Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

My longtime favorite recipe for blueberry pie, fabulous with fresh blueberries that "pop" in the light sour cream filling and topped with a toasted-almond streusel.
Blueberry Sour Cream Pie ♥ KitchenParade.com, my longtime favorite recipe for blueberry pie, fabulous with fresh blueberries that 'pop' in the light sour cream filling and topped with a toasted-almond streusel.

"Yes."

That’s the answer, always accompanied by a puckish grin, when some of my favorite men, not a yes-man among them, are asked about their favorite pies.

Cream pie? Fruit pie? With meringue? À la mode? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Left over for breakfast? Yes again, at least when the answer comes from my own father.

Credit thirty years of pie-baking to my Uncle Marv, who beamed and extolled and then insisted on seconds with my first pie, a creditable Thanksgiving apple, when I was just sixteen. With such psychic income, what aspiring cook wouldn’t happily enter the pie business?

In all that time, this blueberry pie ranks high among favorites. It shouts summer, the berries puffed plump in light, sweet cream. It smells delicious and tastes even better.

It will make yes-men (and yes-women) of us all.

"No Picky, No Eaty."

When I was a girl, blueberry picking was an all-hands endeavor at the summer cottage in the Whiteshell of Manitoba. "No picky-no eaty," Nana would admonish as she led all the aunts and cousins into the rocky woods to brave bears and skeeters to gather buckets of wild blueberries.

So there's a special spot in my palate for the northern orbs of summer ... and while wild berries are a rare treat these days, during the season I'll buy pint after pint (after pint) of berries as long as they last at the supermarket.

What Is Streusel?

WHAT IT IS Streusel is a sweet and often buttery and some times spiced topping for pies, coffeecakes, muffins. Streusel is usually quite thin, just a way to finish the top of baked goods, making them prettier and with a sweet crunch to break through with each bite. That said, traditional "crumb cakes" are all about the streusel, big, buttery bites that define the cake itself.


PRONUNCIATION How in heck do you pronounce the word streusel? I say [stroo-sel] but I also hear [stroo-zel]. My mom used to call it [stroy-zel], this is closest to its German origin.


WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN STREUSEL? Streusels call for common baking ingredients, just flour, sugar, butter, spices and nuts. In my experience, you can delete everything but the sugar. So you can make:


SPICE IT UP To make streusel taste like more than plain ol' buttery-floury clumps (is plain butter and flour appealing? not to me!), I like to work in lots of spices.


  • often just lots of cinnamon or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • some times a homemade blend like my Pumpkin Spice Mix (see Pumpkin Spice Lattes)
  • for years and years, a Penzey’s spice blend called "cake spice"
  • but then last summer, I discovered Penzey's "baking spice," it turns streusels (and especially this pie) from superior to sublime

How to Avoid a Greasy Streusel Topping for Pies, Coffeecakes and More

DON'T MELT THE BUTTER! If your streusel includes butter, sure, it's easier to work with melted butter. But don't do it! That's the one way to ensure puddles of separated fat.


INSTEAD WORK WITH COLD BUTTER If you like, cube the cold butter into tiny bits and then work it with the other ingredients with your fingers, smashing it all together between your fingers. Or use my favorite technique – roughly chop the butter into big pieces, then throw the pieces and all the remaining ingredients into a mini food processor, pulsing until just combined. (A bigger food processor is likely too big unless you want to double or triple the streusel to freeze it for use another time.)


RESOURCES I find a mini food processor super handy for small batches of ground or chopped nuts, salad dressings, chopped vegetables, etc. This is my favorite way to make a really good, non-greasy streusel. My Disclosure Promise.



BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM PIE RECIPE

Berries puffed in light sweet cream
Hands-on time: 15 minutes over 70 minutes
Time-to-table: About 3 hours
Serves 10
    CRUST
  • 1 unbaked pie crust, homemade or refrigerated (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
    FILLING
  • 2 or 3 pints (4 or 6 cups/550 or 775g) fresh blueberries (see TIPS)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (8oz/227g) full-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (see TIPS)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    STREUSEL TOPPING
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons/1/2 stick/57g) salted butter, preferably cold from the fridge
  • 4 tablespoons (32g) all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2oz/56g) toasted sliced almonds

CRUST Roll out the pie crust, then transfer it to a glass pie dish. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes while the oven heats up. (These next extra steps help the crust get brown and crispy.) Put an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and put a baking sheet upside down on that rack. Heat the oven to 400F/200C. Before putting the crust in the oven, gently cover the crust with foil being especially careful with the edging. Fill the foil with sugar (my favorite!) or dried beans or pie weights to keep it in place. Bake the crust until the sides set, about 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil. The crust is now "par baked" – it's only partially baked but has a head start before the fruit is added.

