blackberry-blueberry crumb pie

I am completely and utterly failing at having a low-key, lazy summer. In part because, wait, didn’t summer just begin (NYC schools go to essentially the last day of June) and more largely because I seem to be jumping from big project to big project, we’re suddenly approaching the midpoint of August and I’m faintly panicked that this summer will be over before I have taken in sufficient levels of sun, sand, toasted marshmallows, vacation, and hot, sticky laziness that veers into boredom to fortify us for a big exciting fall and an always-too-long and always-too-cold winter. The fix begins now.

let's make pie!gather scraps, chillready to rolleasier to transfer folded

First up: pie. Look, I too enjoy the look of a stunning, woven lattice of a pie lid. Chevron, braided, plaid and twisted ribbon spirals too. I am not immune to the charms of elaborate pate brisee crafts. But I would like to postulate that were we all to eat pie in the dark, only a tiny fraction of those of us who respond to butterfly-leafed lids with heart-eyes emojis (that is, me, me, me) would choose the taste over that of a fluffy, rubbly, cobblestoned crumb lid.

What I’m saying is: Team Streusel. At least in the dark.

ready to parbakeparbaked crustthe blacks and bluescrumbsmixedblackberry-blueberry crumb pie

A friend of mine is obsessed with the “black and blue” pie at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton, Long Island. The owner’s daughter, Meredith, makes them and many other flavors with a cult following. We stayed not far from there two summers ago (when this human was but 7 weeks old) and she brought one back warm and I said (wait for it) “No thank you” because my experience with pies is that none, even the best of the best, are better than homemade. Then I spied the crumb topping and I’m 100% sure that I ate pie for both breakfast and lunch that day. I finally got to trying my own hand at it this summer, with the fluffiest crumb topping yet (the secret: baking powder), one that’s basically shortbread rubble, and if you, too, have been concerned that you’re not “summer-ing” hard enough right now, I promise you that nothing will set you back on the right course more deliciously.

blackberry-blueberry crumb pie
blackberry-blueberry crumb pie

Blackberry-Blueberry Crumb Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

A couple of notes: I have been using tapioca flour/starch to thicken pies this summer. (I buy it from Bob’s.) I like it because it thickens in a clear, unchalky way. But, lots of other things work. I find this chart from King Arthur useful. For this pie, I’d average the amounts for blueberries (which need less thickener) and blackberries (which need more).

Also, this probably goes without saying, but this recipe definitely works with other berries and fruits.

  • 1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water
  • Filling
  • 4 cups (about 2 pints or 680 grams) blueberries
  • 2 cups (about 1 12-ounce/340-grams package) blackberries
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar (for a moderately, but not very, sweet pie)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 7 tablespoons (55 grams) tapioca flour (starch) or 5 1/2 tablespoons (45 grams) cornstarch (see Note)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of half a lemon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Two pinches of salt

Make pie dough:
By hand : In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add another tablespoon of water.
With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.

Heat oven: To 400°F (205°C).

Roll out crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9 1/2-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. Save scraps in fridge, just in case.

Par-bake crust: Freeze for 15 minutes, until solid. Dock all over with a fork. Coat a piece of foil with butter or nonstick spray and press tightly against frozen pie shell, covering the dough and rim and molding it to fit the shape of the edges. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully, gently remove foil. (Set the foil, still molded, aside. It will come in handy later.) If any parts have puffed, just press them gently back into place. Patch any tears or cracks with reserved dough scraps. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and leave oven on.

Meanwhile, make filling: Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

To make crumb topping, stir sugar, zest, baking powder, flour and salt into melted butter in a large bowl with a fork until crumbs form.

Assemble and bake: Pour filling into crust and scatter crumbs over the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes with these two important things in mind:

1. This crumb browns much more quickly than the pie is done. Grab that piece of foil you set aside from the parbaking phase and upend it over the top of the pie to protect it against further browning once it reaches the color you want. This might only take 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Fruit pies are done when you can see bubbles forming at the edges, with some creeping through and over some crumbs. If it takes longer, that’s better than an underbaked pie.

To serve: Try to let the pie cool until close to room temperature before serving. This gives the pie thickener a chance to help the pie set. The pie will be even better set after a night in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature before serving.

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234 comments on blackberry-blueberry crumb pie

  1. Could you make this with frozen berries? I have a bag of frozen blueberries/blackberries/cherries in the freezer that needs to be used. Also, would the thickener need to be adjusted for the cherries?

      1. Grace

        Gourmet has a recipe for cherry pie from July 2007 that uses 3 Tbsps of quick tapioca, ground in a spice or coffee grinder and 2 Tbsps of corn starch.. Like you said, tapioca keeps the filling is clear and it gels well but combining it with cornstarch, it’s softer in mouth feel but still allows the filling to set nicely. I’ve made this pie..and it sets beautifully..soft with a minimal oozing. It works with blueberries that way, too. Here’s the link:

        1. Jenny

          I made this with cornstarch per the recipe. There was no ooze. I remember making fruit pies using only minute tapioca. My old Joy of Cooking suggests 2 2/3 T (2/3??) of quick tapioca for 4 cups of fruit for berry pies, that tapioca should be used for acidic fruits and that the filling should rest for 15 mins before it goes into the pie plate.

          Thanks for the link, Grace!

  2. This could not have come at a more perfect time – my daughter has just been blackberrying in the little wooded area across from our house. It’s really early, but she brought home quite a haul! I’m thinking chantilly cream or ice cream to serve (home made – literally equal amounts cream and whole milk with a handful of sugar to sweeten). Thanks!

  3. CarolJ

    A broken wrist has side-lined me from crust rolling. Do you think this would work as a crumble, with just the filling and the topping?

    1. deb

      Absolutely. I personally don’t use as much thickener for crumbles because I’m not aiming for a clean slice (well, this won’t/shouldn’t slice clean but you get the idea).

      1. CarolJ

        It was excellent! For our two-person household, I made a half-recipe; 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch was just right. Served with custard sauce. Mmmmm.

