Home of Economy-Herald pie recipes: Hanson's 'Black Tie Blueberry Pie' a fruity, creamy contrast

Hanson finished second in the 16-baker tournament, held in August-September at Home of Economy

Black Tie Bluberry Pie by Jill Hanson.jpg
"Black Tie Blueberry Pie," by Jill Hanson.
Grand Forks Herald
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At first glance, Jill Hanson’s first-round pie in the 2022 Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off was a lot to take in.

Jill Hanson, Newfolden.jpg
Jill Hanson, of Newfolden, Minnesota, is a finalist in the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

What is that dark blue, almost black, filling? How many layers are there? And what is that design on top?

The answers were provided with a simple taste – and the recipe, of course.

The filling was blueberries, and a lot of them. The recipe calls for three pints of the tasty summertime fruit. That extra layer was cream cheese, providing a contrast to the thick layer of fruit that rested on top of it.

And the design? Well, we’re still not sure if it’s there simply for beauty or to make certain that each slice has an ample helping of sweet, homemade whipped cream. It’s probably both.


Hanson finished second in the 16-baker tournament, held in August-September at Home of Economy. Following is her recipe for “Black Tie Blueberry Pie.” During the holiday season, the Herald will be publishing the recipes of all 30 pies entered in this year's Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Recipes will variously publish in print, e-editions and online and will be compiled on the Herald's website.

Black Tie Blueberry Pie

Baker: Jill Hanson

Hometown: Newfolden, Minnesota

Business sponsor: Hugo’s Family Marketplace


1-⅛ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup lard (cold)


¾ tsp salt

3 to 4 Tbsp ice cold water


Mix flour and salt, cut in lard until fine and mealy. Add water, stir with fork, do not overwork dough. With hands, form dough into disc shape, wrap with cling wrap, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

After dough has chilled, preheat oven to 425°. Roll out on floured surface, put in pie plate, trim edges leaving about 1 inch overhang to turn under and crimp edges. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes, just until lightly brown. (I use parchment paper and pie weights to keep crust from falling or bubbling). Remove from oven and place on cooling rack to cool completely.


3 pints fresh blueberries, divided

¾ cup sugar


Enough water to cover berries

9 Tbsp cornstarch

¼ cup cold water


Clean and wash blueberries. Reserve 27 to 30 nice berries for decorating and 1 pint of blueberries to fold into cooled blueberry filling. Put remaining blueberries (almost 2 pints) into medium saucepan and add enough water to just barely cover blueberries. Add sugar and bring to boil, stirring often. While berries are starting to cook, in 1 cup measuring cup, mix cornstarch and cold water to make a slurry, set this slurry aside. When berries begin to boil, continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring often, and you may have to turn burner to med-low. After 2 minutes, stir slurry and slowly add this slurry to your boiling berries. Be sure to stir constantly, while slowly adding slurry. Boil filling for 2 more minutes. Filling will be very thick.

Set filling aside to cool, stir often.

Cream Cheese Layer

1 8-oz. Cream cheese

7 Tbsp powdered sugar


With electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy and light. Put all this in center of baked pie shell. With the back of a soup spoon, spread this evenly up the sides of the pie shell, just to the inside of the crimped edge. Go all the way around and then continue to spread evenly in bottom of shell. Place cream cheese-lined crust in fridge to chill.

Back to the homemade filling. When completely cooled to room temperature, fold in the last pint of fresh blueberries. Fill cream cheese-lined crust with the blueberry filling. Cover lightly with wax paper and return pie to fridge to set. At least 4 to 6 hours, I do overnight.

Whipped Topping

Whip 1-¼ cup heavy whipping cream with ⅓ cup powdered sugar to semi firm peaks. Add 1 tsp pure vanilla and 1 rounded Tbsp instant vanilla pudding mix. Hand whisk to firm peak.

Put in piping bag and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bow Ties

¼ cup black chocolate melts

Melt in microwave-safe bowl in microwave on defrost, 30 seconds, stir, continue to melt (defrost) in 30 second increments until fully melted.

Put melted chocolate in small zip lock bag, cut off a small amount of one corner of bag (use like a piping bag) to pipe small bow ties onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Allow bow ties to cool on sheet, set aside.

When ready to serve pie, decorate pie with piped whipped topping and bow ties with blueberry buttons. Cut pies into 6 slices.

Can slice pie into more slices and decorate individual slices, but I do 6 slices, as this pie is one of my family’s favorites.

More pies
Here is Olson’s recipe for “Strata Pie.” During the holiday season, the Herald published the recipes of all 30 pies entered in this year's Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Related Topics: GFH PIES
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