorb the sugar and the thickener.
  • The sugar will cling to the fruit and this is exactly what you want.
  • Give it all a good stir.
  • Then, pop everything into your pie shell and bake it.

What do people say about your pie?

What we usually hear is: “This is the best pie I have ever had.” I believe it’s not just due to our techniques or our recipes, I think it’s because a lot of people have never had the Maine Wild Blueberry and it’s so different than a cultivated berry pie. It’s an awakening to them. The blueberries are smaller, there lots of ‘em, so you get that delicious taste of the fruit.

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Are there any special ingredients in your pie?

We make a very traditional Wild Blueberry Pie—and there is really no secret to the recipe. We just take the time to make it right. A pie can be time consuming and there is a temptation to take short cuts. If you really want a good pie, you have to put the time into it and use the very best ingredients.

Who buys your pies?

Well we all know that Mainers love their pie and we sell to a lot of local people. Tourists love them too and once they’ve tasted our Maine Wild Blueberry Pie, they want to visit again. For them, it’s like a taste of summer. We also sell to the Portland Lobster Company, which dishes up a ton of lobster and Blueberry Pie in the summertime.

Where do you get your berries?

We buy our Maine Wild Blueberries from Wyman’s and Allen’s, both are Maine growers with long histories. We get weekly deliveries of frozen berries throughout the year.

What are some favorite recipes that use Wild Blueberries?

We make a Bumbleberry Pie that uses local apples, rhubarb, raspberries, and Maine Wild Blueberries. This is also known as Heritage Pie – and it’s a recipe that people have made for generations. It’s traditionally made at the end of the season with whatever fruits people had left on hand from the summer.

Make your holiday complete with a Wild Blueberry pie from Two Fat Cats bakery or make your own using this delicious recipe! For other wild twists on traditional Thanksgiving side dishes take a look Danielle Omar’s recipes: Wild Blueberry Relish and Wild Blueberry Stuffing. Danielle is a registered dietitian, clean-eating coach, teacher and cookbook author and enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog.

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Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

2 1/2 lbs  frozen Wild Blueberries
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 TBS tapioca starch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 rounds of your favorite pie crust
milk
additional sugar

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix the blueberries and lemon juice together.  In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, tapioca starch and spices.  Add the dry ingredients to the berries and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, stir the mixture.  You should see the berries absorbing the sugar.  While the mixture sits, line a pie pan with one round of pie crust.  When mixture is ready, pour it into the pie crust and cover with the second round of dough.  Crimp the edges and don’t forget to make slits in the top crust to release the steam. Brush the milk onto the pie and sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar (2 – 3 TBS).  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until you can see the juices begin to gel. Let pie rest for 2 hours before cutting. Enjoy!

About the Author

Betta Stothart is a writer and book editor who arrived in Maine as a raft guide, made her way into the newspaper world, found and married a Mainer and eventually became a mom. She enjoys writing profiles and articles about sustainability, health, yoga, and the environment and is a Wild Blueberries blog team member.

30 thoughts on “The 1 Easy Trick Professional Bakers Use for the Best Blueberry Pies

  1. Jane Dzubinski

    I was born in maine and have picked many blueberries growing up…..now living in Pennsylvania, I try to school my friends here, on the difference between New Jersey blueberries and Maine blueberries…they are better for you…I tell them!
    I Love blueberry pie!

  2. Carolyn DePaolo

    Your blueberry pie is absolutely the best we get it every single time we are up in Maine which is almost monthly and most of the summer. I will try your recipe but I think you’re still the best blueberry pie maker ever. We have even had you deliver a blueberry pie once when you first started delivering,still love it fresh.

  3. Brenda Kotasek

    LOVE Maine blueberries!!!! I live and grew up in Southern Minnesota. Our daughter & family has lived in Maine for almost 15 years. We visit at least twice a year. Maine blueberries are the best!!! Thanks for the tip and recipe. Blueberry is the only pie I eat! 🙂 I use dried blueberries in cookies, muffins and pumpkin bread when I don’t have fresh or frozen.
    Brenda from Minnesota

  4. Linda Jellison

    I have always thawed my BB’s so I’m definitely going to try this recipe. We harvest
    60 quarts plus every year from our high bush BB’s so they are high on my list for baking! Thanks

  5. Tracy

    Please make this recipe Pinable so we can pin it onto Pinterest.com. Your business will likely increase if you do.

  6. Wild Blueberries

    You can find Wild Blueberries in the frozen fruit section of your local grocery store. Enjoy 🙂

  7. Wild Blueberries

    Hi Gloria, the correct amount is 2.5 pounds. I know it sounds like a lot, but it actually comes out to only about 6 cups. Enjoy!

  8. Lynne Magee

    The closest I can find here in Oklahoma is at Wal-Mart. Dole Wild Blueberries in frozen foods. I am not sure if they are from Maine. My guess is Canada.

  9. Joan

    I get my Wyman’s Frozen Blueberries from Costco or BJ’S. I’m from NJ, I do love my NJ fresn blueberries. I will only buy Wyman’s frozen berries.