        1. Lisa

          Can I just commiserate with the broken wrist? It’s the worst. I was in a cast for 9 weeks this winter and I used to wrap it in plastic and soldier on. Of course it was my right arm too. Very inconvenient but yay for you, making dessert! Hope it’s all better soon.

    1. deb

      You can do a partial swap by weight of most other flours you like — white whole wheat, oat flour, etc. But a heartier flour will make for a heartier crumb.

    1. Kerianne Pacifico

      I baked this pie for a dinner with our local Priest, Deacon, and my husband and I. They absolutely loved it, I did the hand mix method and used tapioca flour for thickening. It was simply amazing and came out beautifully. I had never done a roll out dough mostly because of the effort but this was totally worth it.

  4. Emily

    Do you prefer the tapioca flour/starch to quick cooking tapioca? I’ve been using that since you recommended it eons ago, and if you’ve found something you prefer, I’d try that instead.

    1. deb

      They’re the same, but the tapioca starch/flour is already ground. I basically switched because it’s easy to find these days. I would often grind the tapioca (you don’t have to, it just has a jammier texture otherwise) in a coffee grinder (that I use for spices) into powder, this just saves the step. For tapioca that’s not ground, it’s recommended (I’ve recently learned) that you let the filling sit with the tapioca in it for 15 to 20 minutes before pouring it in the shell and baking it, to give it a chance to soften a little before baking.

      1. Emily

        Interesting! Thanks! I may also switch once I get through my current box of tapioca. As it would happen, I made a black’n’blue pie just two weeks ago. (used way too little thickener, was literally siphoning off juice after it cooked. Delicious, delicious juice.) Apparently another is on my horizon. Onward!

  5. Okay, I apologize in advance for being so anal. But based on that chart, which has 1 1/2 TEAspoon for a cup of blueberry, wouldn’t you get 5tbsp of tapioca rather than 7tbsp. Maybe I’m missing something.

    The pie looks absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Emily

      2 cups of blackberries = 2 tbsp of quick cooking tapioca
      4 cups of blueberries = 6 teaspoons of quick cooking tapioca, or 2 tbsp.

      But, the key is, Deb is using tapioca flour, not quick cooking tapioca. They’re similar, but not a direct equivalent. She included the chart for those using different thickeners than the one she has in the recipe. And as always, these charts are always guides, and you may want to increase or decrease based on your personal taste.

        1. Emily

          And honestly – there’s no exact guide that will always be perfect. With fruit especially, the amount of juice they exude can vary incredibly from pie to pie.

          1. C

            Stella Parks on Serious Eats has a weight-based formula. Although I can’t vouch for it personally, it makes sense that if you base the amount (by weight) of starch on the weight (largely water) of the fruit, rather than volume, you would get consistent results.

            1. deb

              That’s so interesting. I love her work. But what about the fact that blueberries have so much more pectin in them than other berries? (If you puree blueberries and press the liquid into a cup, straining out solids, the liquid eventually jellies, or it did for me. It’s quite a lot!) Or does it all even out because they’re lighter?

              1. Hey Deb! A reader pointed me to this convo, so I thought I’d jump in. The deal is that given the processing method (whole berries, cells intact rather than ruptured), along with the specific heat and sugar content (which regulates water activity), pectin isn’t really able to kick in within the context of pie.

                The bigger variable, and what makes it seem like fruit pies are so inconsistent, is that volume measurements are so unpredictable for fruit *and* the amount of sugar in a given recipe will control the behavior of the starch, which can wreak havoc in pies that are seasoned to taste. More info/in depth explanation on the Serious Eats article for both cherry and blueberry pies. <3

  6. emilyadi

    Perfect timing! My boyfriend’s parents are coming and I know they’ll love this. They’re not chocolate people (After 11 years, I still can’t accept that fact) so this will be a nice dessert compromise.

  7. Vanessa

    Wow! Deb, you read my mind! Was planning a blackberry & blueberry pie for tomorrow (I am so lucky: that is what is in the backyard!) with a lattice top, but UGH who wants to spend a gorgeous summer saturday on that???? This crumble top looks like the answer!! Thank you!

  8. Kate

    This looks incredible! Is there any particular reason to start baking without the foil then adding it on once the topping is the color you want, instead of the other way around (starting foil-on then removing the foil about 30 minutes in)? Thank you (for this, and for all your extraordinary recipes & tips)!

    1. deb

      Not really, I guess I’ve always just taken the wait-and-see approach. Plus you can then get it to the color you want and pause the coloring; if you foil it first, it might not have as much time as you need at the end to get the color you want.

  9. Rachel M

    You have got to be kidding me. I am hosting a summer bake-off tonight and while I am fine with what I made (crack pie) I wish I had made this as well. Oh well, I might just have to make it next week.

  10. Sara

    This looks AMAZING and I want to try it asap. But I might actually try it without the pie bottom, just the crumb top, as a kind of crumb-crumble, because we don’t have enough butter in the house to make a bottom crust, and I must eat this tonight!!!

  11. Marcia

    So this afternoon I sat looking at my Oysterpond blueberries and blackberries , wondering what to do as my life has been very full of pie recently… and there you were. Into each life some crumbles must fall. Getting right on it .

    1. Marcia

      And I often use a combination of thickeners. All flour too pasty, all corn starch too
      Gelatinous. A little bit of everything including tapioca seems to give me just the right, “Goldilocks” effect.

      1. Marcia

        Well, I do eat a lot of them in the Car! I have to factor that in when
        purchasing. He always thanks me for coming all the way over, as if I lived
        On Mars. Such a nice place.

  12. I may or may not give you credit for “Team Streusel. At least in the dark.” and “not summer-ing enough.” You are my people…and that wanted to autocorrect to “you ate my people,” which probably works, too.

