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Susan S. Yeske: Recipe of the Week

Summer fruits beg for pie


Summer is a season that is made for pie.
Of course we eat pies during cold weather, but summer is lush with fruits that beg to be mixed with sugar and seasonings and encased in golden pastry. Properly baked and fresh from the oven, they are ready for a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, making them the perfect summer dessert.
Peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all are in season at local farms and farm markets, and are available to be wrapped into pies. The first apples of the year ripen in the last half of summer, ready to be made into America’s favorite dessert.
Pies and tarts have been around since the ancient Egyptians, although for many centuries they were predominantly savory rather than sweet. The Colonists brought their pie-making skills with them when they crossed the Atlantic, and promptly got to work making pies out of whatever they had. Sadly, in those early years of America, people didn’t eat the crusts. They were too hard to eat, so they were used as a container to hold the filling.
Today we love our crusts, even though some home bakers are intimidated by the idea of making them from scratch. That’s okay; you can always buy crusts at the grocery store that work just fine or use puff pastry.
You don’t even need a pie plate if you make this forgiving rustic galette from (recipe follows). The most important thing is to enjoy some fruit pie during these summer months.

Five-Minute Rustic Fruit Galette

1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust (homemade or from the supermarket)

2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling on crust

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 large egg, beaten

2 to 3 cups of fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces (This one includes strawberries, blueberries and a nectarine, but you can use any fruit you like.)

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Gently unfold and lay out pie crust on a baking sheet lined with parchment or on a baking stone.
  2. In a separate bowl, gently mix together the (sliced) fruit (peeled if you prefer), sugar and cornstarch. Then pour into a strainer to release any extra juices. (Just baking this will release plenty.) Pour the mixture in the center of the unfolded pie crust leaving a 2-inch border. Fold up the uncovered border over the edge of the fruit and pinch into pleats. Then brush the egg onto the crust, and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until crust is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.