Maple-Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie

Maple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie |

Let’s talk about failure. When we’re browsing the web, looking at the gorgeous blog posts, we see the finished products: the fruit of hours of labor, recipe testing, failures and re-tries. As a blogger, I’m very familiar with this process. In fact, often times when I’m recipe testing, I don’t even take out my camera – because what’s the point? As I was editing this post, I realized that as much as I love talking about the process of making food, I rarely show or talk about the failures, the attempts that didn’t work, and sometimes those lessons are more valuable than the pretty pictures. About a year ago, I made tangzhong hot cross buns, and my first few attempts were so dismal I had to take a shot of the wrinkly, un-leavened buns. I posted that photo on Instagram and it received a lot of encouragement and shared stories, and I felt encouraged to do more. Because you know what? I’m not a professional chef or baker. I’m a home cook, who learned cooking from my mom and by myself. I’m constantly experimenting, and with experimentation there must be failure. Without failure, how can I improve my technique, or really learn?

I wish I had taken the time to take a photo of the failed, fallen pie this time, but I was honestly so flustered I didn’t even want any photos of it. Anyway, I feel like I’ve been making pies since I first started blogging. It was one of my first “challenges” and I really wanted to learn how to make them, if only to make apple pie for my husband, since it’s one of his favorites. I’ve made so many pies that I don’t even look at a recipe anymore to make the crust, and I feel like I can eyeball the filling, too. Well, this time, I whipped up my pie crust, mixed the filling and oat topping, assembled, egg washed, and then just plopped it in the oven. I forgot to chill the pie!!!!!!! Oh my gosh. It’s probably the first time I’ve forgotten, and the pie let me know that immediately. The crust fell, flattened, and basically became a blob. Ok, the pie tasted fantastic, the oat topping was spot on, and the crust was still flaky and buttery, but it was pretty darn ugly. 

I remade with a care for these details, and it worked like a dream! Perfectly flaky, a gooey, warm filling that wasn’t runny, a crisp maple-oat topping that provided an extra, comforting crunch – my kind of a pie! The blueberries on the market are so so good right now, and I had to put them into a pie. I’m telling you – juicy Maine blueberries have so much flavor you barely need any sugar or maple syrup. In fact, I cut it back because the blueberries I had were so sweet!!!!

Maple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comI want to share a story about critique and failures with you. I vividly recall the first critique I had, for our very first project in architecture school. It was a simple project, really, and we progressed from line drawing to collage to a wood model. I was confused and could not translate my 2D drawing into a 3D structure. It wasn’t even a building – what were we doing? So I kind of just copy my drawing into wood form, and presented it, slipping over my explanations. Needless to say, I was reamed during the critique (a critique is when you pin up your drawings, display your model, and present your idea to a panel of professors and guest architects – yeah, not scary at all). I was crushed, but in a way, I kind of expected it. That night, while the rest of studio was off celebrating the completion of our first project, I went back to studio. I thought about all the critiques I received, and made something new. Something more conceptualized. Something with a coherent line of thought with the previous steps in the series, the collage and line drawings. Without that critique, without that failed attempt, I don’t think I would’ve come to the second, final rendition. It’s a learning process, and my first cue that design is constantly evolving. One of my professors used to urge us to always keep a sketchbook around, to jot down ideas, because you never know when one will pop up, or when one of your ideas will evolve, and you want to note it. This experience, plus many other failures in my architecture studies, taught me that failure was even more important than praise. That critique and reflection are only the next steps forward.

Maple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comThe first time I used this maple-oat topping was on a galette – this oat-crusted plum galette. It was definitely inspired by the maple granola I made last fall, and it worked so well on the galette I’d been dying to use it on a pie. it’s a simple mixture of olive oil, maple, and rolled oats. It’s like granola on a pie crust. In one bite, you get crunchy oats, flaky crust, and warm, gooey fruit filling. Maple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie | bettysliu.comMaple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie |

linen – shop fog linen / forks – simon pearce

This post is sponsored by bob’s red mill! All opinions expressed are purely my own, as always. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that support this blog!!! I’ve loved Bob’s Red Mill since I started baking – it’s my go-to for flour, grains (their farro!!!), sugar (the best turbinado for topping pies), and all things baking related. 

RECIPE: Maple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie

Double Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups bob’s red mill all purpose flour
2 sticks butter, cubed into 1 cm pieces, cold – prepare this beforehand
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
3/4 cup cold water

Prepare: Cube butter into 1cm pieces, and place it in a bowl in the freezer. I find that this allows the butter to get very cold before you work with it. Place water in the freezer (you will use it before it freezes). Combine flour, salt, sugar. Take cold butter, and using a pastry cutter, fork, or fingers, work quickly and cut butter into dry ingredients. Pea size chunks will remain, and that’s completely fine.

Using tablespoons at a time, mix chilled water into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix or knead. Add the mixture gradually – you can always add more water, but you can’t take it out. The resulting dough should be damp but not moist.

Separate dough into two halves. Shape into disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in fridge. Let dough rest for at least 1 hour. 

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp maple syrup

Combine ingredients together.

Blueberry Filling
2 lb blueberries
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
pinch cinnamon and nutpeg
pinch salt

1 egg + splash of water, whisked

In a bowl, combine ingredients, letting some of the blueberry juices run (actually, I do like using my hands for this! It’s totally OK to smash some of the blueberries).

Preheat oven to 350F. On a lightly floured surface, roll it into a circle about 1″ wider than your pie pan and gently place over a pie pan. Place in fridge. Roll out other dough into a circle.

Remove bottom crust with pie pan from fridge. Gently pour blueberry filling into dough-lined pie plate, and place top crust over filling. Cut out slits or a shape in the center for air. Trim dough and crimp / pleat edges.

Place in fridge for 15 minutes.

Brush surface with egg wash, then sprinkle oat topping over pie.

Bake for 60-65 minutes, until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let cool to room temperature, and serve.

Maple Oat Crusted Blueberry Pie |


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  • I saw your Instagram sad pie and I loved it. This is a beauty though. Blueberries are my favorite and the combo with oats just puts this over the edge. You have become a talent and your efforts shine. Your photography continues to wow me, which is why it is cool that you speak about failure. If you don’t take risks you don’t fail and then you don’t learn. I do think there’s a such thing as natural talent, but reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers really helped me see that time, practice and circumstance is really the formula. I just got a new camera and brought it to my office to figure it out because there’s a huge learning curve. Instead of getting negative and frustrated (i did anyway) I had to put in the time. I’m literally playing with a camera while I’m prepping a witness for government interviews in a big case. If only we didn’t need sleep! xoReplyCancel

    • Amanda, thank you so much for your encouraging words – you’re making me blush over here! But I think you are spot on about risks and failure – it’s really how you learn, right? Good luck with the new camera – how exciting!! (And, I should say good luck prepping witness too :)).ReplyCancel

  • I love this post so much, Betty! And what you say about critique and failure and coming back better, different, stronger in so many ways. I think that’s what life and creativity is all about, really.

    And what a comeback it is with this gorgeous, and I do mean STUNNINGLY gorgeous, pie. Pies are not my strong suit — let’s just say I have high highs and low lows with them. But I guess that’s what it’s all about, yeah? will give it a go soon. I have 4 pounds of quick frozen strawbs from berry picking earlier this season that really need to end up in some kind of pie or galette!ReplyCancel

    • Brooke, my dear! Thank you so much. You phrased it so beautifully, I want to put that quote in my post!! Seriously, critique and failure – it’s essential to the creative process. Thank you for your kind words, and I am SO EXCITED for your journey!ReplyCancel

  • I feel like I can taste that blueberry filling through the screen. Gorgeous as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Loved reading this post. Beautiful photos. It looks just so tempting:) Failures actually help us in getting stronger. Every day in every step there is a failure and the one who takes it in positive way actually come out brighter and better :) You will not believe the GIF tutorial you gave us, I tried and succeeded to some extent but I am still not able to put that on my website and I am still struggling to figure out the technical issue either with sizing or the word-press:(( I cried almost half a day as my whole day went by figuring it out and i still failed.
    Any how,I simply love your posts and photos and your videos are simply the best :)ReplyCancel

    • Esha, thank you for this lovely message. You are so right – failure helps get us stronger, and its part of the creative process. If you need any help with the GIFs, don’t hesitate to email! It’s tricky, especially making sure it’s the right dimensions with your site!ReplyCancel

  • This looks yummy! I enjoyed reading your post and thanks for sharing the recipe! The photos are lovely!


  • This looks delicious, such a great way to use up leftover blueberries!ReplyCancel

  • Mary

    Can’t wait to make this! Your directions say to roll out one crust and then refrigerate. But then it says to put blueberries in and put top crust on and refrigerate. Are we supposed to put bottom crust in fridge for a few minutes, then again after pie put together?ReplyCancel

    • Hi there! Sorry about the confusion – I like to chill my bottom crust as I work on the filling or roll out the second crust because my kitchen tends to get pretty hot. I’ve edited it to make it a bit more clear – but basically, roll out the bottom crust, set aside (in fridge or not, depending on your preference), and then roll out dough #2, put filling in the crust, and place top dough over it. Crimp, then definitely fridge for 15 minutes!!! The crucial chilling part is after the pie is put together and crimped. Hope that helps!!ReplyCancel

  • I was just typing up a comment for this pie post when I received an email notification saying that you commented on my pie post! But oh my!! This looks absolutely delicious! I’m going to start adding the oat topping to some of my pies! Maybe this weekend :)

    PS. Those plates!!! How!! Where! I need them!ReplyCancel

  • Couldn’t agree with you more Betty! I didn’t bother taking photos of my collapsed pavlova the other week, or the too-dry orange cakes, but they were just as important to the overall process as the final version. I listened to a TED radio hour podcast this week called ‘Failure is an Option’ – and it really emphasised how critical failure is in eventual success – really fascinating to hear from lots of different TED speakers in the one podcast too, all with many different perspectives!

    Such a gorgeous pie (and I KNOW how good that maple oat topping is from the galettes last year!!) – I still haven’t had a go at a pie yet (I think not owning a pie tin/plate is currently providing me with an excuse to stall…) but this blueberry version and your miso apple pie are among my favourites to try. Hope you are having a lovely week!ReplyCancel

  • This pie is gorgeous! I love the way you talk about failure–it’s easy for me to get discouraged sometimes. But I like taking pictures of my failed recipes sometimes, because I think they’ll make for a great “blooper real”!

    Love your blog. Love this pie. LOVE your photography!


  • Betty! I had no idea you studied architecture. So did I, and I vividly remember those critiques. The first one especially was terrifying. Our assignment was to ‘make a box’, but of course we had no idea what they really wanted. I don’t even want to think about the silly, childish thing I made and how much I worried about the color I’d chosen. I was butchered, of course, and rightly so. All of this to say that I am in awe of how quickly you got back to working on your design.
    You are right, of course, failures and critiques are what help us grow and evolve and we should probably own up to them a little more. Failures are learning experiences for sure and I know I’ve already grown a lot because of them, but I just wish I could eliminate that period in between when I’m beating myself up about it. Why oh why are we so hard on ourselves?
    Anyway, I have a picture of a pie I’m not happy with (neither the picture, nor the pie – who tries a thin lattice on one of the hottest days of the years??) lingering on my phone and have been thinking of posting it. Maybe this is my cue.
    Thank you for the post and this beautiful, beautiful pie. You are indeed an inspiration xReplyCancel

  • I love love love this post so much and am SO glad I stumbled across your blog when I did. It’s so nice to hear about shared experiences from behind the scenes–every time a friend says something like, you’re a pro baker! I just have to chuckle a bit and share a story about a recent kitchen catastrophe. Too often people take our successes and self-curated social images at face value, which makes us lose a bit of perspective when it comes to recognizing that no success is without a bigger narrative. I bet you were all the happier when the second one turned out so well. So in short, thanks for sharing this–and your lovely, beautiful pie!ReplyCancel

  • Melisa

    This looks amazing!

    I looking for a Thanksgiving dessert (Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend) and this might be the winner :)

    Do you have any recommendations if I wanted to swap the blueberries for apples? We have tons of fresh local apples just waiting for a pie. And I thought they would work with the maple.


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