  13. Dawn from the Frozen North

    Great timing. To me, summer and streusel top pie go hand and hand. Around our cabin, it is toss up – sour cherry pie, saskatoon berry pie, rhubarb custard – but all have a streuel top. Yum

  14. Helene

    I would love to make this,having just bought a big box of blueberries and needing to use up the last of the blackberries in the freezer before this year’s harvest is ready, – but I am missing the European measurements for the filling and the crust. Is there any chance you could add those?
    Big thank you from a Danish fan!

  15. Wow, blackberries and blueberries, I love it. I’m a big pie fan and as soon as you have blackberries in there it’s got my name written all over it! I have to make this soon.

  16. Nancy

    Is pre-baking the crust critical to its success? I sometimes have trouble with that part. I have always used a crumb topping for apple pies, because it addresses the issue of the apples cooking down and leaving that space between the filling and the top crust. Plus it tastes great!

  17. Sara

    You had put “see Note” for using cornstarch instead of tapioca flour. Is the note placed elsewhere in your blogs? I wanted to see what you said about using that instead of the tap. Please, please, please! This newbie would like to know your input. Thanks a bunches!!!

    1. deb

      Oooh, good question. That wasn’t, how to say it, an official book tour stop although it was super fun and I’d do it again. It was a last-minute invite and I basically never say no to going to Toronto because everyone there is unbelievably nice. (I sound like a sycophant but it is factually correct.) I *was* in Toronto for an event during the official book tour, however, and will be again. I hope to have some or all of the book tour dates to share after Labor Day. We are organizing everything right now, yay.

  18. Linda

    Your post came at the perfect time. Husband just brought in a bucket of freshly picked blackberries, so of course I had to try your recipe. I made a slight change, I only had frozen blueberries, so I used three cups of frozen blueberries and 3 cups fresh blackberries, cut back slightly on the sugar using a little less than 3/4 cup. The pie turned out wonderful, thanks Deb!

  19. Heather from Toronto

    Hi, Deb!
    This looks like the same dough recipe as the peach pie (halved). Does this one need to be par-baked because the crumble/fruit require less overall baking time?

    1. deb

      No, you can parbake either or neither. I’ve only recently succumbed to parbaking (it’s still my least favorite thing but yes, the crusts hold up better) so it’s not insisted on in earlier recipes.

  20. Jamie

    I’ve been making the black-and-blueberry pie from the Four and Twenty Blackbirds cookbook for the last 2 summers and it’s fabulous. I think I like yours better. It’s a little simpler (their’s includes a grated apple and bitters) and the streusel topping looks awesome. I haven’t made a pie in a few months, sadly, and this might be the thing that gets me off my backside to make one!

    For thickeners, I’ve been using arrowroot powder since I finally found it (Bob’s Redmill sells it) and I like it a lot. Thank you for the tip about tapioca flour; I’ll look for it.

      1. BarbaraS

        Mine printed at 3 pages also and the last line of each page cuts in half, with half on the following page. I’m using a Mac with Safari. If I use Firefox as a browser, it prints at 2 pages. Maybe, Marianne, you can switch your browser and see if it helps.

        1. Marahak

          Hi Deb!

          I don’t have a pie dish, can I use a tart pan instead?
          Also I’m substituting the fruit with raspberries and plums. Do the plums need to be peeled beforehand?

  21. Marianne

    I will be making this as soon as I am done capturing peach goodness with your Peach Butter recipe — so fantastic. Thank you!

  22. Susan Esposito

    I made this yesterday as written
    Perfect sweetness
    Perfect thickening agent & amount
    Perfect crumb top
    Perfect bake time
    Perfect summer pie!

    1. deb

      It thickens in a clear way and won’t have any residual chalkiness. But I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you use cornstarch instead or anything.

  23. Mary

    I want to try your crust and topping. Do you think it would work to sub in peaches for the berries? I just happen to have fresh local peaches and was thinking of making a pie. I was thinking peaches might be juicer than berries….Thanks!

  24. Dominika

    This is the BEST pie I’ve ever made. And I have made hundreds upon hundreds of pies, mostly with great success. This is the bomb.

    Absolutely perfectly sweetened. The blueberry/blackberry flavor is out-of-this-world – fresh, fruity, summery. The thickener type/amount is perfect. It slices beautifully. I had to bake mine a touch longer to get it “bubbly” but I attribute that to the pie pan I was using. The crumbs on top are crunchy, sweet, complimentary.

    Make this pie. Make more than one. Don’t change a thing.

  25. Erica

    The pie was amazing – thanks for the recipe!! My question is about the crust. My crust came out a bit tough (hard to get a fork through when eating). I don’t believe I overmixed it or over kneaded it. Any thoughts as to what I might have done wrong? I froze it for 15 minutes before working with it and believe I followed the directions as stated. Thanks!!

    1. deb

      I find that par-baked crusts can come out a little crispy/tougher. On the plus side, they’re not going to turn to mush under the pie, even 1 to 2 days later.

    1. deb

      It holds more and this dough amount and filling amount are for the shallower kind. Use yours, just increase the crust and filling — you might even go up by 50% The crumb should be about the same, but no harm in extra.

  26. Meg

    I made this in a 6″ springform pan as a half size, but “deep dish” recipe. It worked perfectly — same size crust (though I probably threw away 1/3 of it, the pan is twice as deep as a pie dish so it’s not just half), half the berry mixture, and half the crumbs. I used a little (~1/2 Tbsp) more tapioca starch since with such tall slices I wanted a slightly cleaner cut. It baked through in about 40 minutes. The flavors and balance are excellent! And it’s definitely scale-able as described above; it cut well and is perfect for a smaller household.

  27. Bri

    This was outstanding! I subbed peaches from our CSA for blackberries. I hadn’t made a crumble pie before but I am in love! Delicious crust. I think parbaking made it even better.

  28. Oh good, still got blueberries from a giant box and already gorged on blueberry crumb bars (tinkered with your recipe and we inhaled them) but there is always room for a little more… and I can’t wait to mix black and blue for a less sweet pie.

