Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Blueberry Pie



Children are born to devour what’s set before them, especially on factory tours. In Crayola factories, wax cools in cylindric wrappings while plastic-eyed field trippers fill their goggles with inedible hue. But what does this have to do with pie in the sky, antioxidants, or the favorite breakfast of certain birds? Blueberries burst beneath teeth and heat all the same, so you’d never know the pale of their innards. The blueberry pie-lover knows. To him, a pert slice and a little lemon is the difference between wanting to view paradise and viewing it.


Maple-Blueberry & Oat Crumble Pie with Sour Cream Crust

 The crust

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of sugar

pinch of salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 cup very cold sour cream

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, and sugar. Using your hands, toss the butter with the flour mixture. Then cut the butter into the flour by rubbing it between your thumbs and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl, gathering more, rubbing more, until the mixture resembles course sand and no butter chunk is bigger than a pea. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour the sour cream into it. Toss the flour and fat with the sour cream until the dough is moist and sticks together in one large lump. Cover in plastic wrap, press into a thick disc, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Before preparing the filling, roll the dough out on waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness. This dough is quite wet, so you’ll probably need to use more flour than usual to dust the waxed paper and rolling pin. If you have a pastry scraper, use it to lift the dough and turn it 180 degrees on the paper between the first three or four rolls of the rolling pin. That will help keep it from sticking to the paper when you pull it off.

Invert the rolled-out dough over a 9-inch pie plate and peel the wax paper off. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, taking care not to stretch it. Trim the overhanging edge with scissors so that it hangs no longer than one inch over the lip of the plate. Form an upstanding ridge. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the crumble crust and filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 The Crumble

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Measure the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chunked butter to the mixture. Combine with ten to fifteen one-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

 The Filling

3 cups blueberries (fresh or partially thawed)

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries and maple syrup. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon, then stir the mixture into the blueberries along with the lemon juice. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell, smoothing the fruit with a spoon. Bake in the center of the oven on 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Then remove the pie from the oven and spread the top with all of the oat crumble. It should cover the blueberries completely and be about 1/4 inch thick. Return the pie to the oven and bake on 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the crumble is toasted and brown and the blueberry juices bubble thickly at the edge.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least one hour before serving. If there are any leftovers, cover them with a dishtowel and leave them on the kitchen counter.



Kate Lebo’s poems appear in Best New Poets 2011, Poetry Northwest, Bateau, and The Pacific Poetry Project, among other anthologies and journals. She’s an editor for Filter, a literary journal made entirely by hand, and the recipient of a Nelson Bentley Fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a Soapstone residency. Currently an MFA candidate at the University of Washington, Kate hosts a semi-regular semi-secret pie social called Pie Stand whenever schoolwork allows. For more about Kate’s zine, A Commonplace Book of Pie, and other tasty treats, visit