Borrowed and Shareing
Frozen Blueberry Pie Filling
20 ounces fresh blueberries, divided
5 Tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest, freshly grated
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp orange juice
Start by placing half of your blueberries on a sheet tray, and set the other half of the blueberries off to the side for later. Take something with a flat bottom, like a bread loaf pan or square cake pan, and use it to press down on the blueberries on the sheet pan. The even pressure of a flat surface crushes the blueberries without destroying them. Crushing also helps to release the natural pectin in the blueberries, which will help the pie filling to gel after it bakes (so you’re not left with a soupy pie).
In a large bowl, mix together the tapioca flour, sugar, orange zest, and salt.
Next, add the blueberries (both whole and crushed) to the bowl, along with the tablespoon of orange juice. Mix until everything is well incorporated, then let it rest for about 15 minutes.
While the filling is resting, line a 9-inch pie plate with aluminum foil. After the rest period, pour the filling into the lined pie plate, and place the pie plate in your freezer overnight (or for at least 6 hours.)
When the filling is properly frozen, pull the foil out of the pie pan and peel the foil away from the frozen filling. Place your disc of frozen pie filling in a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to make your pie, prepare a pie pan with your favorite homemade pie crust. Or you could even thaw out some store-bought frozen pie dough and use that! No judgment here. I think Alton Brown says it best in that episode of Good Eats: “Yes, homemade dough would be best, but I’d rather you make your own pie with store-bought dough, than to not make your pie at all.” Wise words, Alton! :-)
Here’s where things get even more interesting – you don’t need to thaw the pie filling before using it. Just pop the frozen disc of pie filling directly onto the dough in your pie pan. Place a second layer of rolled-out pie dough over the top, either in one piece or as latticed strips, whatever strikes your fancy. Brush the top with an egg wash (1 egg yolk whisked with a small amount of water,) and you’re ready to bake!
Bake your pie in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for AT LEAST an hour and a half. That’s 90 minutes of NO. TOUCHING. ALLOWED. This cooling/resting time allows the pie filling to achieve that delicious, gooey texture. Cutting into it early will only end in runny, soupy heartbreak. Nobody wants to experience that!
What Other Pie Fillings Can I Freeze?
If you’re the curious type, you may already be asking yourself, “Can I use this method with other fruits besides blueberries?” Because who wouldn’t want a freezer full of different kinds of frozen pie filling, all made with deliciously sweet, in-season fruits?
I checked out Alton Brown’s website with my fingers crossed, and it did not disappoint! In addition to the frozen blueberry pie recipe, you can find recipes for a frozen strawberry pie and a frozen peach pie.
The method appears to be pretty similar for all three pies, so I’m fairly confident you would be successful if you wanted to try out other fruits. How about a nice mixed berry pie? Mmmm
25 Comments ADD YOURS
Angel Garhart on August 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm Reply
Question…I had to freeze the blueberries I had just bought for just this purpose (due to an unexpected emergency trip and didn’t want them to go bad before I got back). Would it be better (or work at all) to just thaw the half I need to smash and keep the other half frozen till the mix and freeze stage, or should I thaw them all out?
Hayley on August 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm Reply
Could this method also work with a peach pie? Or a peach blueberry combo pie?
Liz on July 24, 2016 at 9:40 pm Reply
Is there any other citric acid I could use and still keeo a bright flavor? I’m allergic to oranges.
Meghan on July 25, 2016 at 11:33 am Reply
Lemon and blueberry are very good friends. I would even enjoy lime.
cinnamongirl.... on July 18, 2016 at 11:58 pm Reply
Every time my mother or I make a blueberry pie we have the same argument- tapioca vs. flour. In my blueberry pie, I cannot do tapioca, it’s just way too gelatinous. My blueberry’s are also frozen, but dusted with flour, no measuring, I do it by eye , and by the grace of the blueberry pie goddesses, I get the it right every time. But remember, it has to boil, look for those bubbles!! I also like a full top crust, with just a star cutout to vent, MmmMmmmore crust to soak up the lovely sweet and silky blueberry juiciness … I love pie, I love blueberry pie and I do believe I make the very best blueberry I have ever tasted-and yes, I have references.
Rosa Lee on July 18, 2016 at 10:37 pm Reply
Could this be adapted using berries I have already frozen?