  29. stephabelle

    I made this last night for four adults and four children. Everyone loved it! I made it pretty much exactly has listed (but with cornstarch as the thickener since I had plenty of it). I think par-baking the crust was key. It held up beautifully to the gooey fruit. Everyone loved the crumb on top. It’s a keeper!

  30. Maggie

    Thank you for validating my love of crumb topping over crust topping. I am never going back now! Also, this was the best pie I’ve ever made! I made it last night. My husband and I needed to have seconds (normally we can control ourselves!) and now I am eating a slice with some plain Greek yogurt on the side and it’s pretty heavenly. Also I loved learning how to parbake! And I loved the tip about folding the crust in fours. So cool. And finally the tip about the crumbs browning fast and covering with foil worked perfectly too. Thank you!! I had so much fun making this and I am having too much fun eating it!

  31. I adapted this recipe to a Peach Raspberry Crumble using a 6″ skillet version (no crust)…it was amazing! The topping wasn’t too sweet and really added a nice crunch to the whole thing. Excellent!

  32. Mary

    I made this today. It was fabulous. My first recipe from your site. I will be exploring more! I definitely want to try the Chocolate peanut butter cake and the Gallette from the internet show! Thanks for the inspiration!
    By the way…I did not change the recipe one iota!! Wish I knew how to add a picture!!

  33. JJ Avinger-Jacques

    It’s in the oven right this minute. Can hardly wait to try it!
    NOTE: Tried an experiment with the whole “pie weights” issue….I find it tedious to do all the pie weight rigamarole…so I just put another metal pie plate on top of the cold, docked, crust, it fit perfectly, and put in the hot oven….NO puffing, no Mess, no Fuss…..gently pried off with the tines of my dinner fork, it was PERFECT, and proceeded with the filling and baking.
    Try it….you might just find this a simpler and easier method to get that flat crust!

    1. JJ Avinger-Jacques

      Delicious tasting….turns out I’m not a fan of crumbles….will make a lattice top next time. All who got to have some RAVED about it. I put all the blueberries on the bottom and all the blackberries on the top…..all that juicy blackberryness seeped onto all the other fruit and with using equal amounts of the tapioca starch and cornstarch, the slices turned out clean and eye-catching on the dessert plates. Vanilla ice cream gilded the lily!
      Will definitely make this again!!!

  34. Emalee

    This is amazing! I made it with 3 cups blueberries and 3 cups rhubarb and just 5 (heaping) tbsp tapioca flour since I figured the rhubarb would be less juicy than blackberries. I used 1/3 whole wheat flour in the pie and cobbler topping and the rest all purpose.I didn’t use any lemon zest. I cut into it when it was still pretty warm and the fruit was very liquidy, but now that it’s cool and more pieces have been cut, no liquid or fruit oozes out. My husband said it’s possibly the best pie he’s ever had. I’d prefer a bit less sugar in the cobbler topping, which I will reduce next time.

  35. Carrie

    I made this as a crumble (no bottom crust) with fresh-from-the-farm blackberries and peaches (instead of blueberries). Delicious! The use of baking powder in the crumb topping is perfect.

  36. JoAn Moncel

    My family loved this. Never used butter for pie crust before or ground tapioca for pie. Really good results. Definitely a recipe to keep.

  37. Dalnapen

    This pie was enjoyed by friends. The berries were perfectly seasoned and the right looseness/gelling. I wonder, Deb, if the crumb topping would be better if one didn’t melt the butter before adding to the rest of the crumb topping ingredients? My topping was hard due to the sugar, and a bit to hard/crunchy mouthfeel. Was all eaten up however!


    1. deb

      Interesting. It didn’t soften against the pie at all? I don’t find that cutting the butter in does much to improve crumb texture, so I don’t bother. Larger chunks and trying to keep the top from getting too brown might also give it a softer effect.

  38. Debraj76

    Black and blue and sweet all over…this was FABULOUS!!!! Just a note…the crumb topping seemed very pasty when initially mixed up. It did dry out as it set, and was perfectly “crumbly” when time to top the pie.

  39. RosieTulips

    I usually halve pie recipes where I bake a half and freeze the other half for another day. Should I freeze this particular pie with or without the crumble?

  40. kathy knoebel

    I made this pie with all fresh Canadian blueberries that I bought along the road side on a trip I took to Ontario. The recipe did these berries Justice. Thanks for another perfect recipe.

  41. Kelly

    Made this on the weekend using rhubarb and raspberries, and it was amazing! Usually I wouldn’t bother making a pie cos a crumble is way easier, but this pie is definitely worth it! Don’t skip the lemon zest in the crumble, it totally makes it.

    1. deb

      Interesting. Aluminum is reactive but there shouldn’t be anything in the crust that’s acidic or problematic (it’s never happened to me). But this might be a better question for a food scientist. Sorry I cannot be more help.

  42. Cathy

    Made this last weekend and it was delicious! Didn’t change a thing and served with vanilla ice cream. Not usually a fan of crumb topped pie but this was excellent- crumbs didn’t get hard like others I had made. Thanks again for another fabulous recipe!

  43. Suzanne

    I am way too excited to make this in my oh so tiny Boston apartment studio kitchen…reading your blog over the years and seeing your tiny kitchen too makes it feel like I can get by!!! If you are still adding to your book tour, please please PLEASE come to Brookline Booksmith in Brookline MA (just outside of Boston). It’s a wonderfully artistic bookstore with an amazing Jewish deli just around the corner (:

    1. deb

      Thank you! I believe we did an event with Booksmith last time and I hope to do the same this time around. They’re organizing all of the details as we speak and I hope to have a partial or full book tour announcement ready after Labor Day. Eeee!

  44. LB

    This pie was so delicious! Used equal amounts of blue and black berries and keep sugar the same (I like slightly tart pies). Also used approx. 1/3 cup of minced lemon verbena in the filling, which added some complementary flavor.

