Blueberry pie according to Sweden – sweet blueberries encased in a flaky pastry shell. This is a deep-dish pie with a thick blueberry filling and a pastry layer both under and over the filling. Traditional Swedish blueberry pie actually calls for local bilberries, but either bilberries or blueberries will do a great job as the stars of blåbärspaj.
What’s great about blueberry pie is that it’s very easy to make. Whenever you get your hands on a bucket of freshly harvested blueberries this is what you want to be making. And this is a “problem” I’m regularly faced with since I moved to Sweden. Come late summer and the forests are bursting with berries. They’re free to pick, and I love them too much not to get my share. Baking blueberry pie is just the next most logical step.
So why Swedish blueberry pie? Blueberry pie was the first recipe I translated from Swedish during my first year here. I was far from fluent in the local language and I decided that my limited knowledge of the language was enough to be able to read a simple recipe. There are so many bilberries in Sweden, there had to be a good one among Swedish dessert recipes.
The Swedish recipe for blueberry pie
A rather quick Google search landed me on this recipe, from a very popular Swedish recipe website. Looking at the ingredient list I felt quite confident – it seemed pretty easy and most of all understandable to me. But as soon as I started reading directions I got a little puzzled. The recipe measured flour in decilitres.
It turns out that Swedish recipes use a volume measuring unit rather than the metric system – a more common approach in Europe. Unlike the US that uses cups, though, the Swedish measuring unit is the deciliter. That means that fluids still follow the metric system, but dry ingredients are measured by volume. And the measuring cup has the volume of 1 dl.
The first time I made this recipe I used an online converter but I later equipped myself with a deciliter cup, which has been making it so much easier for me ever since. Deciliter cups are very easy to come by in Sweden, but if you are in another country you can find measuring jugs for example that show deciliters among other scales. In this recipe I have converted the Swedish recipe into the metric system, but you can also convert it into the US system in the recipe card below.
- Potato starch
- Baking powder
Read on for step-by-step instruction with photos. Find detailed quantities and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make Swedish blueberry pie
- Combine the flour, half of the sugar, baking powder and water in a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together. Divide it into two balls – one slightly bigger than the other for the bottom and sides, and one slightly smaller for the top crust.
- Press the larger portion of the dough onto a deep-dish pie tin, being careful to seal any cracks so that the pastry shell is intact. We are not going to prick it with a fork either, to prevent any blueberry juice from leaking onto the tin. Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 8 minutes.
- As the bottom pastry is pre-baking, roll out the other portion of dough to make the top. I find it easiest to flatten the dough and roll it between two sheets of baking paper. Aim for a circumference that slightly overlaps with the edges of the bottom crust.
- Combine the blueberries with the rest of the sugar and the potato starch and toss. If using frozen I recommend thawing. The sugar and potato starch will dissolve in the blueberry juice making it easier to mix together. If using fresh the dry ingredients will not really stick much.
- Take the pre-baked crust out of the oven and pour the blueberries in, spreading them out evenly. Don’t forget to scatter around the flour and sugar that may not have combined with the blueberries, and lightly toss to distribute.
- Peel off the top paper sheet you had used to roll out the other pastry layer and flip the pastry over the blueberries so that now the bottom paper sheet is on top. Peel off the second paper sheet to expose the pastry layer. Gently press around the sides and trim off the excess pastry round the edges.
- Press with a fork to seal the upper and lower pastries and gently cut some slits on the top pastry to allow for the steam from the blueberries to evaporate while the pie bakes. Return the pie to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Blueberry pie tips
This blueberry pie tastes great warm, but it needs some time to set before serving. For best results I recommend to let the pie rest for 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven. After that, you can proceed to portion it, but do expect the berry filling to be somewhat runny.
The filling sets some more when chilled, so for neater and easier portioning you may want to place the cake in the fridge and chill it completely. The thickness of the filling will ultimately depend on the berries used. The more water in the berries, the runnier the filling. Fresh berries have a higher chance for that, while thawed blueberries deliver a thicker filling once chilled and set. This is because they have already lost some of their water in the thawing process.
My pie tin measures 20 cm in diameter. If you don’t have a deep-dish cake pan you can stretch this recipe out to a regular tin sized 24 cm. Make sure to cover the whole height of the sides with pastry and pinch the bottom and top layers together, in order to properly seal the blueberries inside. This way the steam (and some juice) will only escape through the top slits and not around the sides.
It is absolutely normal that some juice may also come out the slits and stain the top of your pie. Expect bigger staining if using blueberries from frozen, however fresh or thawed are recommended.
Store this pie in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. It freezes well, but the filling may get somewhat runnier when thawed so I recommend keeping the pie in a deep-dish container to avoid leaks.
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also want to check out:
- Fresh blueberry tart with a crumbly top
- Rhubarb and strawberry crisp
- Pear and ginger crisp
- Lavender blueberry panna cotta
- Blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake
Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later and to let me know in the comments if you liked this Swedish recipe for blueberry pie. Adapted from recepten.se.
Originally published August 2015, updated with new pictures and a recipe card June 2021.
Swedish blueberry pie (bilberry pie)
- 350 g blueberries /bilberries
- 250 g flour
- 150 g butter
- 150 g sugar divided
- 1/2 tbsp potato starch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp water
- Add to a food processor the flour, half of the sugar, baking powder and water. Blitz for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 2 balls - one being slightly bigger than the other.
- Press the larger portion of the dough onto a deep-dish pie tin, over the bottom and sides. Do not prick it to prevent any blueberry juice leaks later on. Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 8 minutes.
- As the bottom pastry is blind baking, roll out the other portion of dough between two sheets of baking paper. Aim for a circumference that slightly overlaps with the edges of the bottom crust.
- Combine the blueberries with the other half of the sugar and the potato starch and toss.
- Take the pre-baked crust out of the oven and pour the blueberry mixture in, spreading it out evenly. Scatter around the flour and sugar that may not have combined with the blueberries, and lightly toss to distribute being careful not to crack the fragile half-baked pastry (see notes).
- Gently transfer the rolled out pastry and place it on the top of the filling. Gently press around the sides and trim off the excess pastry round the edges. Seal the upper and lower pastries by pressing a fork all around. Gently cut some slits on the top pastry to allow for the steam from the blueberries to evaporate while the pie bakes. Return the pie to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown.