Blueberry Pie Filling is super easy to make at home and great to have on hand, tucked away in the freezer for whenever you need it. This recipe is perfect for pies, pastries desserts, or any other sweet treat that calls for blueberry pie filling.
Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling
Blueberry season is upon us and if we're lucky, we may find ourselves with plenty of blueberries to turn into blueberry pie filling. Or, maybe you just love blueberry pie and always want to have a jar of filling on hand in the freezer (like me)! I often make this recipe with wild blueberries that I buy frozen (or that I freeze when I get a large batch of them each summer) but it's easily made with standard grocery store blueberries as well.
Premade blueberry pie filling is paired with all kinds of baked goods, such as blueberry crisp, blueberry puff pastries, pies, a blueberry galette or, even a cake filling. It's also delicious all by itself, or with a scoop of ice cream or even yogurt.
It freezes well too, so this recipe is one of the best ways to use up any large quantities of blueberries you might have when they are in season.
What Type of Blueberries to Use
Hands down, my favorite type of blueberries to use is wild blueberries. I almost always have a big bag of frozen wild blueberries in my freezer. They are available year-round in the store, or if you time it right, you can get a large crop of them in the summer and freeze them. I love using frozen wild blueberries because they have excess juice that makes the blueberry pie filling nice and lush, which I think creates a better flavor than that of standard blueberries.
However, using standard grocery stores fresh blueberries will also work well. The recipe indicates that you'll need to add some additional liquid to the mixture if you are using fresh blueberries. If you can find blueberry juice in the store, that would obviously be a great addition. If not, another all-fruit juice such as cherry or even grape juice can work. You can also use something like orange juice, and it will add a nice orange flavor to the blueberries which totally works. In a pinch, water can work too. Just know that the flavor won't be as good.
How to Make Blueberry Pie Filling
This is a very simple recipe. Essentially, blueberries are mixed together with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch and then cooked. There are a few tricks you should follow to ensure you get the best flavor in your filling.
The first is that the recipe calls for you to macerate the blueberries for about 15 minutes. This helps dissolve the sugars before cooking. If you are using frozen blueberries, let it sit for an additional 5-10 minutes until the liquid has come out.
If you are using fresh blueberries, you'll need to add juice to the mixture. This serves a few purposes. The first is that it gives some extra juice to the filling. The juice also gives the filling another layer of flavor which fresh grocery store blueberries are often missing out on.
At the very end of the cooking process, some butter and vanilla extract are folded into the hot mixture. The butter adds a delicious richness, and the vanilla adds a depth of flavor that complements the blueberries very nicely.
Ways to Use Blueberry Pie Filling
Okay, now you've got your blueberry pie filling. What should you use it for?
- pies (duh!)
- blueberry crisp (use this crisp recipe or this pie crumble recipe for topping it)
- filling for a cake
- in a pastry
- in a galette (use this butter dough)
- in pop tarts (use this pop tart dough)
- hand pies (use this dough)
- over waffles or pancakes
- with oatmeal
- plain served with ice cream
- with yogurt
How to Store It
Because it has a high sugar content, blueberry pie filling will keep for quite a while in the fridge. I've never kept it for more than 7 days, as I've always used it up, but it likely could last a little bit longer than that.
It will last for a minimum of 6 months in the freezer. After three months it will start to lose some of its flavor, but it's still safe to eat for up 12 months, though it's not ideal.
I don't recommend canning this. Canning is so specific and I have not tested this to make sure it passes the amount of sugar and acidity needed to make it safe for canning. I'd recommend freezing it instead, for long-term storage.
How to Turn This Into a Pie
This recipe makes 2 quarts of blueberry pie filling, which is the exact amount you need to make a standard 9" blueberry pie.
To turn this into a pie, you'll need either one batch of All Butter Pie Crust (which makes enough for a double-crust pie) or a single pie crust and a crumble topping, to make a blueberry crumb pie.
The pie filling needs to be completely chilled before you can add it to the pie crust. So make your pie filling one day ahead of time. Then roll out the pie dough, assemble the pie, and bake! You can bake the pie at 425ºF for 25 minutes on the lower shelf, and then reduce the oven temp to 400ºF and move the pie up to the middle shelf for an additional 20-30 minutes. Bake just until the top crust is nice and golden brown. No need for the pie filling to bubble since it has been precooked.
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