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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Easy Summer Pie

Strawberry-peach pie is an easy, quick, tasty, and almost low-cal way to use abundant summer fruit.

This time of year you might find yourself with too many strawberries, either because you've got a prolific garden or because you bought the super-jumbo 64-ounce package at the food warehouse.

As summer moves along, the supermarkets will be brimming with specials on all kinds of fruit.

Here's a dessert  that's quick, easy, and refreshing, but not too sweet and not too caloric. 

(If you're good at making pie crusts, more power to you. Go for it. We've never mastered the art, and today's supermarkets have frozen crusts that are much closer to homemade, so that's what we tend to use.)

We learned this from our friend Cynthia, who has a peach tree that provides more than enough fruit for her family, her freezer, and her friends.

Fruit Pie

One pie crust
4 cups of raw fruit, cut into large, 1-inch-by-1-inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven, and a baking sheet, to 350 degrees.

2. Thaw the frozen crust for 15 minutes or take out the homemade one and pierce the bottom and sides many times with a fork. Bake the empty crust on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes. Let cool. (By preheating the baking sheet and leaving the crust on it to cool, you'll get a slightly crisper crust.)

3. Meanwhile, put the cut-up fruit in a saucepan and bring to a boil. You want to end up with about 4 cups of filling, so mix enough peaches and strawberries, or strawberries and rhubarb, or anything you like, to give you that amount. The heat will draw liquid out of the fruit, so before it boils, taste it for sweetness. Add sugar, but be stingy. For the strawberry-peach pie in the photo, we used about a third of a cup of sugar. If you're using rhubarb or another tart fruit, you'll need a little more sugar. If your fruit is ripe and sweet, you'll probably only need a quarter cup.

4. As the fruit begins to boil, put in cornstarch. We usually end up putting in about 3 tablespoons, but we like our pies a little bit runny. You can add more cornstarch to thicken the pie, but the more cornstarch you use, the cloudier the pie looks. It won't affect the taste.

5. Let the fruit thicken a bit and make sure that all of the cornstarch is mixed in.
Remove from heat and let cool.

6. When both the fruit and the crust are cool, pour the fruit into the crust and put the pie in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Both whipped cream and ice cream are good with this. So is dessert wine.


  1. Oh my this looks amazing! Nothing sounds fresher for summer than a delicious strawberry pie!