Ultimate Summer Blueberry Lattice Pie

Growing up, I had a soft spot for apple pie. It was THE pie for me, my go-to choice every time. I don’t remember ever even having tried blueberry pie. And then we bought our house six years ago and upon moving in, our sweet neighbors (who are sadly moving in just 6 days…) welcomed us to the neighborhood with a blueberry pie. Shane doesn’t eat blueberries so it was all mine, and let me tell you, I devoured that thing in embarrassingly quick fashion. It was love at first bite :)

Ultimate Summer Blueberry Lattice Pie

Ever since then, when summer rolls around and gorgeous blueberries start popping up everywhere, turning them into a delicious pie is my first priority. I’ve made several blueberry pies in the past, and frankly, even the “bad” ones were good. In my eyes, blueberry pie can do no wrong! But this summer I set out to find the ultimate pie, the one that would carry me through every summer for years to come. After putting a few recipes to the test (I assure you, it was very tough work :)), I found my winner!

Ultimate Summer Blueberry Lattice Pie

The perfect blueberry pie, in my eyes, has to meet a few criteria. First and most importantly, lots and lots of fresh blueberry flavor. The filling needs to be thick and firm enough that I can cut neat slices without the pie turning into a big soupy mess (huge pet peeve of mine!). Conversely, it can’t be SO thick it’s like cutting into jello. And finally, the crust, especially the bottom one, needs to be golden and flaky. This blueberry lattice pie from Cook’s Illustrated checked all of the boxes, I really couldn’t find a single thing I didn’t like about it!

The pie filling includes a combination of fresh whole berries and some berries that have been cooked down and thickened. Tapioca is used to thicken the pie, along with a grated Granny Smith apple. You won’t be able to taste or detect the apple in the baked pie, its natural pectin just helps the tapioca to thicken the filling. Lemon zest and juice brighten the flavor of the pie and sugar enhances the sweetness of the berries.

Ultimate Summer Blueberry Lattice Pie

I didn’t have any ice cream on hand when I photographed the pie, but a scoop of vanilla is always a good idea next to a slice of pie. This is my ultimate blueberry pie, summer dessert just doesn’t get any better!

Ultimate Summer Blueberry Lattice Pie
filling just barely adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

{Note: you don’t have to make a lattice top for the pie, just make sure you cut several large holes from the top crust to vent if you opt to go the traditional route.}

Double crust pie dough
6 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

On a lightly floured work surface, roll one disc of dough into a 12-inch circle (lifting and turning as you go). Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease it in. Trim the excess dough so it hangs over the edge by no more than 1 inch. Refrigerate the bottom crust for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 F, with a rack in lowest position. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack.

Add 3 cups of the blueberries to a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, mashing the berries with a potato masher occasionally and stirring often, until about half of the blueberries have broken down (ie don’t go too crazy mashing them, you still want some whole berries left). The mixture should be thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups total. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a bit.

Add the grated apple to a clean towel and squeeze out all of the excess liquid. Place in a large bowl and combine with the cooked berries, 3 cups of remaining uncooked berries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt. Pour the mixture into the bottom pie crust and spread in an even layer with a rubber spatula. Dot the top of the filling with the pieces of butter.

Roll the second disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on your work surface. Using a pastry cutter, pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips (you’ll need at least 10 or 11 of them). Place 5 or 6 strips of dough across the pie vertically. Fold every other strip of pie dough down across the middle then lay one new strip across the middle horizontally. Unfold the vertical strips. Now, fold down the vertical strips opposite the ones you folded in the previous strip. Lay another strip horizontally (above the one you previously placed), then unfold the vertical strips. Repeat this process to lay one or two more strips toward the top of the pie, then repeat on the bottom half of the pie until the lattice is complete. (There are some process photos here if you need help with a lattice crust.)

Brush the edges of the bottom crust with the egg wash, then press the edges of the lattice strips into it to adhere. Fold the bottom crust up and over the strips to secure them, then crimp the edges in a decorative pattern. Brush top and edges of pie with the egg wash. If the dough is very soft, pop the pie in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.

Transfer the pie to the rimmed baking sheet that’s been preheating in the oven. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and continue baking for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Remove the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.