Duane on August 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm Reply
This pie recipe has been a family favorite ever since the first day I made it. My family reunion was a week ago and I had to make 5 to feed the whole clan. I really think using finely granulated raw sugar helps the natural blueberry flavor stand out.
Dee on July 12, 2015 at 10:11 am Reply
Can I sub all purpose flour for the tapioca flour?
Terry on July 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm Reply
Flour needs to be cooked for too long and would not be suitable for this recipe. Corn starch would be a more suitable replacement if you cannot find tapioca flour. Please note, that different starches have different thickening capabilities. Corn starch thickens about twice as effectively as tapioca flour, so be sure to use half the called for amount of corn starch.
Terry on July 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm Reply
Also, because this is being frozen, expect a somewhat degraded end product using corn starch, as sauces and fillings using corn starch don’t freeze as well as those thickened with tapioca flour.
Milly on July 12, 2015 at 9:02 pm Reply
I buy Minute Tapioca and run it through my spice/coffee grinder for thirty seconds. Works perfectly.
I agree, definitely do not use flour. Cornstarch if you must.
Tina on July 3, 2015 at 12:20 am Reply
Wondering why not blind bake the bottom crust 1st. Frozen filling means the bottom crust is likely never going to get flaky…..I’ve never been able to avoid a soggy bottom crust without baking the bottom 10 minutes 1st….and that’s with room temperature filling!
Luci on July 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm Reply
Meghan, use the non-stick aluminum foil_ it may be more expensive, but it is WORTH IT!
Vicki on July 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm Reply
Step 4 says to take the frozen pie filling from the freezer and put it in the prepared crust. Normally It takes 35 minutes to bake a fresh blueberry pie so assuming it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to bake this pie, the pie filling is frozen.
Aunt Beth on July 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm Reply
Step 4 says that now ;).
Suzette on July 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm Reply
Yes, step 4 says that now……it didn’t say that before. That was added after everyone was asking the same question!
hawkechik on July 2, 2015 at 10:50 am Reply
The filling is basically frozen in the shape of the pie plate so there’s no need to thaw. We usually use heavy duty aluminum foil which would probably be less likely to get caught in crevices of the berry mixture while freezing.
K. Foley on July 1, 2015 at 11:48 pm Reply
I will freeze directly in the pie pan. I feel confident that a sharp knife can be slid into the side to pop it out, and store in a ziplock!
Brian on August 8, 2015 at 2:48 am Reply
I just made four of these (I try to do at least 2 every year), and I just lined the pie dish with foil, folding the excess underneath… then poured it in and froze it, like it says. But then I unfolded the foil from the bottom, and just folded it over the top, so it’s wrapped in foil and then in a zip-lock bag. The first year I did it as written, and the filling started breaking off in chunks, even though it’d had been completely frozen. The foil helped keep it together (I think), and provided a little extra protection from “funky flavors” that might have developed in the freezer. I’ve never had a problem taking the foil off later when getting ready to bake.
This year, I’m going to try homemade dough for the pies, rather than store-bought. (I’m determined to get that recipe right!)
Bamboogirl on July 1, 2015 at 10:08 pm Reply
So it’s a mystery; allow berries to thaw in crust before baking? Bake at temp from frozen?
Sissy on July 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm Reply
Bake from frozen, no need to thaw.
Mary on July 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm Reply
Will be in the blueberry fields soon. Have always made my pies fresh which left family longing for months. Will have to try to freeze a couple for “special occasions”.
Andi Hannan on July 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm Reply
Could this be duplicated with other fruits such as raspberries, blackberries and cherries with similar results?
Heather on July 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm Reply
Andi – I tried fresh wild blackberries – turned out awesome! (Needed to bake an extra 30 min; but that may have been my oven’s own strange proclivities – oven in a new house & still getting used to it…) Froze it for just one day because I wanted to try it out sooner rather than later. Delicious!
Meghan on July 1, 2015 at 6:57 pm Reply
I like the idea but I think I might skip the aluminum foil. My luck it would not come off in one piece and then I’d be stuck picking bits out of the crevices or else risk cavity pain biting into the foil. Instead I think I’d put the filling in the zip-top freezer bag, then lay flat in pie plate and manipulate the berries out of the corners back to the center. Freeze to set shape and continue the same.
Then again there’s nothing that says a pie has to be round. Bag should fit nicely into an 8×8 pan. A pre-made 9″ crust would be a tricky fit, but no trouble if doing homemade. And the lattice certainly is easier that way!