  10. Gloria L

    I live in Georgia and my husband and I have 3 beautiful blueberry bushes. I have several quarts of blueberries in my freezer waiting to have a place to go. These may not be Maine wild blueberries, but I’m anxious to try this pie with my own Georgia backyard blueberries. They are very juicy an sweet. Hopefully I will be able to make this delicious pie.

  11. Wild Blueberries

    They are so yummy! Next time you buy frozen try the Wymans Wild blueberries – they have amazing flavor!

  12. Wild Blueberries

    Hi Dorothy, you can buy whichever brand your store carries (there are many different brands) just make sure you look for the word “wild” on the package!

  13. Wendy Brown

    I made this pie tonight with some frozen blueberries from our local blueberry farm. I baked it for 45 + minutes….but my juice did not gel. Should I have used more tapioca? I did use the Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus spice blend…I was out of nutmeg…it has Korintje cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground orange peel, cloves and ginger. That change shouldn’t have affected the gel process, right?
    I didn’t let it set longer than 15 mins… We still ate it…delicious!! But would like to figure out what I did wrong…since I love blueberry pies!! Thanks for reading…I hope you have some suggestions for me 🙂

  14. Wild Blueberries

    Hi Wendy, thanks for your feedback! We sent it over to Stacy at Two Fat Cats Bakery and this was what she had to say:

    “Thanks for letting me know. Unfortunately, there’s no exact science for pie and it sometimes has a mind of it’s own! It’s happened to all of us.

    So, a couple quick suggestions:

    1) Baking it another 15 – 20 minutes often helps. Sometimes, it just needs some extra oven time to firm up the juices to a consistency where it will eventually gel. Don’t forget – pie should rest for at least 2 hours. Cut into it too soon, and you will have a soupy mess.

    2) If baking for another 15 minutes doesn’t seem like the issue – or you’re afraid your crust will be overbaked – then adding some extra tapioca starch is a good idea. Another 1 –2 TBSP is all it should take.

    Hope that helps!

    Stacy”

  15. Karen Rawley

    the recipe is incorrect. I called Stacy. Need to change to 4 tablespoons of tapioca starch. Please update web page and Facebook. Hate for people to make this and have a runny pie! Delicious with the correct amount of thickener.

  16. jim faust

    Great filling recipe, but timing is way off! At 375 degrees this pie would have taken two hours to bake. My oven is perfectly calibrated. Start at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and finish at 375 for 45 minutes, to an hour.

    This recipe will not fit in a standard 9″ pie plate. This recipe makes 1/3 too much filling for a 9″ pie pan. There would be filling flowing all over the oven. I used a 10″ pie pan and my bottom crust was nicely mounded.

    Instructions left too much to chance. If I hadn’t had 30 years of baking experience behind me, I’d have had a huge, inedible mess.

  17. Steven

    OH my gosh this all looks so tasty! I am just about to venture into cinnang for the first time. I’m starting with hot pepper rings though. I’m scared to screw up jam and be out all those berries! I am really dying to try it though. Maybe I’ll get brave before the season is over!

  18. Pat Doucette

    It is Thanksgiving day and I have a pie that is more like blueberry soup! I am supposed to be supplying the pie for our family gathering and this pie is not good and I can’t go out and buy another one for the meal. I used the 4 Tbsp. of tapioca flour and baked the pie for 1 hour at 375 degrees. I have never made a fruit pie before (and shouldn’t have tried to do my first one for a large family gathering!) so I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid that the crust would turn to stone. I should have read the notes below the recipe!!! The timing is way off! 🙁

  19. Karen Rawley

    I don’t think you cooked it long enough and needs to cool for several hours. Buy Clear Gel from
    The King Arthur website and you will
    Never have a runny pie again. Use 1/4 cup in berry pies but need to mix with sugar and spices before adding to fruit. Also always use frozen berries. Don’t let them thaw. I usually cook berry pies at 400 for 15 minutes then reduce to 375 for At least an hour. Juices must run clear, not cloudy, or it is not done.

  20. Pat

    I used the berries frozen and I didn’t cut the pie until more than 24 hours later after I made it. The cooking directions, though, were not adequate! The 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then 375 for at least an hour make much more sense. I will also order the Clear Gel from King Arthur…an AWESOME site for recipes and for buying supplies! As for Thanksgiving, we served the “pie” with ice cream. It was kind of like ice cream with a very loose blueberry topping! Everyone said it tasted great but it just wasn’t cooked long enough to be a pie. Lesson learned! I will try this recipe again because my husband is a big fan of blueberry pies (which have always been bought before this time) and I love the wild Maine blueberries! Thank you for your help!

  21. Denise Michaels

    Nice my dad used to bring home fresh blueberry’s; for my mom,to make a pie, from road side stand,as soon as he found them in season! I don’t really remember seeing my dad eat pie. Except for Apple pie ;not A la mode. . With a nice sharp cheese. I actually thought t what discussing. Then I grew up ..sweet &savory that’s the way

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