Mmmmm, summer fruit: peaches and blueberries dripping sweetness. Capture any fruit you’d like in this easy summer pie with only a bottom crust, and you make it right in the pie plate! This is a recipe my mom learned from her high school friend, Harriet. We call it blueberry pie in the family circle, but any fruit works, so let’s think of it as Harriet’s Pie Redux or Easy, Summery Fruit Pie.
Listen: Play some mellow, chuggin’ Bob Dylan. For example, try his 2006 Modern Times album; tracks like “Thunder on the Mountain,” Spirit on the Water,” and “Someday Baby,” will have you and the fruit groovin’. If you want to add a little throwback, retro feel, add the 1969 Nashville Skyline album to your playlist–you won’t be able to stop. And if you’re still listening to Bob by the time you sit down to eat the pie, may I humbly suggest a 2001 album of covers called Nod to Bob. You won’t be sorry.
Sip: You may like a hot or iced cup of home-brewed, French press, or drip coffee made with beans from Peet’s. Try the Major Dickason blend.
Begin by opening the kitchen windows and door as you’ll be preheating the oven, during summer, to 375 degrees, or make the pie in the cool morning hours and hope it lasts until “dessert of dinner” as my darling Sarah Rose used to call it.
In the pie plate, let 1 cube (1/2 cup) soften to room temperature. Add 1 pinch salt, 1 cup flour, and 1T vinegar. Mix it around with a spatula or spoon and then pat into the pie plate with your fingers. Yes, this is really the crust, and it will become a staple at your house. It’s like lovely thin shortbread, a perfect foil for the summery fruit.
Prep the fruit you have on hand from the farmers’ market, your CSA, or your yard, or the produce in-season sale. (Rinse berries, peel and slice peaches or plums, you get the idea.) In a bowl, toss 2 cups of fresh fruit with 2T flour and some sugar (to taste, if necessary) and a dash of cinnamon. Prep an additional 1/2 c or more of fruit to arrange on top the cooked pie after it comes out of the oven. Blueberries are especially good for this because they hold up in their hardy little jackets. Pour the fruit into the prepped pie crust.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden. Top the cooked pie with and additional 1/2 cup of fresh fruit.
Cool, if you can wait, and then choose your lily-gilder topping: a sprinkle of powdered sugar through a sieve (only if it’s really cool, or this will just dissolve into the fruit); a bit of vanilla ice cream, a bit of whipped cream (homemade, please!), or, for another foil for the sweetness, try a dollop of crème fraîche.