  45. Rebecca

    Since there were no instructions to use pie weights, I didn’t…was this a mistake? Crust shrunk almost completely down the sides! I’m forging forward anyway because eh, pie can be messy and delicious, but trying to figure out if this was an implied step or whether I’m just bad at crusts!

  46. Vanessa

    What a great pie. I was using marionberries for the black berries, which are hardly tart at all, and so did half a cup of sugar which was perfect. I also tend to find your pie crusts a bit too greasy, so I reduced the butter to 1/3 of a cup. I realized just before baking that I had no aluminum foil, so I just let the pie bake without the topping for the first 20 minutes, then added the crumbs, which worked perfectly and I think may even have been easier than monitoring it for when to place the foil lid. My husband loved the crumb top. This is a definite keeper!

  47. Christina

    Has anyone tried this with chocolate? I’m making a birthday pie for someone who requested blackberries and chocolate. I’m thinking of either mixing in some dark chocolate into the filling or just doing a drizzle on top before the crumble. Which would work better?

  48. Elizabeth

    Amazing combination- made this last week with wild blueberries and local blackberries from our farmers market (but as “normal” lattice top pie). If this pie could be called “normal”. Delicious.

    Was wondering if you, like me, have started a Baking Bucket List? I have been accumulating a few things on mine to do “some day”. Eg real butter croissants (for which I need to find butter with 85% butter fat- not the standard in Ontario sadly), French macarons — to name but 2. Anyway it is a neat idea and I can’t be the only one thinking about this type of bucket list!

    1. deb

      My baking — well, cooking — bucket list has probably 1000 items on it. I’ve been keeping it since I began this site. I think this means I’m never allowed to retire.

  49. Sara

    The first berry pie I’ve ever made and was delicious! The only thing I don’t think I perfected was the crust. I followed the directions to a T but the crust was a little tough to cut through on the bottom. The thickness seemed appropriate but the texture of the pie crust under the berries didn’t feel flakey- a little chewy. Any idea what could have caused this? Is it possible I didn’t pre-bake the crust long enough?

  50. Lisa

    I made this yesterday — it is the best pie I’ve ever made! The crust and crumb are fantastic, and the berries are flavorful and not too sweet. I made the crust by hand (not in my food processor) for the first time, and it was the best and most tender crust I’ve ever made. Thank you for the fabulous recipe!

  51. Alyssa

    I made this for a potluck and it turned out great! I even overheard people talking about how much they liked it! I will definitely make this again!

  52. Christina

    This was my first attempt at pie making! So much fun and turned out great! Loved making the pie crust in the food processor! Thank you for making the steps so easy!

    1. Stickyheels

      This is in the oven right now and I think I messed up the crumb topping! Mine is very…dry. I even added an extra 2 T of butter but still, so dry! I’m afraid we’ll have to scrape the top off? I measured everything out by grams so I’m not sure how I could have screwed it up? It did LOOK like a lot of flour when I was mixing it together. Oh well. Here’s hoping she’s got personality bc she certainly doesn’t have looks 😬

  53. Sarah

    Deb, I beg you, please end the video ads!! They scare me every time they start auto-playing and they make the screen jump around all weird as they load. Regular ads are totally fine with me but the video ads are really obnoxious

    1. deb

      Sorry about the ad trouble. It should be fixed now. I was on vacation and not paying as close attention as usual. Do let me know if it continues to be problematic on your end.

  54. Sara

    I got greedy and dug in too soon so mine was very soupy inside, but otherwise, this was great! The flavor of the filling and crumb topping was excellent. I used a frozen crust for the base because I’m crust-challenged.

  55. These sweet things are just what you need this week. Smoky grilled chicken breasts pair perfectly with peach salsa. Fruit and meat really were made to go together, and this recipe proves it! You can use freshly peeled and chopped peaches or frozen, prepared ones, depending on how much time you have. While the confection-like fruit mixture is simmering on the stove, you can switch gears and grill up the chicken. Spoon a bit of the sauce over each piece of chicken before you serve it. Yum!

  56. The crumb topping seemed much too dry when I mixed it up and I should have listened to my instincts. The resulting crumb was so powedery and not at all rubble-y. Big disappointment. Not a problem I’ve seen others note, so I don’t know what happened.

  57. Cathy

    Tip if you’re making this with gluten free flour – you will probably require much more liquid to pull the dough together! I think the rice flour mixture absorbs a lot more than regular flour. I used about twice the liquid in the recipe. Same for the crumb topping – I used an extra 2 tablespoons of butter to make it crumbly enough instead of powdery.

  58. Danielle Guzman

    Deb – would this work for an apple pie? With the crumb top? I’m looking for a new twist on classic apple for Canadian Thanksgiving! Thanks!

  59. Ronnie

    Hey Deb! The hubs loves his raspberries so I was wondering if that will work and would the tapioca measurements be the same? Just got the new cookbook and cannot wait to dig in! 🙌

  60. Sheryl

    Deb! This recipe is amazing! Even in the late fall/early winter, I was able to get some fresh berries from Peru at Whole Foods and while I realize it’s probably nothing like the fresh ones that abound at farmers’ markets in the summer, this pie still turned out amazing. I made it for a dinner party I was attending, and when the host cut through the first slice and it came out perfectly without falling all apart, I just knew I had a winner (par-baking is really key here). Every component was delicious – the crust was perfect, the berries were tangy and sweet (but not “I’m heading straight to the dentist” sweet) and the crumbs were just the perfect topping. Will def. make again and again! Thank you!!!

  61. carol

    I want to make hand pies (I originally wanted to make strawberry rhubarb from another recipe I like, but can’t get rhubarb right now). Can I use this filling, or will it be too runny?

      1. deb

        I think with hand pies, it’s definitely a little easier to parcook the filling first. Plus, they bake much more quickly, so it gives the filling a head start.

  62. zehrah2004

    This may be a stupid question but can you bake the filled pie minus the streusel topping for 30-35 minutes THEN pour the crumble on top and bake another 20?
    I just have horrible luck with getting burned when doing the foil over the pie thing. Yes I’m clumsy and ideally shouldn’t be within 5 feet of a warm oven but I have little people to feed.

