This time of year is such an enchanting season for produce. Coming out of the long winter months and the comfort foods that accompany it, spring just lightens the whole load. As soon as the warm weather sets in, I am somehow amnesiac to the punishing winter months. One of the early players that helps me get in the swing of spring and summer is the classic blueberry. While not the glossiest of the berries, blueberries are a beloved gateway into the bounty of the season. This Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie celebrates those bloobs in an all star simple pie.
California is one of the top blueberry producing regions in North America
Blueberry production in California started to boom in the 1990s when breeders crossed Highbush blueberries, a plant native to the northeastern US that thrives under cold winters, with a wild and heat tolerant species from Florida. This resulted in a hybrid blueberry that grows incredibly well in California climates. How cool is that?
Over 80 individual producers grow blueberries throughout California
I am a great big fan of all berries. But the juicy burst of a blueberry is extra special. My recipe for Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie maintains that burst even when the berries are baked into a pie! I mash some of the blueberries with a potato masher. This slurry of smashed berries fills in the gaps between the rest of the whole blueberries, preserving their shape and that signature burst of personality.
California is the leading agricultural state in the nation
It is an honor and privilege to have access to California Grown, family farm fresh blueberries this time of year. Blueberries are harvested May through July in California, whereas the PNW blueberry season is later in the summer. Getting an early jump on the season is extra nice as this Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie is calling!
Not only are we getting those beautiful, bulbous blueberries in this pie, but a crumble top that is full of fantastic texture. Almonds add depth in flavor and texture and they, too, thrive in the state of California. A natural pairing with blueberries, if you ask me. The temperate climate, combined with a commitment to innovation, make California the most productive almond growing region in the world. Bonus: almond trees help to capture and store greenhouse gases and filter the air.
Almonds come at you three ways in this blueberry pie
- Sliced Almonds bring a crisp and nutty crunch to the crumble topping. They toast as the pie bakes, giving it depth in both texture and flavor.
- Almond Extract in the blueberry filling gives a subtle, yet complimentary flavor to the blueberries.
- Almond Paste not only adds a welcome, slightly sweet and nutty flavor, but it also serves as a barrier to keep the Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie from getting soggy. The almond paste is layered between the blueberry filling and the bottom crust. No soggy bottom problems! I also place a layer of paste between the blueberry filling and the crumble top, which helps keep the crumble from getting gummy! Brilliant, right? Homemade Almond Paste is very simple to make but store-bought is fine, too.
How to shape a scalloped pie shell for this Almond Blueberry Crumble Pie
My All Butter Vodka Pie Dough is my go-to recipe thanks to its superior flavor, work-ability and flaky tender crust. It's the perfect base for this Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie and allows the blueberry filling and almond crumble to really shine. If you aren't down with the vodka, check out my Basic All Butter Pie Dough that uses apple cider vinegar to tenderize the dough instead.
How to line, fill & top the Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie
This might just be the best Blueberry Crumble Pie out there. At least one of the best. And that's really a tribute to the quality of ingredients, combined with a few smart tips and techniques. Knowing where my ingredients are sourced and the love and care behind them is important to me as a recipe developer and a consumer. I am grateful to California Grown for their commitment to connecting us with farmers and sharing the stories and processes behind our food.
This post was proudly made in partnership with California Grown. All opinions are my own. It makes my heart happy to be able to share my fondness for California Grown food and I thank you for supporting me and the brands that I love. Follow @cagrownofficial on Instagram to learn more about the foods grown in California, farm practices, and for plenty of recipe inspiration!
A scoop of vanilla ice cream completes my Blueberry Almond Crumble PiePrint
If you enjoyed this Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie, check out these recipes featuring California Grown goods!
Fresh, bursting blueberries take center stage in this hearty and satisfying toast recipe featured on the California Grown Blog. Thick slabs of toasted sourdough are topped with brie and baked until the cheese is warm and gooey. A mini mountain of blueberries and toasted walnuts crown the bubbly brie. Then, it’s all drizzled with a kiss of sweet honey and herby thyme tendrils for a fancy finish.
If you're looking for a casual, no-fuss recipe, this Pear Berry Cobbler is it! This recipe makes the most of the start of pear season and peak summer berries. Naturally sweet California Grown Bartlett pears meld with bursting berries under an airy blanket of tender buttermilk baby biscuits. Such a comforting and delightful recipe.
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