HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

fav summer pies?

I just made my first peach pie of the summer. It's my favorite summer pie. Wondering what pies other CH folks get pie-eyed over?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Fresh sour cherries have a very short season in July - the definitive summer pie...

    1 Reply
    1. I haven't seen a summer pie that I didn't like.....
      Rubarb with strawberries
      Maine Blueberry
      Peach crisp was know as an aphrodisiac in my house. The only difference from a pie was there wasn't any bottom crust.

      1. I like Peach and Rhubarb which you rarely see a recipe for. You'll see a lot of Strawberry/Rhubarb but this doesn't do it for me b/c the amount of sugar you need to make the Rhubarb work well breaks down the strawberries too much.

        With the peaches & rhubarb ... if you make it an early summer pie -- before the peaches are super ripe --- it works out well b/c the consistancy of the fruit is similar and the amount of sugar needed works out well for both.

        Sometimes I also throw a few blueberries in the mix. It always goes over very well. Maybe I'll make one for the 4th tomorrow.

        5 Replies
        1. re: tmontauk

          Oh yummy! I also like cold chiffon type pies, like frozen key lime pie, strawberry chiffon pie, chocolate pie.

          Aslo Shoofly Pie is my favourite summer pie as a child. Not sure how it is spelled or even what is in it? I think it is of German or Pennsylvania Dutch origin. I dream of that pie....

          Does Pavlova count as a pie? It is so good in the summer. Great way to use fresh berries and stone fruit.

          Lately, I am obsessed with Peach Melba. Just thinking now of how to incorporate the flavors into a pie....

          1. re: Densible

            My absolute favorite pie is a Peach Melba from a farmstand I go to. I guess it's not much more than a Peach pie with raspberries and slivered almonds on top but it works..

            1. re: Densible

              Ah Shoofly pie. Haven't had that since I was a kid (yes, it's Pennsylvania Dutch). I know it has a history of being made with whatever was around after all the fruit has been used up. I literally think it has flour, sugar, vanilla, molassas, sourgum etc in. Oh also -- what is pavlova?

              1. re: tmontauk

                A pavlova is a large merigue topped with whip cream and fruit, typically berries and kiwis. The whole thing comes out about the size of a two-layer cake.

                1. re: tmontauk

                  Shoofly pie, out of my Amish cookbook (Iowa Amish):
                  Makes 2 pies.

                  Syrup:
                  1 c molasses
                  1/2 c brown sugar
                  2 eggs
                  1 c hot water
                  1 t soda (dissolve in the water)

                  Crumbs:
                  2 c flour
                  3/4 c brown sugar
                  1/3 c lard

                  Layer in unbaked pie crust syrup, crumbs, syrup, crumbs. Bake at 400 10 minutes, reduce to 350 for 50 minutes

                  There are 4 recipes for shoofly pie in this cookbook, the other 3 don't have the eggs (the recipe I listed is titled "gooey shoofly pie"), some add soda and cinnamon/nutmeg to the crumbs, but otherwise pretty similar. One of the recipes specifies molasses, old barrel.

            2. We have a nice raspberry patch here so I do a raspberry chiffon pie. And of course there is also the regional favourite, saskatoon pie. http://www.lanierbb.com/recipes/data/...

              1. Plum
                Caramelized Fig and Walnut

                1. I am an ardent fan of tart fruits, so I love rhubarb, with strawberries of course and also the blueberry-rhubarb combination. I like the traditional crunch topping as well as adding some toasted pistachios. I've been making blueberry-rhubarb crisp with the pistachio for years and it always gets raves -- from an epicurious recipe originally. It's so easy and the pistachios really change the flavor.

                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                  I like crisps so much more than pies -- I find most pie crusts dry distractions from the heavenly flavors of the fruit. SO if anyone has an unusually moist pie crust, maybe even one of the graham variations, I'd love to hear about it because I'm just not a fan of the traditional.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: foxy fairy

                    That looks interesting - thanks - I might try that for dinner tonight. Have you used any other fruit combinations for that crisp you linked to?

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      I wonder if sour cherry and rhubarb would work well together in this and in pies. On Sunday I had 12 cups of pitted sour cherries to work with - & I have lots more to pick still! I made a cherry pie with streusel topping which is terrific and cherry compote. I also have rhubarb to use.
                      Question: if I wanted to freeze a cherry pie, is it better baked then frozen or frozen uncooked? Thanks!!

