Yield: 8 servings

Cook’s notes: Pulverizing an herb or citrus zest (the outermost part of the rind) with sugar in a processor is a great way to maximize flavor. If you do this with zest, use a vegetable peeler to remove strips from the fruit, pressing down gently so you get just the top layer of the rind, avoiding the bitter, white pith underneath. This pie is adapted from one in my book “Desserts From an Herb Garden.” In my pie dough recipe in the book, I use vegetable shortening. It’s a great crust, but I’m now convinced enough of the dangers of hydrogenated oils to have made the switch to an all-butter crust. This pie uses frozen berries, just because I love blueberry pie long after the season is over. To make it with fresh berries, reduce the tapioca to 3 tablespoons.

6 cups (3 1-pound bags) frozen blueberries
2 rounds of pie dough, unbaked

1 cup granulated sugar
1/ 2 cup whole basil leaves
1/ 4 cup instant tapioca
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or granulated sugar

Using 1 or 2 paper towel-lined baking sheets, turn berries out in a single layer to thaw somewhat for at least 30 minutes. (I like a juicy pie with berries that stay plump; if you want a firmer pie, let berries thaw almost completely, at least 1 hour, and be sure they are drained well.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Transfer one pie round to a 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass or pottery. Unfold and gently tuck it into the sides of the pan. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place granulated sugar and basil leaves in a food processor; process until basil is minced into the sugar. Turn into a large bowl and stir in tapioca.

With your hands, transfer berries to the bowl with the sugar, letting any large ice crystals drop onto the paper towels, Sprinkle the berries with the lemon juice, then toss berries and sugar together gently with a spatula. Turn berry mixture into the pie crust, mounding berries in the center.
Place the remaining disk of dough over the berries. Tuck under the overhang of both pieces of dough and crimp the edges; cut a small steam vent into center of the top, making a decorative pattern of a few vents if you wish. Brush dough gently with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Place pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips; bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 400 degrees and bake 35 to 40 minutes more, until the top is deep golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before cutting.

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