—Photo by Meeno Peluce.
“I absolutely love ‘Nancy’s Prize-winning Blueberry Pie’ from the More from Magnolia cookbook, and I make it for my whole family during the holidays,” says Soleil Moon Frye, author of Happy Chaos (and beloved star of Punky Brewster, back in the day). “I can’t take credit for it, but the recipe warms us inside and out.”
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces
5 tablespoons orange juice (use a variety without pulp)
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking minute tapioca
3 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1. To make the crust: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and shortening until the pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle the orange juice by tablespoonfuls over the flour mixture and toss with a fork until all the dough is moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and separate into two pieces. Wrap the pieces tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Five minutes before removing the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator, prepare your filling.
2. To make the filling: In a large bowl, place the berries, sugar, tapioca, brandy, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Toss gently until the fruit is evenly coated. Let stand for 15 minutes while rolling out the crust.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to fit a 9-inch glass pie dish and trim, leaving ½ inch around the edge. Transfer the fruit filling into the bottom crust, mounding it in the center. Dot with butter.
5. Roll out the top crust and trim it to fit, folding the ½-inch excess on the bottom crust over the top edge. Seal by crimping the edges together. Make several 1-inch steam slits in the center of the pie with the tip of a paring knife. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes.
6. Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.