FILLING Pick through and wash the blue berries, drain well in a colander.

Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients and combine well, then gently stir in the blueberries. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.

BAKE Bake until filling is just set, about 25 minutes. It's not done yet, not until the topping is on and baked!

STREUSEL TOPPING (Update! For streusels, I used to always fully melt the butter in the microwave. Not anymore! Why not? Because melted butter makes for a greasy streusel. In fact, as I look at the current photo, I can tell from the buttery gunk on top that I melted that butter! Must fix that photo!) Cut the butter into tiny cubes. Stir in the remaining topping ingredients. With your fingers, rub the ingredients together until well combined, then drop in small dollops evenly across the top of the pie. Or if you have a mini food processor, use it to pulse all the ingredients together into medium-size clumps.

FINISH BAKING Bake until the Streusel Topping browns slightly and crisps up, about 12 minutes.

COOL & SET Cool to room temperature, then chill to set the filling. Allow several hours for cooling and chilling.

ALANNA's TIPS Sorry, this pie really needs fresh blueberries to be special. It's how they soften and "pop" after baking. This is the pie recipe I use for frozen berries during the winter, it's a rustic Blueberry Galette. Two pints of berries fit perfectly in a standard pie dish. If yours is a deep dish, use three pints. Unsurprisingly, the better the berries, the better the pie. One year, the pie was (slightly) disappointing because the berries had so little flavor. And I only use full-fat sour cream in this pie too, even though I'm a fan of low-fat sour cream in many, many situations. Refrigerated pie crusts are big time savers and have improved immeasurably. Though not comparable to a perfect homemade crust, they’re quite good, especially when rolled out, just a bit, slightly thinner. If you'd like to try making a homemade pie crust, be sure to check out the photo instructions and tips for How to Make Flaky Tender Pie Crust. Tips for crust makers: for perfect slicing, lightly butter the pie pan before arranging the crust; for easy handling, use equal parts cake and all-purpose flour; for delectable flavor, use half lard, half butter; for tenderness, refrigerate dough for an hour before rolling.
NUTRITION INFORMATION for BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM PIE Per Slice, assumes 10/8 slices: 387/484 Calories; 21/27g Tot Fat; 11/14g Sat Fat; 43/54g Carb; 3g Fiber; 325/397mg Sodium; 58/73mg Cholesterol; 25/32g Sugar; 5/6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 9/11 & WW PointsPlus 11/13 & WW SmartPoints 17/22 (and worth it!) & WW Freestyle 14/18 WEIGHT WATCHERS TIPS Portion size matters, especially with a rich indulgence like a good piece of pie. Beginning in 2012, I'm changing my standard portion size for pie from 8 slices to 10 slices. Since it will take awhile to make the transition, I've included the nutrition information for 8 slices as well.

More Recipes for Summer Pies & Tarts

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Summer Berry Pie Blueberry Cheesecake Pie Easy Elegant Fruit Tart
~ more recipes for pies & tarts ~

I ♥ Blueberries!

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Peach Blueberry Cake Peacherry Blues (Peach, Cherry & Blueberry Sauce) Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake
~ more fruity dessert recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ blueberries ~
~ sour cream ~
~ almonds ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2018 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. Beautiful pie, Alanna. Decadent, but no doubt very much worth it.

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  2. Charles Ravndal7/11/2007

    Looks delicious! Probably will make those when we can pick blueberries here soon!

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  3. Oh Alanna, that one is sooo tempting. It sounds fantastic. Print print print!

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  4. Very indulgent, but I might just go for this one!

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  5. Well if blueberries aren't enough to tempt you, check out the rhubarb!

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  6. No pickey, no eaty--I love that:-)
    Gorgeous pies--both of them!

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  7. Thanks all, this is one of those summer specialties you're really glad to know about!

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  8. This pie sounds absolutely delicious--and it's gorgeous. I've been wanting to try making a sour cream apple pie for years, but I think blueberry sour cream sounds even better. Unfortunately I've just learned that my local blueberry grower had most of his crop wiped out during that freak April freeze! I'm saving your recipe to del.icio.us in the hopes that next year I'll be able to get my usual five gallons of fresh blueberries. It's sure gonna be a long wait. : )

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna