Fresh and Easy Blueberry Pie

4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup water
 2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS water
Double Pie Crust (Homemade or Pillsbury All Ready)

Perfect blueberry pie should be sweet with just a hint of tartness in a berry that has not turned to mush, which is just what makes this pie perfect.Rinse the berries and leave in the strainer a moment while we divert our attention to the crust. If you don't like to make homemade crust, get the Pillsbury All Ready Piecrust in the red box, all rolled up and ready to put in the pan. Bake the bottom crust according to the box directions, but not quite until done, maybe shave off 5 minutes or so of cook time because it's going back in the oven after the filling is in and top on and that bottom crust will cook a bit more then.

For the filling, we'll use 4 cups of berries. However, the success of this pie is in this secret: Take out one cup and bubble them up with a half cup of water and in a pan over medium heat, just until they start to burst and purple up the water, just 5 minutes or so. These we will sweeten and add to the rest so that most of the berries will remain plump and firm and slightly tart.  

While those are heating up, juice 1/2 a lemon for 2 tsp of fresh juice and measure up 1/2 cup sugar. Add these to the boiling berries. You may need as much as a full cup of sugar if your berries are very tart. Taste them before you start and you be the judge of the pucker level you detect. Remember that this small batch will be fairly sweet before the whole batch is mixed in.  Finally, add the thickener: 2 Tbs Cornstarch and 2 Tbs Water shaken vigorously in a jar.

Stir this into the berries and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until is goes from cloudy to glossy. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the rest of the berries, transferring to the baked pie shell.

You can simply top the pie with a full-on solid crust and make plenty of little vents with the tip of your knife, but why not go for the lattice crust that lets those lovely purpley berries peak through? With my cheater method for lattice you'll have it finished in under five minutes. Unroll the other crust onto wax paper and cut into 1/2" strips. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

Place the first strips about an inch apart across the whole pie; now give it a quarter turn and lay the second set of strips at an angle across the others, diagonally. I start with a longer length in the middle and let all the others follow suit. It will appear to be woven without the trouble.

Since you'll have extra crust strips left, make an easy crimped edge. Just layer the extra strips around the outer edge of the pie and pinch all the way around by placing your index finger on the crustedge pointing out from center of pie. Pinch around it with thumb and finger of the other hand until you've gone all the way around. Easy fancy.

Now, bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so until golden but not too brown.When cooled this filling is just right, not thick and jelled, just firm enough not to run liquidy blue all over the plate. And the flavor is perfection!

A Note about using frozen - if you're craving BB Pie and it's just not the right time, skip the out-of-season berries in produce, which are often too tart and flavorless because they've been picked underripe for their long trip to your store. Choosing frozen, especially wild blueberries frozen, is the best choice according to Cook's Illustrated because they're picked at their peak of ripeness. Test the bag though by picking it up and feeling for individually berries rolling around in there, not a solid block or chunk (means they've thawed and refrozen and are often full of ice crystals). You'll still end up with a very tasty pie!