It’s summer. So it’s hot. And it might not seem like the time to bake, getting your kitchen all steamy and what not. But with all the delicious fruit available at farmer’s markets and grocery stores, well, pies are really the answer to a mid-summer dilemma.
Pies have always had an old-fashioned connotation. A cook’s staple. There’s a reason they’ve been around so long. They’re fucking yummy. Add ice cream and viola… sweet warm fruit pares with frozen cream to make something fab, y’all.
One of my fondest memories is of my Aunt Jessie’s rhubarb pie. The tartness combined with fresh from the cow that morning cream adding just that right touch of sweetness t make the tart stand out. I’ve tried to recreate that pie. To no avail. They either come out too sweet or not sweet enough. So I moved on and discovered strawberries in my rhubarb go together just fine. Those pies never seem to come out too sweet or not sweet enough. They one out just right.
The tale of the second pie stems from how great the strawberry rhubarb version came out. I liked the tartness of one thing melding together with the sweetness of another. So I looked. And looked. High and low, I looked. Nothing seemed to catch my fancy. Until I stumbled onto a recipe for peach raspberry pie. Holy Smokes, Batman. That combo sounded fab-u-lous. Raspberry with their tart and tangy taste. And peaches. Oh my goodness. I used to live in Georgia. Back in the day. Way back, yo. If you’ve EVER lived in or near Georgia in the summer, peaches became your best friend. I love them. Off the vine, cut up, in Bellinis, in cobblers and in pies. So I made magic in the kitchen.
So ends my tale of two pies.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
1¼ cups plus 2 tsp. sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
3 cups halved and hulled strawberries
2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp. milk
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Mix together 1¼ cups of the sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, then add rhubarb and strawberries, tossing well to coat evenly.
2. Fill bottom crust with rhubarb–strawberry mixture and scatter butter on top. Cover with remaining pastry round (discarding wax paper) and crimp edges together to seal. Score top to allow steam to escape, brush with milk, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp. sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes. If edge of crust browns too quickly, cover edge with a strip of aluminum foil to prevent burning. Allow pie to cool for 1 hour before serving.
Peach Raspberry Pie
⅔ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
⅓ cup flour
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. peach schnapps
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
6 large peaches (about 1 ¾ lb.), peeled and cut into ½″-thick slices
1 cup mashed fresh raspberries
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss together sugar, flour, brown sugar, juice, schnapps, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and peaches; set aside.
2. Roll one dough disk into a 12″ circle; fit into a 9″ pie plate. Pour half the filling into pie shell and cover with raspberries. Pour in remaining peach filling, and then dot filling with butter. Roll the remaining dough disk into a 12″ circle, place over filling, and trim dough, leaving a ½″ overhang. Lift edges and fold under to form a thick rim around the pie. Cut 4 slits in top of pie crust, brush with milk or melted butter, and sprinkle with more sugar. Bake until golden brown and filling is bubbling in the center, about 45 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving.