Seasonal Baking: Easy as Pie: How To Make Pies From In-Season, Fresh Fruit

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In late summer and fall, many fruits are at their peak. While it’s always fun (and tasty) to eat fruits like cherries, apples, raspberries, and blueberries straight from the tree or bush, using these same fruits in baking can be an equally gratifying way to enjoy your local harvest. Fruit pies, for example, are vitamin-rich and fun-filled crowd pleasers. After all, no matter what the season, who can resist a fresh, homemade pie?

Below are some tried and true recipes which can help you create this year’s best pies.

Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!

Table of Contents

The Crust

Before venturing to make any pie, it’s important to consider the crust. Does it call for a traditional crust or for an alternative (such as a graham cracker crust)? Does the pie need both a base and a top-cover crust? Is a store-bought crust as good as the homemade version?

To make a traditional crust at home, try this recipe:

Traditional Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Make a paste by mixing about 2 tablespoons of flour with the milk and vinegar. Set aside. Next, cut the butter into the remainder of the flour and mix by hand. Add the paste mixture to the flour and butter. Mix by hand to form a well-blended dough.
  2. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Cover a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to form one (or two, if needed) crust layers. Fold over dough with a flat spatula and place in pie tin or over pie.
  3. If the dough rips or tears, simply wet your hands with water and smooth out the dough to repair.

The Pies

Now that the crust is ready to go, choose from among any of the following fruit fillings.

Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 cups of fresh cherries (with the pits removed)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. tapioca
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tbsp. butter (at room temperature)

Directions:

  1. Mix together cherries and sugar. Blend well. Stir in tapioca and almond extract. Let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Pour filling into a pie dish lined with pre-made pie crust.
  2. Slice butter over filling and cover the pie with another layer of crust. Wet your hands with water to smooth the pie’s edges. Make 4-5 slits in the top of the pie.
  3. Bake in 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until fruit juices start to flow.

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. tapioca
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix together blueberries and sugar. Blend well. Stir in tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour filling into a pie dish lined with pre-made pie crust.
  2. Cover the pie with another layer of crust. Wet your hands with water to smooth the pie’s edges. Make 4-5 slits in the top of the pie.
  3. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake pie for another 35 minutes or until fruit juices start to flow.

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups peeled, sliced tart apples
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter (at room temperature)

Directions:

  1. Use a hand mixer to mix together apples, white sugar and brown sugar until well-blended. Blend well.
  2. Stir in flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let sit just long enough for mixture to produce a thick liquid. Pour filling into a pie dish lined with pre-made pie crust. Slice butter over apple filling.
  3. Cover the pie with another layer of crust. Wet your hands with water to smooth the pie’s edges. Make 4-5 slits in the top of the pie.
  4. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake pie for 40 minutes or until fruit juices start to flow.

No matter what the season, surprise your friends and relatives with homemade, fresh fruit-filled pies. It the perfect way to end – or begin – a meal!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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