Your Formula for Summer Fruit Pie

Your Formula for Summer Fruit Pie

Written by Emily

Summer fruit is hitting the markets and I am in pie heaven.  There are so many beautiful choices now and the combinations to put into a pie crust are endless.  If I wrote a recipe for every fruit pie I made, you would see that the foundation for each one is the same.  So, rather than give you lots of variations of the same recipe, I thought I would give you the base formula for building your perfect pie.

Pie Eyed is all about helping you make pie and enjoy doing it.  We want your pie making to become intuitive so you can be one with your kitchen and crank out pies like a rock star. Less stress, more zen. Learning the mechanics of a successful fruit pie will free you of recipes and allow you to get creative as you find new things available at the markets this summer.

Fruit, sugar, lemon, vanilla, cornstarch, spices, rinse repeat. 

  1. Pie crust for a 9 inch pie
  2. 4-5 cups of fruit of your choice (air on the side of less if juicy berries)
  3. 1/4 – 1/3 cup granulated sugar (adjust depending on sweetness of fruit)
  4. Squeeze of lemon to brighten up the fruit
  5. Splash of vanilla extract (or almond with cherry!)
  6. 3T cornstarch mixed with 2T sugar and spice of your choice
  7. Top crust or a crumble top
  8. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes until juices bubble and crust is golden brown

Here’s how it goes down in my kitchen:

  • No measuring of fruit.  I just eyeball what seems like enough fruit to fill up the pie shell and place it into a bowl. Sometimes it’s heaping and sometimes I run out of fruit and it’s a shallower pie. For most berries and juicier fruit, you want to avoid heaping because this will result in juice overflow while it’s baking.  Filling the pie shell just shy of the top is the goal.  I usually have fruit left over, so I put it in ramekins, cover with left over crumble topping and make single serving crisps.
  • I slice open a lemon and squeeze one half over the fruit.
  • I grab the bag of sugar and sprinkle a light coating over the fruit – about 1/4 cup.  I don’t like to use a lot of sugar. While it sits, some juice will run and you can discard that to help prevent a soggy bottom.
  • If I want vanilla (I’m a vanilla fanatic to the answer is always yes unless I’m using rhubarb), I put a couple of splashes in and toss the fruit. Almond extract is great with sour cherry.
  • Using a small ramekin, I put 3T of cornstarch, dashes of any spices I want (Cardamom with peach! Cinnamon with berries! Nutmeg with sour cherry!) and a little sugar to get it mixed together.  Sometimes I use brown sugar if I want a deeper flavor.
  • Dump that over the fruit when it’s time to put it in the oven, mix well and place into the pie shell. Bake at 425 on the lower rack for 15 minutes then turn temperature down to 350 and bake for about 30-40 minutes until juices are thick and bubbly. 

Done and done!

Links for pie topping options:

Pie crust recipes 

Basic crumble top

How to make a lattice top crust 

Decorative top crust 

Here’s to a summer filled with the best pie ever!

One thought on "Your Formula for Summer Fruit Pie"

  1. Christie Yonkers says:

    I love this post, Em! I’ve been thinking of writing something similar. Don’t forget almond extract in place of vanilla for sour cherry pies…yum! I have a few variations of crumble toppings to add to this list (because you know I can’t have them add much sweetness so I’ve experimented with flavors I like), but those will have to come in future posts! 🙂
    <3 Christie

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