Tasty Tuesday: Fresh fruit pie

This week I’m bringing back one of my favorite summer recipes out of the archives. I’m spending time with my son, Nate, who is home for a week from Haiti. Since this recipe really does bear repeating (and repeating and repeating and repeating) I won’t even apologize for reminding you of this most amazing dessert!

I’m so in the mood for peaches and blueberries …..mostly because they make the most amazing fresh fruit pies. People in my house have been known to behave badly when blueberry pies are on the line.

Fresh fruit pies are some of the most delicious desserts on the planet. They’re also really nice to look at, as long as you look FAST because they’re gone in no time. The secret of fresh fruit pies is that the fruit isn’t cooked, so it retains its vivid colors and firm shape.

This is one of our favorite recipes at My Sister’s Kitchen. Our favorite fresh fruit pies are peach and blueberry…and frequently a combination of both. It really helps to start early in the day because it’s important that the pie have time to “set up” in the fridge before you serve it.

Crust: Here’s my true confession. Those crusts in the box are wonderful. Perfect. I don’t ever make pie crust from scratch because I hate the counter clean-up afterwards. So….I put the crust in a pie plate, use a fork to poke hundreds of holes into it, and then bake it at 375 degrees until it’s golden brown. The fork holes are really important; the crust has a tendency to shrink and slide down the sides of the pie plate while it’s in the oven. The fork pokes make it all stay nicely in place.

And a word about pans. It’s possible to make pies in metal pans. It might even be preferable to make pies in aluminum pie plates if you want to bring the pie somewhere and not deal with a pan to take home after. In general, however, heavy ceramic or glass pyrex pie plates are the BEST.

If you’re making peach pie, blanch the peaches and remove the skin. (Blanching fruit involves putting it into a pan of boiling water for 20 seconds and then transferring it into a bowl of cold water. This loosens the skin and makes it very easy to peel.) Cut the peaches into slices.

Making the glace’: for each pie you’re making, take a cup of peach slices (I always use the ugliest, least ripe, or otherwise less desireable pieces to make the glace’) and add it to a cup of water in a saucepan. Cook over a medium burner, mashing with a potato masher, until the fruit is soft and nearly pureed.

Add a 1/2 c. sugar per pie and simmer for about ten minutes. Stir 3 T. cornstarch (per pie) into 2/3 c. of cold water (per pie).

Bring the fruit, sugar, and water mixture to a boil and slowly stir in the cornstarch/water mixture. Cook until clear and thickened.

Remove from burner. Do not overcook the cornstarch because it will eventually break down and become thin again if it’s cooked too long.

The Magic Ingredient: Fresh fruit pies leap from delicious to AMAZING when you add a magic ingredient. Cream together 4 ounces of cream cheese and 1/4 c. sugar. Spread this mixture in the bottom of the baked pie shell. Pour the cooling glace’ over the sliced peaches and mix together. Fill the pie shell with this; leave a well in the center of the pie and heap blueberries or blackberries in the center. This makes the pie absolutely gorgeous.

You can make this fruit pie with any kind of fruit. In general, you want one cup of fruit per pie in the glace’ mix. Keep in mind that the fruit never cooks, so this won’t work well with a fruit like apples. I have, on occasion, layered bananas on the bottom of peach pies.

If the pie doesn’t set up completely, it will still taste delicious, but it won’t look as pleasing on the plate. This pie is also excellent for breakfast. And with the Magic Ingredient, it’s not much different than having a bagel and cream cheese with a piece of fruit. (cough, cough.)

Fresh fruit pie in all its glory. As you can see, there is some crust-slump on one side. I didn’t poke enough holes in the crust before baking the shell. Now, if you eat this entire pie before your guests arrive (and it could happen!) remember that the best place in the High Country to dash out and BUY a pie from is Stickboy Bread Company. They’ve been featuring their pies recently and they are DEEEELISH!

Barb, writing for My Sister’s Kitchen – don’t forget that we’re on FacebookAND Twitter now! “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the very latest in the Kitchen..