The Washington Post

Smoky Spicy Blueberry Pie

Smoky Spicy Blueberry Pie 8.000

T.J. Kirkpatrick for The Washington Post

Smoke Signals Aug 23, 2015

In this pie, an intriguing flavor results from sweetness of smoked, plumped fruit and a lash of smoked serrano-pepper heat. The charring done under the broiler is optional; this is an outlaw kind of pie and the extra step gives it an outlook look.

You’ll need a vegetable grilling basket and 1/2 cup of mild hardwood chips, such as apple, peach, maple or cherry. Do not soak them. Use a favorite pie dough recipe or store-bought.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Make Ahead: The blueberries and serrano peppers can be smoked up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate separately in airtight containers.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes one 9-inch pie

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries, stemmed as needed and rinsed
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Enough homemade or store-bought pie dough for a 2-crust pie (see related recipe)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon regular or low-fat milk

Related Recipes


Prepare the grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, turn the heat to high. Put the chips in a smoker box or foil packet poked with a few fork holes to release the smoke; set it between the grate and the briquettes, close to the flame. When you see smoke, reduce the heat to medium-high (450 degrees). Turn off the burners on one side.

If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the grill. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Scatter the wood chips over the coals. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Place the berries in a vegetable basket. Once the wood chips catch fire, place the lid on the grill and open the top vent just a bit. After the flames subside, open the lid, place the blueberries on the indirect-heat side of the grate; close the lid and smoke for 4 minutes, then transfer the basket to a heatproof surface to cool.

Meanwhile, place the serrano peppers on the cool side of the grill; close the lid and smoke them for 20 to 30 minutes, until the peppers soften and their color darkens. Remove them from the grill and slip off the skins, which should have loosened. Discard the stems and seeds, then mince the peppers.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Combine the smoked blueberries and minced serrano peppers in a mixing bowl, along with the 1 1/4 cups of sugar, the cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon and butter; toss to incorporate.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the dough rounds. Pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim the edges of the dough at the pie plate rim, leaving 3/4 inch of overhang.

Spoon the blueberry-serrano mixture into the pie plate. Position the other round of dough atop the filling; crimp to seal.

Whisk together the egg and milk in a cup to form an egg wash; use it to brush the top crust, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining teaspoon of sugar. Cut three slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

Place the pie on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes (at 450 degrees), then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you dare, position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Broil for 2 minutes, or until charred in spots. The char, curiously, has little to no effect on the flavor of the crust, but it does make the texture crisp and less supple.

Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 500

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 26g 40%

Saturated Fat: 16g 80%

Cholesterol: 70mg 23%

Sodium: 180mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 65g 22%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 40g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle