Blueberry Pie Filling

How to make the best homemade thick blueberry filling in just 30 minutes. Perfect for blueberry pie, hand pies, cheesecakes, and even cake filling!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 cups
close up of homemade blueberry filling in a clear jar with a spoon

This homemade blueberry pie filling is perfect for easy pies, blueberry hand pies, cheesecake topping, and cake filling! Use fresh or frozen blueberries, add some fresh lemon to make the blueberry flavor pop, and use Clear Jel for extra shiny filling. This is so easy you will never open a can of grocery store pie filling again!

closeup of blueberry filling in a glass jar with a spoon and blueberries in the background

Blueberry season is one of the best things summer brings, fresh berries! My blueberry patch is bursting with sweet blueberries and this pie filling captures the berries’ best flavor. During berry season I like to can this filling and save it on the shelf for the winter months when I crave a bit of summer sunshine. It also makes a delicious gift. Can you tell I need all of the reasons to use up my blueberries?

Blueberry Filling Ingredients

blueberry pie filling ingredients

Blueberries: You can use fresh blueberries or frozen, which are picked at the peak of their season, and flash frozen to preserve their flavor. Using frozen berries makes this filling versatile and available all year long. If you have access to wild blueberries those would be wonderful too! If you are using freshly picked berries make sure to wash them and remove the little stems and leaves that remain. If you want to save your berries for later, learn how to make them last longer in the fridge with my berry wash recipe. 

Clear Jel: It is a superior version of cornstarch because it tolerates higher temperatures and works well with all types of ingredients including acidic ones. Plus it makes your blueberry filling extra shiny! You can use cornstarch if that’s what you have, the measurement is the same.

Lemon juice: The acid of the lemon juice adds a brightness to the blueberry flavor and helps preserve the bright purple color of the berries. A little lemon zest gives the filling depth of flavor.

Salt: Salt makes all the flavors come alive in a sweet berry filling! It will make the sweetness of the berries taste even sweeter. 

Making the Blueberry Pie Filling

  1. Whisk water and Clear Jel (or cornstarch) together in a small bowl to make a slurry and set it aside.whisking cornstarch slurry in a bowl.
  2. Place the blueberries and butter in a large pan over medium high heat and cook for about 1 minute. Pro tip – I like using frozen blueberries because they are always very ripe and tasty, and there’s no need to defrost them.hand adding butter on a spatula to fresh blueberries in a pot.
  3. Add the sugar, water, and salt to the pan and stir them together. hand adding sugar to cooking blueberry mixture in a pot.
  4. Pour the Clear Jel (or cornstarch) mixture into the pan and cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.adding cornstarch slurry to cooking blueberries and stirring with a spatula.
  5. Cook for 1 more minute to make sure the Clear Jel (or cornstarch) is fully cooked. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest. Pro-tip – Cornstarch doesn’t like acid, so it’s best to add the lemon after your cornstarch has cooked out a bit.hand adding lemon juice to cooking blueberry pie filling.
  6. Once it has thickened, remove the filling from the heat and pour it into a cake pan or heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin. Store the blueberry filling in an airtight container for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator or freeze it for 6 months. Clear Jel will continue to thicken as it cools.overhead shot of blueberry filling in a stainless steel pot with a wooden spoon and yellow napkin to the side
  7. Use this recipe to make a 9″ pie, make hand pies, or half the recipe to use as a cake filling.jar of finished blueberry pie filling.

Using the Blueberry Pie Filling

Making Blueberry Pie

If you would like to use this filling for pie, make sure the filling has cooled and your pie dough is prepared and ready to use. This recipe is enough to fill a standard 9-inch pie shell.

For fruit pie or berry pies I prefer to use my flaky pie crust recipe, it’s my favorite pie crust, and I use the mealy dough for custard-style pies.

  1. Roll the prepared dough to about 1/4″ thick and line your pie plate, dock the dough lightly to avoid bubbles while baking.mealy pie dough recipe
  2. Fill the lined pie plate with the cooled blueberry filling.
  3. If desired, cover the pie with a full top crust and cut vents or designs in the top. You can learn how to make a lattice crust in my pie crust video. 
  4. Bake the pie at 425°F for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling bubbling. Pro-tip: Bake your pie on a baking sheet or a piece of foil to prevent the filling from spilling over.
  5. Allow your blueberry pie to cool completely before serving, about 2-3 hours, or your filling will be runny. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! blueberry pie with lattice top.

Making Blueberry Hand Pies

For Hand pies, prepare your hand pie dough according to the recipe. Hand pies come in all shapes and sizes and are great with homemade pie filling.

  1. Roll your dough to 1/4″ thick.rolling out pie dough
  2. Cut out the shape and size of hand pie you desire, I made mine from 6″ round circles of dough. cutting 6" circles of pie dough
  3. Scoop about 2 Tablespoons of filling into the center of the pie dough round.filling hand pies with fruit filling
  4. Brush an egg wash to moisten the edge of the dough, and then fold it in half over the filling and crimp the dough closed. crimping the edge of a hand pie with a fork
  5. Poke some vents in the top of the hand pie or the filling will burst out of the seams.close up of hand pies on a blue baking sheet with parchment paper
  6. Bake the hand pies at 400°F for 15 minutes until they are golden brown.Photo of finished hand pies

Using Blueberry Cake Filling

Cut this recipe in half if you’re making this blueberry filling for a cake. You’ll also want to prepare your cake so that your cake layers don’t slip around or ooze out the sides of cakes.

  1. Make sure your blueberry filling is fully cooled down to at least room temperature before you use it.
  2. Pipe a dam of buttercream around your cake layer and spread a thin layer of your blueberry filling inside. The buttercream keeps the filling from oozing out the sides of the cake.
  3. Keep your blueberry filling layer thin. No more than 1/4″ thick.
  4. If you want more blueberry flavor, you can mix some of the blueberry filling in with buttercream or even whipped cream. Not only does it make a gorgeous purple color but it tastes delicious.

For more information on how to frost and decorate your first cake, you can watch my free tutorial on how to decorate your first cake. In this cake tutorial, I show how to bake perfect cake layers, how to stack, crumb coat, make the perfect final coat of buttercream, and how to decorate.

FAQ

How do you make blueberry pie filling less runny?

Be sure to cook your blueberry filling for 1 minute after it begins to bubble, stirring constantly so that the filling properly thickens. The filling will continue to thicken as it cools so if you want to test, put a small amount on a spoon and freeze it for a couple of minutes. This will cool down the filling quickly and you will be able to assess if it needs more Clear Jel.

How do I store my blueberry filling? 

The blueberry filling will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about two weeks or 6 months in the freezer. You can also try canning your blueberry filling!

What is the best thickener for fresh blueberry pie?

I prefer to use Clear Jel in my fruit fillings because it reacts well with heat and acid. It also makes my filling extra glossy. Cornstarch works great as well, it just doesn’t have the same shine and if added in the wrong order can react with the lemon juice causing a breakdown in the molecules. Flour is another method of thickening fruit filling, but it definitely does not cook clear, has a tendency to clump, and is not friendly to the gluten intolerant. 

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Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of homemade blueberry filling in a clear jar with a spoon

Blueberry Pie Filling

How to make the best homemade thick blueberry filling in just 30 minutes. Perfect for blueberry pie, hand pies, cheesecakes, and even cake filling!
4.77 from 17 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 cups
Calories: 344kcal

Ingredients

Blueberry Filling

  • 32 ounces (907 g) blueberries fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
  • 2 ounces (57 g) unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces (340 g) water or lemon juice
  • 4 ounces (113 g) white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (57 g) Clear Jel (or 2 oz cornstarch)
  • 2 ounce (57 g) cold water for the Clear Jel
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest optional

Equipment

  • 1 medium saucepan

Instructions

Making the Blueberry Pie Filling

  • Whisk water and Clear Jel (or cornstarch) together in a small bowl to make a slurry and set it aside.
  • Place the blueberries and butter in a large pan over medium high heat and cook for about 1 minute. Pro tip – I like using frozen blueberries because they are always very ripe and tasty, and there’s no need to defrost them.
  • Add the sugar, water, and salt to the pan and stir them together. 
  • Pour the Clear Jel (or cornstarch) mixture into the pan and cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.
  • Cook for 1 more minute to make sure the Clear Jel is fully cooked. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest. Pro-tip – Cornstarch doesn’t like acid, so it’s best to add the lemon after your cornstarch has cooked out a bit.
  • Once it has thickened, remove the filling from the heat and pour it into a cake pan or heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin. Store the blueberry filling in an airtight container for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator or freeze it for 6 months. Clear Jel will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Use this recipe to make a 9" pie, make hand pies, or cut the recipe in half to use it as a cake filling.

Making Blueberry Pie

  • If you would like to use this filling for pie, make sure the filling has cooled and your pie dough is prepared and ready to use. This recipe is enough to fill a standard 9-inch pie shell.
  • For fruit pie or berry pies I prefer to use my flaky pie crust recipe, it's my favorite pie crust, and I use the mealy dough for custard-style pies.
  • Roll the prepared dough to about 1/4" thick and line your pie plate, dock the dough lightly to avoid bubbles while baking.
  • Fill the lined pie plate with the cooled blueberry filling.
  • If desired, cover the pie with a full top crust and cut vents or designs in the top. You can learn how to make a lattice crust in my pie crust video. 
  • Bake the pie at 425°F for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling bubbling. Pro-tip: Bake your pie on a baking sheet or a piece of foil to prevent the filling from spilling over.
  • Allow your blueberry pie to cool completely before serving, about 2-3 hours, or your filling will be runny. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
  1. The best investment you can make when you’re getting started with baking is a digital kitchen scale
  2. Using a kitchen scale for baking is super easy and gives you the best results every single time. 
  3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in its place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
  4. If you want extra shiny, beautiful filling, use Clear Jel instead of cornstarch. This is what bakeries use in their fruit fillings. 
  5. Make sure to cook your filling for 1 minute after it begins to bubble to ensure it’s fully thickened and the Clear Jel is cooked.
  6. Cornstarch doesn’t like acid, so it’s best to add the lemon after your cornstarch has cooked out a bit.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 344kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 62g (21%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 12g (18%) | Saturated Fat: 7g (35%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 30mg (10%) | Sodium: 390mg (16%) | Potassium: 196mg (6%) | Fiber: 6g (24%) | Sugar: 51g (57%) | Vitamin A: 478IU (10%) | Vitamin C: 29mg (35%) | Calcium: 23mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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2 comments on “Blueberry Pie Filling

  1. 3 stars
    Tasted out of this world but I couldn’t get it to thicken as much as I needed to use as a cake filling. It would have been perfect over pancakes! I weighed everything exact and if I make it again I may need to boil it longer to get it thicker.

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