    1. deb

      You probably can but the streusel might take more than 20 — not on a tray if it were dry, but on top of a wet filling. Here’s a great tip for getting the foil on top of a hot pan: Form the shape when the pie is cold, either fitting the foil over the unbaked pie before it goes it, or even over the empty pie plate. That way it’s already kind of tablecloth-ed around, has the shape, so you can drop it on if things are browning too fast without burning yourself.

    1. lori king

      although i haven’t tried it in this particular recipe, i have used both earth balance and i can’t believe it’s not butter’s vegan version to make pie dough and other desserts with no noticeable difference. i either use a 1-1 ratio or just slightly less than 1-1.

  63. Jean C

    Hallelujah! I have struggled to get my three berry pie to set up using quick tapioca. When my daughter wanted the pie for a family get-together I decided to try using tapioca flour. What a difference!! The crumb recipe is great too. My husband now wants the blueberry rhubarb pie one of the posters recommended.

  64. chasingcapers

    I am a “pie person”, but before this had never made one with blueberries. I actually still can’t say it sounds good to me for some weird reason, but holy cow, this pie was DELICIOUS! I used a mixture of marionberries, blueberries, and raspberries that I grew, and couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. That crumb topping is just the perfect addition to the filling. Will absolutely be making this one again!

  65. I made and entered this pie in the 2018 Hamilton County, Indiana fair. I received a blue ribbon and a reserved champion ribbon. Judges said it was a very flavorful pie. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Of the other three entries I had I received one red (second place) and two moreblue ribbons. I have eleven entries

  66. Patricia

    Baked this yesterday and took it to a dinner party. It was a hit; one of the best pies I’ve made, and I’ve made many. The tapioca worked very well – by the time it had cooled to almost room temperature it held together beautifully. The lemon in the crumble was a nice taste touch as well. The crust shrunk a bit so next time I will make it a bit bigger to make allowance. Great recipe!

  67. Julia

    Got my crust in the freezer, can’t wait to try it!

    Some advice for others, first time I tried making the crust, I did it using following the gram amounts. For me, 155 grams of flour is a lot less than 1 1/4 cup flour, which meant when I added the water I ended up with really wet dough. Second time using the cups instead of the recommended grams worked perfectly!

  68. Glenda Presston

    I made this recipe yesterday and it turned out delicious. I cut the recipe in half and made mini pies using a muffin pan, vs. one big pie. I made a few substitutions as follows: crust (lazy’s man’s crust!): used pre-made Trader Joe’s pie crust, filling: substituted lemon with 1 T lemonade, added a shake of cinnamon, crumbs: left out lemon zest (didn’t have lemons). Baked at 375 for 30 minutes and 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Served with a shake of powdered sugar and a dollop of sour cream. Everyone loved them!

  69. Philip Robert

    This pie is AMAZING!!! The flavor is just perfect, and I’ve really enjoyed making it. I pass on the crumble top and just make a double crust because, with your writings, my pie crust game has moved up a level. Seriously flaky and crunchy. Yesterday I made this pie for the third time. It’s really a hit with my Dad. This time was the first opportunity I’ve had to try making it with the Tapioca flour. Bob’s Redmill Tapioca Flour (aka starch) 7 tablespoons mixed with some beautiful big fresh blueberries, and some really plump blackberries. Sadly, this pie did not set up. I’ve got some very delicious berries swimming in berry juice. It’s a proper mess. Tastes great, but I have no idea why it didn’t set up. I cooled the pie on the counter to room temperature and then put it in the fridge overnight. The ones that I’ve made with corn starch rocked. This one… not so much.

  70. Marion Tayor

    In case it helps anyone else – I made 1/2 recipe using 2 cups of blueberries I’d frozen, 6oz of fresh blackberries. No crust. Split into 4 1-cup ramekins, with Deb’s suggested topping.

  71. Frank Alforque

    Just made my second Blackberry Bluberry Crumb Pie. Best Pie I ever made. Thanks for the Your Recipe. Can’t wait to try different Recipe of Yours.

  72. Frida

    I’m looking to make slab pie with this topping as I’ve used it before on a regular pie to delicious effect! Would you recommend doubling the amount for the topping or maybe 1.5x? Thanks!

    1. Dixie


      I am looking to make this as a slab pie. I know it’s been a while, but did you make this and were you successful?


  73. Rachel

    Just made this pie today! My husband requested blueberries and strawberries as the fruit filling. I used cornstarch instead of tapioca flour because of a grocery shopping mishap – increased the amount from 5.5 tbsp to about 6-6.5 tbsp to account for any extra water from the strawberries. Worked out very nicely and was enjoyed by all! Thanks again for a great recipe.

  74. Kerianne Pacifico

    I baked this pie for a dinner with our local Priest, Deacon, and my husband and I. They absolutely loved it, I did the hand mix method and used tapioca flour for thickening. It was simply amazing and came out beautifully. I had never done a roll out dough mostly because of the effort but this was totally worth it.

  75. Alisa Eanes

    As a first time pie maker- I am so grateful for such clear instructions!!! Easy to follow, and comes out just as expected… beautiful and delicious! I did blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries- the colors were so pretty.

  76. Sara

    I just picked a ton of wild raspberries and I am thinking of using this recipe. Would recommend any alterations since I’m using raspberries instead of blackberries and blueberries or should I make as is?

  77. I’m going to be using frozen blackberries alongside fresh blues. I’m assuming I should thaw the blackberries first, but should I discard the (glorious, unbelievably delicious) juice, or pour it back into the mix? Should I add additional thickening agent?

