Looking upward on a morning run, I was caught off guard when I spotted branches of leaves that were green, turning to yellow and orange. “Whoa,” I said between breaths, “not yet!” Knowing full well I can’t change the march of seasons, I decided to intentionally savor remaining summertime pleasures, including berries and tree-ripened peaches, nectarines and plums.
My friend Kay Miller’s fabulous summer go-to Fruit and Berry Pie recipe that mingles the sweet flavors came to mind. Kids can be part of the prep. While your school-age child washes the berries and peels the juicy peaches, a younger sibling can press the simple cookie-like crust into a pan. And there’s a lemon or two to juice and zest. Serve the sun-kissed flavors to rave reviews Labor Day weekend at a family barbecue. The refreshing dessert will taste like summer is here to stay — even if a few leaves are turning to trick us.
FRESH FRUIT AND BERRY PIE
For the crust: 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
For the filling: 1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups orange juice (pulp free)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 cups firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
Whipped cream, for serving
1. Heat oven to 400 F. Grease the sides and base of a 9-inch metal pie pan.
2. To make the crust, mix together the butter, sugar and egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and stir until it holds together. Pat it down evenly with your hands in the bottom and partially up the sides of the pie pan. Bake 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned around edges. Set aside and cool.
3. To make the filling, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly add orange juice and mix thoroughly. An adult should turn the stovetop to medium-low heat and stir occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken (about 4-5 minutes) and comes to a boil. Watch carefully. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from burner, add the lemon juice and zest and stir. Let cool.
4. Stir in the fruit and berries, and then spoon the mixture into the pie crust.
5. Chill to set for at least 3 hours before serving. Makes 8 servings.
6. To serve: Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Serve cold, topped with whipped cream. NOTE: Substitute fruit with nectarines, kiwi or unpeeled plums.