Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Best of Summer" Pie and My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe

Since Summer seems to be far from over here in San Diego, I was inspired this weekend to take some of my favorite Summer fruit (peaches, nectarines and blueberries) and bake them into a pie. For me, pie is the ultimate Summer dessert. It's relatively easy to make, portable (take it to a party, barbecue or potluck) and you just feel good eating it!

This also gives me the perfect opportunity to share my favorite pie crust recipe with you. I've tested several pie crust recipes - all butter, all shortening, a combination of butter and shortening, but to me the all butter recipe wins hands down. You just can't beat the taste of butter. Butter really is better. While some may believe you need shortening to achieve the flaky texture that everyone loves, you really don't as long as you remember the 3 important rules for good pie crust - keep your ingredients cold, don't overwork your dough and use proper techniques. After a lot of testing, this recipe and method from Inspired Taste (via Cooks Illustrated) worked best for me. I love that it's made in the Food Processor which gives you consistent results. When it comes to research, you really can't beat Cooks Illustrated. They really get behind the science of why certain recipes and techniques work and they do all the research for you!

Click here for my favorite pie crust recipe.
Check out all the marbling in the dough...when the heat from the oven hits the moisture from the butter, it creates steam which results in a flaky c.rust
Now on to this delicious pie. The combination of peaches, nectarines and blueberries really is a winner, but feel free to use your favorite Summer fruit. The crust, as promised, is golden, buttery and flaky. I hope you'll give this "Best of Summer" Pie recipe a try!


"Best of Summer" Peach Nectarine Blueberry Pie
3 large peaches, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
2 large nectaries, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
3/4 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1/4 cup brown sugar*
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest and juice from half of a fresh lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 double crust pie crust
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water)
Sugar in the Raw for sprinkling on crust
* increase amount of brown sugar if your fruit isn't very sweet


Place all of the fruit into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with a rubber spatula to coat. Add the lemon zest and juice and toss again. Set aside. Tip: Don't use fruit that is overly ripe or it will get too mushy during baking. Adding fresh lemon zest and juice to fruit fillings brightens the flavor of the fruit

Crack the egg into a small bowl or ramekin. Add 1 tablespoon cold water and whisk with a fork to combine. Set aside.

Roll out one disk of pie dough on a well floured surface. Carefully place into pie pan. Arrange the fruit mixture on top. Make sure the fruit is distributed as evenly as possible. Tuck the small chunks of butter into the filling.

Roll out the top crust and place on top of the fruit filling. Trim if needed, then fold under the edges of the bottom crust and crimp to seal and create a decorative border.

Place the pie in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Tip: This gives the dough time to chill and relax.

While the pie is chilling, preheat oven to 400f and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat it. Tip:  Preheating the baking sheet helps to bake the bottom crust. No soggy bottoms here!

After 15 minutes, remove the pie from the refrigerator and brush lightly and evenly with egg wash. Sprinkle crust with sugar and cut a few vent holes in the top. Tip: Brushing with egg wash and sprinking with sugar helps to create a golden crust and add sweetness and texture.

Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet in the oven. Bake at 400f for 15 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350. Bake for another 45-50 minutes or until filling is hot and bubbly. Cover the edges of the pie crust with stripes of foil or a baking shield if the edges start to get too brown before it's ready to remove from the oven.

Remove from oven and allow to cool at least an hour and a half before slicing. This gives the filling time to thicken.

Store at room temperature for 1 day or lightly covered in the refrigerator for 2 days.


  1. OMG, this looks so yummy. A perfect summer dessert to make when I once again have an over abundance of peaches. Can't wait to make it.

    1. Thanks Robbie! I love peaches and this pie is definitely a great way to use them. Can't wait until it's peach season again. Thanks for the comment. Appreciate it!!