  78. OK this was PERFECT. Beautiful look and totally perfect flavor — great balance of sweet and tart.

    My filling looked like it was going to be VERY juicy (I used thawed frozen blackberries and some big, fat, ripe blueberries) so I added a little extra tapioca flour (maybe an extra Tb). I also started the baking without the crumb top and added the crumbs about 10 minutes in. I thought this would allow more of the liquid to evaporate before being mostly covered. This also allowed me to leave it uncovered for much of the baking time, though I still did cover it toward the end. Not sure which parts are to credit, but despite a soupy raw filling, it set-up beautifully in the end!

    I think parbaking was critical (and the freeze and foil method worked perfectly), though mine could have used a few extra minutes as the bottom was just the tiniest bit underdone even after a full hour of baking once the filling was in.

    AMAZING pie, Deb! Thanks for this one, which is my new favorite!

  79. Renee

    The crumb topping directions say mix together until crumbs form. I measured ingredients by weight, with what I believe is an accurate scale- but I never got crumbs, I got a wet dough. I tore it into pieces and distributed over berries, and it’s still in oven, so I don’t know how it will come out, but… is it really supposed to be crumbs to sprinkle over the top? Are the weights correct?

      1. Renee

        It was absolutely delicious, but not very… crumb-like. More like short bread. But fantastic. I’ll try it again. Assuming you get actual crumbs?

  80. Brenda

    This recipe is phenomenal! I changed it up with marionberry & blueberry’s though, and also cheated and had a frozen pie crust in freezer. The crumble was perfect and so good!! Compliments from the family, so this is definitely a recipe keeper! Ty.

  81. Martha

    Love all your recipes! My 19 year old son’s favorite pie is plain blueberry, but I made your Blackberry Blueberry Crumb Pie and he said it is the best pie his ever eaten. He loved the hint of salt in the crumb and the ratio of crust:filling:crumb,

  82. Elizabeth

    Would pecans work in the crumbs? If I tried them, any other adjustments needed? Thanks! Your recipes always so delicious!

  83. Natasha

    I made this over the weekend and it was amazing! We devoured it, probably a little too quickly… I made it with a buttermilk pie crust and swapped in whole grain flours for some of the all purpose, since that’s just my flavor preference, otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great.

    Although the pie really was delicious, I might decrease the sugar in the filling slightly, as I did find the filling to be a tad sweet for my taste in combination with the topping (it could be that the berries I used were just sweeter). I also felt it could do with a bit less tapioca starch, so I will probably decrease it by one tablespoon next time.

  84. Michelle

    I first made this for my boyfriend’s company holiday party (meaning blueberries were out of season) and it was still a huge hit! The pie is sweet but not overly so. The texture of the crust and the top crumb topping is fun and enjoyable. We are currently making it a again, using frozen blueberries this time. I cannot wait to enjoy it on this July 4th weekend. It should make for a perfect patriot themed dessert!

  85. Diane

    THIS pie…. amazing. It is the best pie I ever made. Thank you Deb, your recipes are always fantastic! Everything I love in a pie. It was perfect.

  86. Teddi

    I have made a version of this twice now. I make it as a berry crisp instead of a pie because I am basically lazy. I used a combination of blackberries and raspberries and it was delicious. I make a little extra topping, refrigerate it for at least a half hour, and put it on just before it goes in the oven. The second time I put it into individual sized bowls. Don’t fill them too full. You don’t want it to boil over and you need room for ice cream. I leave it in until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is starting to get brown. If it browns too quickly put some foil on it.

  87. Forest

    I made this with frozen berries but didn’t adjust the corn starch, so it did come out pretty soupy. If I made this again I’d probably increase the ratio of blackberries to blueberries, just cause I like that flavor better. The crust is good, it crisped nicely and is very tender. The star of the show here is the crumble topping – super crispy and buttery, I’m definitely going to save this recipe just for that part.

  88. Vesella

    It looks great, it smells nice, it is tasty although a bit tart. I think that juice of half a lemon is too much. Next time I’ll use less.

  89. Robin

    Excellent! Just made this with only blackberries, upped amounts of sugar and cornstarch a bit. Added cinnamon. No room in my tiny European freezer so I couldn’t freeze the crust but it baked just fine. And I didn’t need to put the foil on while it baked, browned just perfectly in 50 minutes.
    Thanks for a noble purpose for our wild-picked blackberries!

  90. Betsy Stroomer

    How is it that I have never in my life made a crumb top pie? Made this one over the weekend and we all loved that the filling wasn’t too sweet, and that the crumbs had that nice lemony note. This one will be on my summer pie list from now on!

  91. Erica

    This pie was fantastic! I’d been wanting to make a blueberry pie all summer and had my eye in this one because of the crumb topping, which I had never made before. I finally got around to it tonight (it’s still summer in California!) while blueberries and blackberries were still in season. The blueberries I got were really nicely tart so the pie had a delicious sour (but still sweet) flavor. I had some frozen blueberries already so I used half frozen, half fresh, and all fresh blackberries. Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect.

  92. Tammy

    Is it normal for the filling to be slightly cloudy even after baked thoroughly (for at least 55 minutes)? I’ve made this pie twice, the first time using corn starch and the second time with tapoica flour. Both times I thought the cloudy streaks were from undertaking but the fruit tasted done. Any insight will be much appreciated.

    1. Bev

      Maybe not stirred in enough. I usually add the sugar to fruit first, before I make the crust, so it starts to draw out the juice. Then gently stir in the thickener well, just before it goes in the shell. It should look like a thin coating of goo on the fruit before it goes in the shell.

  93. Stephanie M Hanson

    I made this today in honor of pi day. Served with barely sweetened whipped greek yogurt. It was delicious–one of the best pies I’ve ever made! I thought it was going to be to much filling, but it baked down quite a bit.

    1. Geekgirl

      I made this yesterday for pi day too! This was delicious! I would have used local PacNW blueberries but discovered I didn’t have any left in the freezer so I had to go buy some. The only ones I found at the store were from a company in Maine, and the back said the berries were “wild” and from Canada. What I noticed is they were really tiny compared to the bigger ones I buy from local farms here and tasted very different (though still yummy). I measure ingredients by weight rather than volume whenever possible but it turns out that size mattered in this case because I couldn’t fit all the filling into the shell. But I will definitely make this again!

