Sep 10, 2012

Blueberry pie with a heart-healthy crust

What’s better than blueberry pie? Not much. In fact, it’s my husband Tim’s favorite food in the world. (He loves it even more than he loves broccoli rabe, and that’s a lot.)

So when we were on vacation with some friends in Maine last week, I made quite a few pies with those wonderful little wild Maine blueberries. Sometimes we ate it for breakfast. Sometimes we ate it at midnight. And sometimes people snuck the last piece when I wasn’t looking!

There’s nothing much different about my blueberry pie filling – nearly everyone uses blueberries, sugar, lemon and a thickener, and there’s no reason to change that. What is different is my crust. It’s tender with a nice crunch on the edges, and is super flavorful. So people can never believe there’s no butter, shortening or lard in it. I know there are people out there who are skeptical about such a crust. When my recipe was published on once, the rants against me were unbelievable. If I could only feed those people my pie, they would change their tune. Go ahead, try it out on your butter-loving friends and you’ll see.

The other great thing about this pie crust is that it’s nearly foolproof. My only caveat is that the texture of the dough is quite wet, so making it into a lattice crust is quite a challenge. I did it with this pie, but not sure I’ll be attempting that again soon!  If you do it as a regular crust, you’ll have no problems.

Bottom line: if you can still get your hands on late summer blueberries, do it this weekend and make this simple pie. You won’t be sorry.

Blueberry Pie with a Heart-Healthy Crust


6 cups of fresh blueberries
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour or tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch salt


1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup high-oleic safflower oil
6 tablespoons milk (soy, or fat-free cow if you prefer)
½ to 1 teaspoon sugar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, starch/flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the lemon juice and blueberries, stirring gently to combine.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the oil in a glass measuring cup and add the milk, without stirring. Pour this mixture into the flour and stir briefly, just until combined. Divide the dough in half and form two balls. Roll the pie crust out immediately; do not refrigerate.

Place a piece of wax paper on your work surface, putting a few drops of water under the paper to keep it from sliding around. Put one ball on the paper and use your hands to press it into a 6-inch circle. Top with another piece of wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin to a 12-inch circle (the edges may extend beyond the top and bottom of the wax paper slightly, but you can loosen it with a knife when you lift the dough.)  If your circle is uneven, simply tear off a piece from one part and add it to another – it’s easy to make repairs, before or after the dough is in the pan.

Remove the top sheet and turn the dough over into a 9-inch pie pan, pressing to remove any air pockets. Pour in the filling. Roll out the second disc between fresh wax paper and place it on top of the pie. Fold the top crust under the bottom all the way around, and crimp the edges. Cut some slits in the top and sprinkle with the sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake about 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden and the filling is bubbling. Cool four hours before serving.


See more recipes: Baked goods and desserts, Vegan


  • Bonnie

    Your recipes are amazing. Thanks so much for another one!

  • Sue

    I have been using this technique of rolling the flour, oil, salt and milk dough between two sheets of wax paper. It’s the best! I sprinkle a bit of flour on the bottom sheet. When it’s all rolled out, I remove the top sheet, sprinkle a little flour on the dough, and replace the top sheet. Then I invert the whole thing, remove the new top sheet, and turn the dough into the pie dish. Adding that extra flour makes it easier to release from the wax paper.
    I will be making this pie for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow.

  • Janelle

    Can’t wait to make this crust now that pie season is really upon us. Your Blueberry Buckle based on this same principle is also wonderful.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks, Janelle and Bonnie. let me know if you make it. And Sue, thanks for the tip!

  • i agree that there’s not much better than blueberry pie. this looks wonderful.

  • kate

    wow thanks!! im looking more to vegan recipes for a healthier way of living after years of meat eating
    found your site when i was looking for a vegan bechamel sauce! love the look of the recipes esp the sweet baked goods, i have such a sweet tooth!!
    best wishes
    ps could i use frozen blueberries in the blueberry pie? thanks in advance..

  • I’ve never tried it with frozen blueberries, but I don’t see why not! Let me know how it turns out.

  • Krista

    I am definitely doing something wrong. I followed the ingredients and instructions but my dough is so crumbly. It isnt forming into anything I can use. Any suggestions?

  • Shoot. The only time I’ve had people have this problem is when they scooped the flour instead of lightly spooning it into the measuring cup. It makes a big difference. Or if you didn’t fill the milk or oil to the top of the measuring cup, maybe? Try to save by adding more oil and/or milk? Sorry, don’t know what else to suggest.

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