It’s the middle of January and I’m making summer pies. Of course I am. In the dead of summer I was roasting butternut squash so clearly I don’t play by any culinary rules. Which makes me feel a bit rebellious, a little “rebel with a culinary cause.” (Justin, Food Network star, anyone?) Although my reasons for making these absolutely delicious, and adorable, easy mini blueberry pies weren’t to be rebellious, it was to use up my blueberries in the fridge that were starting to look a little…sketch.
Let me explain the state of the blueberries the best way I can. You remember those kids in high school who would skip history to go and smoke behing the gym? Or the kids who would toilet paper the principals house? Bring flasks to drink with their lunch? Well, the blueberries I had in my crisper were starting to feel neglected. They’d been in there for 2 days and were feeling a little resentful. So, a few of them decided to go smoke behind the gym, if you catch my drift. They were getting rough around the edges. Their juices were showing and the top of their heads were looking a bit…weathered. After promptly throwing away said bad influence berries, the rest of my pint were more than ready to be used (and rather apologetic for starting to get fresh with the mini carrots).
Moving on from troublesome berries, I do have to make a small confession. I love making pie crusts. I’m probably the only person in the entire world who actually enjoys mixing, kneading and rolling. It’s so therapeutic, rolling out all the days worries and frustrations into a flakey dough. The crust you see in front of you was made yesterday morning after I looked at my bank statement. Instead of freaking out, I took my anxiety to the crust and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY! However, I ran out of homemade crust and was INTENT on making a lattice top. So, I used store-bought Pillsbury. Just call me Sandra Lee.
I really hate using store bought crust (it tastes weird) but you do what you have to. It was my first attempt at a lattice topping and I was GOING TO DO IT. I’m really pleasantly surprised by how well it came out (minus one small part where the rebellious berries took over the delicate lattice). To hide the problem area, I did what any food blogger would do. Topped it with a big, heaping spoonful of low-fat vanilla bean ice cream.
That reminds me of a line from one of my favorite movies, “You can’t see the lines, can you Rusty?” NOTE: These pies aren’t low-calorie or super low-fat, so they are meant for weekend indulgences!
Easy Mini Blueberry Pies
Yields 3 mini pies (serves about 6). Crust recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light.
Prep time: About 30 minutes
Cook time: About 45 minutes
For the crust:
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 – 3/4 cup ice water
- About 6 tablespoons butter (or vegetable shortening)
- Dash of salt
- 1 2/3 teaspoons brown sugar
For the filling:
- About 4 cups blueberries
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 1/4 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- To make the crust: Spoon flour into measuring cups and level with a knife (you need the precise amount of flour). Mix 2/3 cup of the flour with the ice water and set aside. In another large mixing bowl, mix the remaining flour, salt and sugar. Cut the butter mixture into the flour/sugar mixture until it resembles coarse sand. Slowly add the water/flour mix to the butter mixture, stirring with a fork until the rest of the flour is moistened. Add additional water if dough is too dry. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for about 20 minutes. Once chilled, remove from plastic wrap and roll (on a heavily floured surface with a floured rolling pin) to about 1/4 – 1/3 inch thickness.
- Place three mini tart pans (I used these Le Creuset ones) face down on top of the dough to measure how much you’ll need. Using a knife, cut the dough around the indented pan with about 1/4 inch extra to fold over. Using your fingers, press the dough down into the pans. Use your fingers to situate dough around the edges of the pan until they reach the top of the ridges. Repeat with the second and third pie pan. Set aside. If you run out of dough, supplement the missing part of the pan with store bought crust.
- To make the filling, mix the blueberries, sugars, corn starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla. Add cut up chunks of butter into the mixture and stir.
- Scoop the filling into the pie crusts, filling each about 2/3 the way full.
- To make the lattice, roll out remaining dough (or store bought dough) to about 1/3 inch thickness. Using a knife, cut out 12 – 14 one inch strips. Layer the strips on top of each other in a lattice pattern (use this photo as a guide).
- Bake pies for about 45 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve warm!
Nutritional information per serving (about 1/2 mini pie):
Fat: 8.9 grams
Carbohydrates: 62 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 3.8 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 9
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