  94. Maria Nichols

    This pie was extraordinary and will be my go to blueberry or any berry pie going forward. I used a combo of blueberries and raspberries. Also used the tapioca which I had never used before. No more runny pie. Enjoy all the juice nicely gelled. I skipped the freeze for 15 min phase. Only placed in freezer for a couple of minutes. I then placed the greased foil over the pie pricked here and there and put weights for the 20 minutes.

  95. Mom24

    I’m not sure what I did wrong, the pie is beautiful and delicious, I followed directions exactly, even buying tapioca starch and using weights, but the filling is liquid. I waited for it to cool to cut it and the filling is as though there’s no thickener in it whatsoever. Any thoughts on what went wrong?

    1. Maria

      Did you use the amount called for on the recipe of the tapioca flour? All I can think of is the flour was too old or did not work. I used all blueberries in my pie.

      1. Mom24

        I used the 55g the recipe called for. Maybe my berries were extra juicy? They were fresh from the farmer’s market.

  96. Karen Rindner

    I made this pie yesterday with blueberries and peaches. It was the best pie I have ever made. The crumble topping with the lemon zest was to die for. Seriously.

  97. Susanna

    I just made this. Again. Second pie this week! My daughter has celiac so I gladly subbed in a premade GF crust and GF flour in the crumble. It was perfect! This will forever be my go-to for a crumble topping. Which should go on everything, obviously.

  98. Michelle

    This has become one of our favorite go-to recipes for any event. I have made it multiple times with both fresh and frozen blueberries. While I prefer it with fresh, the frozen was good too. The pie crust is super easy to make and has a beautiful texture. The filling is easy to make; we typically use cornstarch and it turns out well. I love this recipe and so do all of our friends when we bring it to share. I highly recommend!

  99. Hannah Fegley

    Can you clarify the butter measurements? It says 1/2 cup (4oz) and 115 grams. A full stick of butter is 1/2 cup, 115g but 8oz. This is reflected in the crust and crumb recipe. Can you tell me how much butter is supposed to go into the pie? Thanks!

  100. Elaine Kelly

    This is the all-time best fruit dessert you’ve ever eaten. The crumble is like delicious light, crunchy cookies that are baked on top. My best advice: skip the pie crust! Yes, pie crust is yummy but it takes some time . . . and it intimidates some people. I am a confident pie maker but the glory of this recipe is that it doesn’t need that bottom crust! The fruit shines all the brighter when it goes from being a Crumble Pie to a Crumble.

  101. Babs

    This is excellent – made it per the recipe instructions, used corn starch and my scale. Visually beautiful and tasted like summer. Friends and family duly impressed. Only thing I’d note is to be careful about the size of your lemon – summer berries are such a treat and that’s the flavor I want to really shine, not to be covered up with too much acid. Small quibble that would not stop me from making this again and again.

  102. Marcia

    I have made this pie at least 5 times this summer as I have been lucky in acquiring lots of local berries. Everyone loves it! I bake a lot of pies , and this is now a favorite with friends and family. I have changed my pie thickening strategy this summer and use 2 Tbs each of AP Flour ,Cornstarch and Tapioca. This combination avoids the drawbacks of all of them, and is neither too gluey, or too jelled. The pies are still juicy, but easy to slice.

  103. Marian

    I only had access to blueberries so I added an extra cup to replace the blackberries. I brought this to my mom’s yesterday for Thanksgiving and everyone flipped!!! It was among five pies and was crowned champion. There wasn’t a single bite left! It was a new pie making experience for me and the effort was beyond worth it!

  104. Kate

    Well this is an amazing take on pie! I like pies with more fruit than crust and this allows the fruit to shine through more, with just enough crust to hold it together (plus bottom crust is the best crust since it absorbs some of the fruit filling), and there’s a delicious crumb on top! I used a frozen pie crust (I know, one day I’ll get better at making my own, but I also like the idea of being able to make a beautiful, tasty pie with a few shortcuts) and I must’ve had a deep dish pie dish because it didn’t reach all the way up the sides. For the fruit, I used a combo of frozen sweet cherries (thawed and drained), strawberries and raspberries. I used cornstarch (weighed) for the thickening agent which didn’t really work. This might’ve been because it was at least 2 years old, or, maybe I underbaked the pie. The filling was bubbling around the edges but once I cut into it, it was pretty liquid-y and cloudy. It also could be because of the pectin/juiciness content of the fruit I used, which may be different from blueberries and blackberries. (Baking = science!) Definitely going to make this again with fresh cornstarch or tapioca flour. I made no changes to the shortbread topping and it was fantastic. Thanks, Deb!

  105. Chris Laughlin

    I accidentally browned the butter when melting for the crumbs. Oh my: some mistakes feel like acts of genius.

  106. Lydia

    Has anyone made this as a freeze pie? If so, did you bake as directed above before freezing or prepare and freeze unbaked? How did you / do you suggest reheating? Novice, but hoping to make and double this recipe on Friday and save one in the freezer to wow at Thanksgiving!

  107. Jennifer McDonald

    Another A+++ recipe. Mine turned out exactly as pictured, and was more delicious than expected. I find so many pies look good but are disappointing to eat. Not this one. Crust is perfect, filling not too gloopy (the tapioca flour works much better than cornstarch!), and the crumb topping is surprisingly good too and not doughy or bland. I didn’t have foil, so I used parchment paper + beans to pre-bake the crust and that worked fine.Also used the parchment paper to protect the topping from darkeing at the end, and it also did the trick. This is a summer keeper and would impress guests nicely :)

  108. Barbara

    My husband wanted a fruit pie for his birthday and I made this. I had frozen blueberries and added an extra tablespoon of tapioca flour. It was easy to make and it looked a lot like your picture! It wasn’t too sweet, not runny, and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll make it again.