Introduction: Mom's Blueberry Crumb Pie

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

When it comes to baking, my mother doesn't mess around. And one of the things she bakes best is blueberry pie. Unfortunately, she only bakes it once or twice a year because she refuses to make it when blueberries are out of season (like I said, she doesn't mess around). For those of you that don't know, blueberries are only in season during the sweltering summer months and hence, she only makes blueberry pie once or twice a summer. As such, when I think of summer, I think of blueberry pie.

Having spent the past few summer's 3,000 miles away in the land of eternal fog, I've really been craving some blueberry pie (thinking about it just makes me homesick). Anyhow, this year I've finally taken it upon myself to do something about this. I got my mother to send me the recipe and made this killer pie myself. Problem solved.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Stuff you will need...

For the crust:
2 cups flour
2 sticks cold butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
6 cups of blueberries (3 large pints)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar (give or take)
A pinch brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the topping:
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour plus a little
1 stick cold butter
a pinch of cinnamon

Pie tin
2-3 mixing bowls
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Forks, spoons, butter knives
Wooden mixing Spoons
Cutting knives
Pastry blender
Rolling pin
Aluminum foil
Plastic wrap

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Step 2: Bathe the Berries

Wash off the berries in your colander and set them aside to dry.

Step 3: Water on Ice

Stick two cups of cold water in the freezer to chill.

Step 4: Start the Dough

Start the dough for the crust by mixing together the two cups of flour with the half teaspoon of salt

Step 5: Butter It Up

Take your two sticks of cold butter and cut them into small slices. Put these slices into the dough and mix them in with your pastry blender. Don't be shy about it. You need to grind it all together until it starts to form small clumps.

Step 6: On Ice

Mix the ice water into the dough approximately one tablespoon at a time and continue mixing it in until the dough can hold itself together. You probably shouldn't end up putting too much more than a quarter of a cup.

Step 7: Powder Your Hands, Not Your Nose.

Lightly sprinkle flour onto your hands and rub it around such that your hands are coated. You do this so that you can handle the dough in the next step without it being sticky.

(You did wash your hands first, right?)

Step 8: Rolly-polly

With both hands roll the dough around until it forms a single solid ball.

Step 9: Flatten

Lightly flour your counter surface and place dough ball on it. With rolling pin spread out dough until it is roughly 12" square (1 foot). A good method for stretching it out evenly is to roll back and forth around the dough in a clockwise manner such that you stretch it at least once in every direction.

Step 10: More Buttering

Wipe down your pie tin with butter and then lightly flour it. This is to keep the dough from sticking.

Step 11: The Big Switch

With both hands, carefully lift your dough off the counter and transfer it into the pie tin (be careful not to rip it). Lightly push it down so that it fills in the entire pie dish. Also, trim away the extra dough from around the rim. if you want, you can lightly dot all over the bottom of the pie with the fork (but don't go all the way through).

Step 12: Cover and Chill

Cover the pie crust with plastic wrap and let it refrigerate for at least over an hour.

Step 13: Wait

Wait an hour for the dough to cool.

Step 14: Grind It Up

Peel the lemon and then and collect the peel. With your grater, grind inside of peel into fine flakes until you have half a teaspoon worth.

Step 15: Prepare the Blueberries

Place the blueberries in a large bowl and mix in all of the ingredients for the filling listed in Step 1. Mix thoroughly with your hands and then let is sit for a few minutes so that you can make the crumbs.

(Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 425 degrees)

Step 16: Crumbs

Mix together the ingredients listed in Step 1 for the crumbs. With your pastry blender, mix well until you can no longer see any chunks of butter and small crumbs have formed. It helps if you pound the mixture with the pastry blender.

Step 17: Fill'er Up

Take pie shell out of refrigerator and fill it with your berry filling.

(If you still haven't preheated the oven to 425 degrees, do it now)

Step 18: And Sugar on Top

Evenly coat the top of the berries with crumbs.

Step 19: Bake Time

Loosely cover the pie in aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes at 425 degrees. After the first 50 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and bake until the crumbs start turning golden brown.

Step 20: Be Cool

Let the pie cool down on a cooling rack or on a cool stove-top burner.

Step 21: Serve

Serve it up!

For maximum impact, heat slightly and serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

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