by Lee Juslin
At the end of this article is a $1 off coupon for a milkshake at the Reedley Sandwich Shop!
Is there anything more satisfying than a fresh baked pie made from the bounty of fresh fruits available in the summer? Forget those flat, soggy things the grocery stores call pie and instead make your own, fancy pie in an hour or less. Even if you’ve never baked anything, this is easy and will make you look like an experienced baker.
Martha Stewart, watch and learn.
First, let’s be clear. I do not pretend to be Betty Crocker. I use a prepared bottom crust all ready in a convenient, disposal tinfoil pie pan coupled with a ready to go top crust. And, I often buy my crusts in—gulp, I hate to admit this—Walmart. I’ve found them to be surprisingly tasty especially when my secret recipe nestles inside.
Prepare the bottom crust by pricking it in three or four places with a fork and set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl add your peeled (peaches and apples) and washed fruit. My all time favorite is a combination of peaches and blueberries. But, either alone works well as do apples. Mix in one half cup sugar—I use brown sugar—and about a tablespoon or two of ground cinnamon. Using a big spoon, mix thoroughly. Be sure to use well ripened peaches. If they are hard, they may not cook thoroughly.
Now, for my secret ingredient: spiced rum. Pour about one quarter cup over the mixed fruit and stir in. You can used Captain Morgan or one of the cheaper brands works just as well. Pour the seasoned fruit into the bottom crust. I never know how many peaches or apples to use, but I can usually tell when I have enough to mound gently in the crust.
Before putting on the top crust, sprinkle the fruit mixture with flour. Probably about one third cup sprinkled evenly over the pie is enough. This will bind the juices as the pie cooks and make it much easier to slice and serve. You may not find this step in your basic fruit pie recipe but it’s important because, with adding the rum, your pie will be very juicy.
Take the rolled top crust out of its packaging and place evenly over the pie. Gently pinch together the fluted rim of the bottom crust and the top crust allowing the excess of the top crust to hang down. I pinch the crusts using the thumb and index finger of both hands on the crust edge next to each other. Pinch and twist slightly working your way around the crust. Using a sharp slicing knife, hold the pie from underneath with one hand and cut away the excess top crust. Cut as close as you can to the crimped area without damaging it.
Instead of discarding the excess crust, use it to make your pie a work of art. Ball it up in your hands and, on a floured cutting board, roll it out as you would cookie dough. Select a small to medium sized cookie cutter in a shape that you like such as an animal, fish, stars, or hearts. You can even combine and alternate different shapes. Carefully cut out shapes from the rolled dough. Wet the back of the cut shape and stick to the pie crust. I find three or four shapes placed around the crust work well.
If you want to get really fancy, try decorating the “cookies” as you might Christmas cookies. You can use colored décor icing that comes in tubes to add collars to dogs or colored trim on other shapes. Be creative.
To finish, prick the top center of your pie twice with a fork and spray the pie with Pam Cooking Spray. This will help the pie to turn a nice golden brown as it cooks. Use a pizza or other pan larger than your pie underneath to catch any drips. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 425 for about 40 minutes. Be sure to cook your pie long enough to insure that the fresh fruit is cooked. The top crust should be well browned but not burned. Serve with ice cream and get ready for the compliments.
This is a great project to do with children and a spectacular dessert for a summer gathering. It’s also wonderful to prepare and freeze an unbaked pie to take out and bake for the holidays. If you do this do not spray with Pam until you are ready to bake.
If you need a more formal recipe, check any basic cookbook for Fruit Pie.
You can read more about my Scottie Pie here: Scottie Pie.
Check out Lee’s Terrier Cake right here at KRL!