Almond Extract Is The Secret Ingredient You Need For Richer Blueberry Pie

A slice of blueberry pie hits all the right notes. Between its sweet fruity filling and its buttery and flaky crust, made-from-scratch pie takes taste buds on a gustatory ride that's hard to top. But, what if there was a way to make each bite taste more deliciously decadent? With almond extract, you can do exactly that. Capable of taking the fruit-forward dessert to another level, this ingredient is essential when it comes to crafting a truly drool-worthy pie.

Many recipes for baked goods call for flavored extracts. The reason being that a splash of extract can effortlessly add another dimension of flavor, ensuring its full diffusion in a recipe. Vanilla tends to be the go-to choice for cake batters and cookie doughs, however, there are endless flavors to choose from. Of these many options, almond extract proves to be an unbeatable match for blueberry pie.

While deliciously fruity, blueberry pie filling can risk being one-dimensional. A splash of almond extract adds complexity. Offering notes of nuts, earth, and toast, the extract can balance any cloying sweetness, while its malted quality can also complement the pie's buttery crust. What's more, almond extract also provides a creaminess that accentuates the velvety texture of the filling and the richness of the crust, making blueberry pie taste increasingly indulgent.

What to remember when using almond extract in pie

Almond extract can be found in the baking (or sometimes spice) aisle of any grocery store. While it can be overwhelming to determine which bottle is best, the ideal almond extract should boast a fragrant nuttiness and rich, but not overwhelming, flavor. It also shouldn't have an unpleasantly bitter aftertaste. That said, pure almond extract can be a good option for those seeking a mellow and authentic flavor. Others may prefer a budget-friendly imitation almond extract with its sweet, marzipan-driven profile. Ultimately, it boils down to preference. 

Given its intensity, use almond extract sparingly. Generally, a half teaspoon is all that's needed to impart depth into a whole pie. Note that it can either be used in place of, or in conjunction with vanilla extract, so long as a lesser amount of almond extract is used. As for when to introduce the nutty extract into your pie recipe, feel free to add a splash directly into the crust before rolling and baking. Alternatively, stir it into the filling once the blueberry and sugar mixture has fully reduced. Then assemble and bake as usual for a luxuriously decadent result, loaded with layers of flavor dimension.

The question is, why stop at using the ingredient in just blueberry pie? You could add a drop or two to vanilla cake, for example, or take the flavor of chocolate chip cookies one stage nuttier, with a dash of almond extract in the mix.