Want to make your kid a smarter, better person and end up with pie?
Of course you do! Make this kid-friendly blueberry pie recipe and you’ll be diving deep on a grip of Common Core State Standards. In a real-world context your kids’ll develop math and critical thinking skills while precisely measuring ingredients, using fractions, gauging time, and adjusting oven temperature. Literacy skills expand through recipe reading, following written directions, and developing new vocabulary including baking-specific verbs: whisk, knead, and dock.
This will not be a struggle!
Whipping-up a blueberry pie is an immersive, hands-on activity. This means kids actually want to be involved and will stay engaged and likely pleasant. Collaborating and cooperating with your child will create strong bonds as you work together toward a shared and delicious goal. This will also help your child socially in the future, as everyone loves a good baker and a good pie.
Blueberry Pie = Super Cheap and Super Easy
Blueberries are relatively inexpensive and can be found fresh or frozen almost anywhere. If you don’t have them in the kitchen already, the remaining ingredients can be harvested from any small grocery store on the cheap. Even if you’ve never baked before, this is a hard one to mess up.
Here’s the basic stuff you’ll need:
- 9 1/2 inch Pie Pan
- Tin Foil
- Large Bowl
- Rolling pin
Make Sure You’ve Got the Gear
Got a 9.5 inch pie pan? Get these Pyrex pie pans for $11.99. You get two. This means you can double the recipe to teach multiplication of fractions – a 5th grade math standard. More importantly, making a pie for others teaches kindness and generosity– two essential character traits of socially and emotionally healthy people.
Kid-Friendly Blueberry Pie Recipe
Below is the abbreviated recipe that is followed throughout the article. It looks like a lot of steps, but they’re real simple. Promise. And read through the full article first to get all the tricks on making this a valuable time with your child.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup very cold water
- 6 cups blueberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Two pinches of salt
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.
- Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spatula or spoon until large clumps form.
- Wrap dough mixture in a sheet of plastic wrap and pop in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400°F
- Remove crust from freezer and roll out crust on a floured counter into a 13-inch circle
- Lift and transfer to a 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Fold overhanging dough under edge of pie crust and crimp. (Save extra scraps in the fridge)
- Par-bake crust: Freeze the whole pie plate for 15 minutes.
- Now dock it all over with a fork. Spray some foil with nonstick spray or coat with butter then press tightly against frozen pie shell.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil. Crust is done!
- Turn oven down to 375°F.
- Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl then set aside
- To make crumb topping, melt butter on the stove and then turn off the heat.
- Stir sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt into melted butter in a pan with a fork until crumbs form.
- Pour filling into crust and then sprinkle crumbs over the top.
- Bake for an hour. After 20 minutes, cover crumb topping with foil to prevent burning.
- Let cool for a couple of hours to not burn your mouth with molten compote.
Tips & Tricks: If the blueberries are frozen, let them thaw for an hour on the counter before use. And the 3/4 cup of granulated sugar makes for a not super sweet pie. You can toss in a whole cup if you have a crazy sweet tooth.
Pie Dough First
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Let your kids blend the butter into the flour with their little inarticulate fingertips. This helps develop essential fine-motor skills.
“Keep blending with your fingers until the pieces look like tiny peas.”
Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spatula or spoon until large clumps form. Your kids will love kneading the dough together. If needed, add another dash of water to get it all to stick together.
Literacy Tip: Knead is a great baking-specific verb. Read the definition with your child HERE. Then have your child practice kneading to solidify the new word. You now have taught or reinforced a bunch of 3rd grade Common Core Language Arts Standards.
Management Tip: There’s not always enough work for two or more kids to do. So, buy an awesome magnifying glass! The non-busy kids can watch the process carefully as a “quality inspector”. Everyone yearns for this high-end management position!
Math Tip: Ask your child to fill 1 cup using the 1/4 cup. How many did that take? Four? Darn right. So, 4/4 equals 1 cup? Yee haw! Congratulations, you just taught the elusive concept of equivalent fractions. That’s a 3rd grade math standard! Use measuring cups to find other equivalent fractions as you bake! Make your kid a fraction genius by the time pie is served.
Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and pop in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Next, heat oven to 400°F.
Sprinkle flour on the counter and have your kids roll out crust into a 13-inch circle-esque shape. Lift and transfer to a 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Fold overhanging dough under edge of pie crust and crimp (Save extra scraps in the fridge).
Math Tip: Measure the crust with a ruler to make sure it’s 13 inches! Most rulers are 12 inches long, so you’ll need to ask,
“How do we know it’s 13 inches if we only have a 12 inch ruler?” You will be amazed at the methods they come up with! Measure and estimate lengths in standard units is also a 2nd grade math standard!
(I suggest using these slap-on ruler bracelets. They inspire the measuring of everything measurable. Your kids will love ‘em. Heck, I love them.)
Par-bake crust: Freeze the whole pie plate for 15 minutes. Now dock it all over with a fork. Spray some foil with nonstick spray or coat with butter then press tightly against frozen pie shell. Make sure to cover all the dough.
Literacy Tip: Dock is a great baking-specific verb! Say the word a few times with your kid. Let them do the docking!
Bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil. Your kids will watch through the oven door and give you peace.
If parts of the dough have puffed-up, have your kids press them back into place and patch any tears or cracks with the extra scraps in the fridge. Now set it aside. The crust is done. Now, turn the oven down to 375°F.
Math Tip: Have your kid turn down the heat. How much less is 375 than 400? This is a great way to teach number & operations in base ten!
Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl.
Literacy Tip: Read the recipe with your child out loud for accuracy while measuring and mixing. Talk about new vocabulary in context. This is a big one! Reading: Informational Text is a kindergarten through 12th grade standard!
“We need 5 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch. Since 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon, how many teaspoons of cornstarch do we need? Let’s count together!”Yes, you have once again taught equivalent fractions. Although this is a 3rd, 4th and 5th grade math standard, it can be taught effectively to a 5-year-old and reinforced with your 6th grader.
To make the crumb topping, melt butter on the stove and then turn off the heat. Stir sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt into melted butter in a pan with a fork until crumbs form.
Putting it all together
Pour filling into crust and then sprinkle crumbs over the top. Bake for an hour. Look for bubbling fruit at the edges before taking it out. An undercooked pie is gross.
20 minutes in, pop open the oven and put foil over the crumb-top. If you don’t it’ll burn.
Math Tip: Put you child in charge of keeping time with a stopwatch (probably the one on your phone). This targets 1st through 3rd grade Measurement & Data Standards!
After you pull the pie out of the oven, let it cool for a couple hours on a nice windowsill or something. It tastes even better after a night to settle into itself.
Don’t forget the French Vanilla ice cream.