Ahhh... summer in the Midwest!
Our fruit bearing trees and bushes are bursting with ripe, flavorful fruit. I have many fond memories from my childhood of apple and peach picking at an orchard in Missouri, climbing, like a monkey, high up in the trees to find the sweetest and ripest fruit. After picking it from the tree branch I would fill my basket or toss it down to my parents below to add to their bushel basket. But, I always saved the most perfect fruit to eat while hanging in the treetops... fruit juice dripping down my arm.
We also had a strawberry patch close where our family would pick in the early summer, as well. I was tasked by my Mom to fill up a flat, but couldn't resist plopping those sweet strawberries in my mouth. Each one more perfect, juicy and beautiful than the last. Bending over and squatting to pick the berries eventually got too tiring for Mom, so I was forced to leave my strawberry pig-out!
As an adult I have enjoyed blueberry picking yearly at a local orchard in Kansas. Every year we strap a gallon bucket with a piece of twine around our waists, put on our sun hats and sun-block and walk the fields of beautiful, fruit laden bushes! The clumps of berries are so easy to pick and come off by the fistfuls! When they were little, I took my children there to 'help' Mom pick berries for our family to eat. I usually had to weed out lots of green berries, but they always had a blast eating right off the plants. There is nothing like the taste of a fresh blueberry right off the bush. The extra bonus about blueberries is that they can go straight from the orchard to your freezer, carefully measured out for a Blueberry Pie!
For any fresh fruit pie there is a simple formula for making the perfect pie. It all comes down to portioning out your fruit, sugar and thickener correctly to make a nice pie that will set up on a plate when sliced. Believe me, I have done the research and believe that this is the best portioning recipe for a Fresh Fruit Pie.
Fresh Fruit Pie Recipe
You will need a double pie crust for any traditional fruit pie. Prepare a 9", deep-dish pie pan with an unbaked pie crust. Place your remaining pie dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the pie filling. Then, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare 4 - 6 cups of fruit (clean, stem, slice into bite sized pieces). Any amount of fruit in this range will work with the ingredients following with a little adjusting.
In your bowl with the fruit, add 1/4 - 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour (depending on the amount of fruit added, you can adjust). That same instruction goes for the sugar addition of 1/2 - 3/4 cup. Please adjust per tartness of fruit. If you are using gooseberries, you may want to use 1 cup to balance the tartness of the berry. Lightly toss the flour and sugar with the berries and then pour into your prepared pie dish.
Dot the top of the pie filling with 2 tablespoons of butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon, if you like. This adds to the richness of the filling. Roll out your crust for the top, place over the fruit filling, crimp the edges and add cut-outs for venting steam while baking.
I like to add a foil paper edge to the crust, so it will not burn and remove it part way through the baking process. Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, remove the foil edge and then bake additional 15 minutes until the fruit is bubbling through the vents in your top crust.
Use this recipe with lots of different fresh fruits... apple, peach, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, pear, plum. I have even combined fruits when running low on one. Most important is to have fun with your pie creation!
There is nothing like enjoying a pie that you have made from scratch, especially if you harvest the fruit yourself! Have fun this summer and I hope you get a chance to bake a summer fruit pie using tips from Pie Baker Lady! Let me know how it goes at piebakerlady.com.