                      1. re: morebubbles

                        I have never frozen a cooked cherry pie so can't offer any comparisons. However I have had great success freezing the unbaked pies.

                        I couldn't believe there would ever be any pie better than one made with our own homegrown sour cherries until one day, on a whim, I threw in some peaches. Now cherry-peach is my favorite pie.

                        1. re: clamscasino

                          Sounds good! Too bad the season for local peaches & for sour cherries is different. But I can freeze some cherries, to be baked into a pie in a couple of months - thanks, you gave me a good idea!
                          I'll try freezing an uncooked cherry pie too & see how that works for me.

                          1. re: morebubbles

                            I've never frozen a pie, but Mrs. Smith's unbaked frozen pies turn out just fine. I--I'm scattershooting here--wonder, since you probably don't have the flash-freezing equip. Mrs. Smith has, if you might not lightly coat the bottom crust with butter, put in in the fridge to chill/harden the butter, then quickly add your cool filling and top crust and get it into the coldest part of the freezer. This might keep the filling from soaking into the crust?

                            Anyone who freezes uncooked pies: is this a problem? If so, is there a better solution?

                        2. re: morebubbles

                          Rhubarb and sour cherries go beautifully together--one of the best possible combinations of fruits, I think.

                          About twice a year I make up a batch of rhubarb/cherry jam. (When fresh cherries are NA--and they almost never are up here, two cans drained unsweetened Queen Anne cherries to 3 lbs. (~12 C.) rhubarb, 3 C. sugar. I might add a pinch of cardamom &/or ginger or Ceylon cinnamon at the end if I'm feeling frisky--but I mean a pinch and not enough to identify. The taste of the fruit is too good to mess around with.

                          For pies I use a little more sugar--to taste.

                          But there's no better pie in the world, IMO, than plain old rhubarb. I've always wondered why strawberry/rhubarb pie became so popular. I think either of those makes a better pie all by itself.

                          Mixing fruits is an art. Sometimes they really compliment one another, other times they just cancel each other out--like that "mixed fruit" jelly you get in little pkgs. in diners--and all you taste is "sweet". This week I made peach jam, and at the last minute decided to throw in ~2 C. of tiny wild strawberries from my yard (to 7 C. crushed peaches). The jam is very good, but IMO not as good as plain strawberry or peach would be.

                          Another really inspired combo is apples/cranberries in a pie. Just a big handful of cranberries to the 6-8 C. of apples; not so many that you overwhelm the flavor of apple. Improves the color, adds just the right bit of tartness. Since the first time I tasted this in a (very good) commercial apple pie I've never made one w/o some cranberries.

                          1. re: PhoebeB

                            Strawberry rhubarb arises because (1) the two fruits come into season at the same time, (2) they have contrasting aspects, and (3) people assume that strawberry rhubarb pie necessarily involves both fruits. The last assumption is not correct. Red-stemmed rhubarb used to be called strawberry rhurbarb - so pie made with that didn't have strawberries, but was called strawberry rhubarb pie....

                            1. re: Karl S

                              This is news to me. I have heard red rhubarb called "strawberry rhubarb", but I've never had a "strawberry rhubarb pie" that wasn't a combination of the two fruits, and a quick Google doesn't turn up a pie recipe by that name that's just rhubarb.

                              1. re: PhoebeB

                                I've seen them in older cookbooks. Like old.

                            2. re: PhoebeB

                              Thanks for this Phoebe. For a rhubarb cherry pie, would I put in half &half of each fruit then? (I haven't advanced to jams as yet) Also, what rhubarb pie recipe do you use, please? Good points about combining fruits.
                              I have another question: re frozen uncooked cherry pie - do I let it thaw or do I bake it frozen? So many questions! thanks, this is a hugely informative post.

                              1. re: morebubbles

                                No need to thaw the pie before baking. You're baking time will need to be extended by about 20 minutes or so, though. My recipe calls for baking the pie at a high temperature (425 or 450?) so when it looks like the crust is done before the filling, I simply turn the oven down to 350.

                                1. re: morebubbles

                                  Look at this and read the reviews. They can help a lot.
                                  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fresh-Rh...

                                  It's virtually identical to the way my Aunt Edith taught me how to make a rhubarb pie when I was 12, except I use a little less sugar for that amt. of rhubarb. Start with a cup and see what you think.

                                  Not all rhubarb is the same pink color; some is green even when it's ripe. Tastes the same as the pink (or so near as to be indistinguishable to me), but I do add a few drops of red food color when green rhubarb is all I have.

                                  Re: proportion of cherries to rhubarb, I don't think it matters. Start w/half & half and play with the next times you make it until you get it just right. Either fruit alone makes a pie to die for, so you can't miss.

                            3. re: MMRuth

                              I made this last night - I used 2 cups of rhubarb, 6 oz of raspberries and a pint of blueberries and threw in a handful of red currants that I'd bought on a whim and hadn't done anything with. I accidently bought salted pistachios, so I substituted walnuts. Very tasty, but I think I used too much fruit, so it subsumed some of the crumble.

                            4. re: foxy fairy

                              I make a super simple blueberry rhubarb crisp that always pleases. The SO isn't a fan...has too much of a sweet tooth and my recipe comes out more tart....but everyone else loves it. And, the best part is, you can sub frozen fruit (esp. with the rhubarb to avoid long prep). It takes about one bag of frz. blue berries and half a bag of rhubarb. Top with a simple crumb topping (stick of butter, cup of oats, and spprox. 1 cup brown sugar. Then, bake at 375 til bubbly. Fantastic!

                            5. Try peaches and nectarines together 50/50 with a lattice top crust. Heavenly!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ChefJune

                                Nectarines nowadays are almost always better--"peachier"--than the grocery store peaches because most of them are still freestone. Freestone peaches--the good old-fashioned peaches with the fabulous scent you could smell a block away--are virtually impossible to find.

                                1. re: PhoebeB

                                  Not if you have a nice tree in your back yard. next month mt elbertas will be
                                  coming off. the very first thing I make is and old fashioned peach cobbler. I don`t
                                  pick my peaches, until i can peal them by hand, and juice runs down your elbow.

                                  1. re: bigjimbray

                                    Hush your mouth! No freestone peach trees in Maine. (Well, not enough to mention.)

                                    I've always lived in Texas until ~8 years ago, and like my mother & grandmother before me I counted the days, every summer, until the Elbertas started coming in from San Saba and Goldthwaite orchards. They come in later than the clings by 3 weeks or so, as I recall, unless the orchard has a good southerly slope.

                                    Why do you suppose clings are so popular? Better shelf life? Most of them taste like Playdoh compared to the freestones.

                                    BTW: Do you do your peach cobblers with double crust, the old-fashioned way? My grandmother's way was to lay strips of pastry in the 9X13" dish, brush with cream and sprinkle w/cinnamon sugar, bake in a hot oven for ~5 min. til golden, then put the peaches in and top with crust strips--also brushed w/cream and cinnamon-sugar. Bottom crust was delicious, never soggy. Aside from that sprinkle of cinnamon on the crust, I don't think she added any spices to the peaches except for a very small grating of nutmeg. Ripe freestone peaches don't need anything else.

                              2. key lime,lemon meringue ,peach ,and the one i always got for my b-day(july) home made blueberry banana cream,with fresh whipped cream...insanely good!

                                1. My birthday is in August, and I always request either peach or mixed berry pie (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry). My Mom makes the best pies. I am still practicing:)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hollyeve

                                    Me too. I always request a homemade blueberry pie for my birthday. Way better than cake!

                                  2. In Julian, CA you can enjoy fruit pies to your heart content. Pie shops are literally door to door. We returned home from our San Diego vacation just loving "fruits of the forest" pie which ala Julian, CA is a raspberry, strawberry, peach, apple and plum combo inside a rich buttery crust. Weighs about 8 lbs! Worth every bite!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I'd be as big as a house..oh wait,i already am lol.

                                    2. My new favorite summer pie is now cherry and rhubarb. Made one yesterday and it's delightful. Thanks for the hints & ideas everyone! I froze some uncooked cherry pies as well.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: morebubbles

                                        Peach and/or nectarine and blackberries...the way the blackberries melt and blend in with the peach color is absolutely fabulous and the contrast is amazing...

                                        1. re: morebubbles

                                          What proportion of cherries to rhubarb did you use?

                                          1. re: PhoebeB

                                            Hi Phoebe! You were absolutely right about your advise & I thank you for that and for your encouragement!! I used half-half, that is 3 cups of pitted sour cherries and 3 cups of chopped rhubarb (fresh picked), baked it in a double crust shell (half whole wheat). Had a slice last night and it's really good. I don't think I'd change the proportions. I used 1/4 c of tapioca as a thickener & a generous 3/4 c of white sugar. The cherry pie recipe called for almond extract but I decided that it may not go with the rhubarb, so I left it out, put in a pinch of cinnamon. All in all, a terrific pie! thanks again and thanks for the rhubarb pie recipe, I'll def. try that one too!

                                            1. re: morebubbles

                                              I'd have left out the almond extract too. It's one of those things that can be a little too assertive.

                                        2. I love rhubarb sour cream pie, with a streusal topping.

                                          1. I always associate summer with my mom's black raspberry custard pies. I still carry on the tradition when I can. I sometimes miss out on the very short black raspberry season, though. Like this year. :-(

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: debit

                                              Raspberry, and, when the farmer's market offers them (like today)...black raspberry. Yum!

                                            2. Blueberry-peach crumble, though strawberry-rhubarb comes a very very very close second.

                                              Mmmmm... pie.

                                              1. Does anyone know if there is a national pie day?

                                                16 Replies
                                                  1. re: PhoebeB

                                                    PhoebeB, I really appreciate your help!
                                                    Sounds like a wonderful way to encourage pie-dom and people.
                                                    Thanks :)

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      Now I'll give every purist the vapors and tell you the BEST way I know to encourage pie-dom, both making and eating: either make your piecrust the utterly delicious, cannot-conceivably-fail, old-fashioned egg & vinegar way or use Pillsbury Pie crust sheets.

                                                      I've tried it every way in the world, incl. the way a quasi-food snob daughter always makes hers (the CI blender method with chilled butter). Three quarters of the time, year after year, her crust is tough, leaden & tasteless, and even when she deems it perfect it's not in the same league in golden color/delicate flavor/good flaky-crunchy bite as the easy egg-vinegar way.

                                                      I make enough for 4 crusts (two double-crust pies) at one time. Any extra keeps beautifully for several days in an airtight container in the fridg or it freezes perfectly.

                                                      For company or Take-to, I make my own pastry. The rest of the time I use good ol' Pillsbury because I'd otherwise not take the time to make myself & the grandkids a pie.

                                                      1. re: PhoebeB

                                                        PB, any chance you have the egg & vinegar recipe handy?
                                                        In my case, I'm more likely to *attempt* pie crust but pour a decadent prepared fruit spread, like slivered lemon rind jam from CA, into it and "doctor up" the filling with fresh add ins.
                                                        but, I'm eager to learn more about pie-dom :)

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          If you'll go to http://www.chowhound.com/topics/281723 you'll find a wonderful discussion of vinegar/egg pastry.

                                                          About halfway down the page is Trishuntrapped's recipe which is precisely mine except I put 1/2 tsp. more salt, use a cup of lard (or Crisco if I don't have any good lard) and 3/4 cup. butter. Unless you're making 10" or deep-dish pies, it makes 4 crusts for 9" pies.

                                                          1. re: PhoebeB

                                                            Thank you very much PB! I've noted your version.
                                                            The temp is suppose to be pleasant in NJ this weekend, so I'm going to give peach-rhubarb a try using the pie crust recipe.

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              You must report back. I think it's the only truly TASTY pie crust there is. You almost get more interested in finishing every bite of the crust than of the filling. For some reason it never seems to be soggy on the bottom--always browns.
                                                              And the last crust--that you put together from the much-handled scraps--is as good as the first one. It's the perfect combination of flakiness and delicate crunch.

                                                              I shave the very cold butter into the mix with a vegetable peeler, BTW,and always have my egg and vinegar-water cold.

                                                              FWIW, if you have shiny pie pans, either throw them away and find some good old darkened ones, else always set them on a dark cookie sheet or a sheet iron flame-tamer. I have good luck with Pyrex pie dishes, too, though I've never used them until recent years..

                                                              1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                "I shave the very cold butter into the mix with a vegetable peeler, BTW,and always have my egg and vinegar-water cold."

                                                                Thanks (again) for the tip! I'll def. report back. I picked the peaches locally then bought the rhub. and you've given me the "get up a go to it" I was lacking after two days of 90 plus degree weather...but it's much nicer today and the weekend is suppose to be ideal. Less humid!

                                                                1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                  PhoebeB, On your recommendation and helpful attention yesterday, I made the pie crust recipe this afternoon and used darker pans (I had 4 small pie pans instead of 1 standard pie tin). The crust was a pleasure to work with. Since the weather remained a bit on the humid side here, I chilled everything early this morning in preparation.

                                                                  I made two pies fresh peach only infused with vanilla bean and peach champagne. I added the rhubarb bits to the other two along with a few fresh raspberries.

                                                                  I just took a pre-dinner bite out of the peach pie (it kept calling my name) and the crust is just the right balance of flaky and crisp. The fruit thickened so nicely. I'm only sorry that our local peach season is so short here.

                                                                  Rhubarb and peach is a new combo for me but dh will probably grab those for the office, he loves rhubarb!

                                                                  Thanks, PB and to the pie lovers contributing to this thread. I was inspired!

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    You are the go-getter!! Your addition of just vanilla bean and peach champagne sounds perfect. We so often try to gild the lily with too much "stuff"--exotic seasonings, strange combinations that end up a net minus compared to the good simple flavor of the food we're overdressing.

                                                                    One more tip: pies are one of those foods that it's better to slightly overcook than undercook. Let them get a deep golden brown. Makes the crust taste so much better.

                                                                    Invest a dollar or so in a couple of aluminum pie crust rings that protect the edges from overbrowning. You can do it with strips of foil, too, but the rings that fit 8-to-10" pies are such a snap.

                                                                  2. re: PhoebeB

                                                                    "I shave the very cold butter into the mix with a vegetable peeler" Oh! Brilliant! I can't thank you enough for sharing this tip. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up with hand cramps from trying to shave off frozen butter pieces with a paring knife without cutting myself. This is the best thing I've read all day!

                                                                    1. re: ExercisetoEat

                                                                      In hot weather you might want to freeze the butter. I use two sticks for the 3/4 C. I need, wrap one end in paper towel for a good grip, shave off ~3/4 of each stick, put the leftover ends in the microwave and make clarified butter.

                                                            2. re: PhoebeB

                                                              PB.....Pillsbury is the best if one cannot make good crust. I place a sheet of it in a medium quiche pan, fill it with peeled sliced fresh peaches mixed with pitted sliced purple plums. Mix fruits with sugar to your taste, add spices i.e nutmeg, cinnimon etc.
                                                              The crust will overlap the dish...just fold the crust over the fruit, it will not cover it.
                                                              Brush the crust with milk and give it a sprinkling of sugar. 325 degrees until nicely browned. Nummy, Ahmie

                                                              1. re: Ahmie

                                                                THIS I'm trying. I love plums and am always trying to find good things to do with them.

                                                              2. re: PhoebeB

                                                                I have found the Pillsbury pie crusts to be a fantastic product. I use them when I am feeling lazy. I am glad that someone else admitted to cheating once in a while! :-)

                                                                1. re: debit

                                                                  I agree - they really are quite good.

                                                        2. Blueberry. There is no substitute.

                                                          1. Two! Because one is not really a pie...

                                                            But my absolute FAVORITE is a Blueberry Buttermilk Tart that was rec'd to me on this board...

                                                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                                            Second is an Apricot Ginger Pie!

                                                            http://members.aol.com/pmgon/Chowhoun...

                                                            Here are the recipes...

                                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                            I love these so much, I am baking both of them (Along with two others) tonight for a friends going away party! Wish me LUCK!!!

                                                            --Dommy!

                                                            1. Peaches and cream. Going to Denver in 10 days and my daughters tell me that my peaches are almost ready. Our Heritage raspberries are producing, so maybe peaches with raspberries. Girls ate all the cherries.
                                                              Here in Mexico we had a bumper crop of blackberries and really good blackberry pies and crisps. Tonight a cherry crisp.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Pampatz

                                                                Peaches or nectarines and blueberries....or the peach pie from "Heartburn." Then there's the blackberry pie and the cherry pie....heck, ALL of 'em!

                                                                1. re: Alice Letseat

                                                                  Oh, a two-crust blackberry cobbler with thick juice bubbling between the golden brown cinnamon/sugared strips of crust on top. We had dewberries and blackberries in our garden when I was a kid. I never hear of dewberries anymore.. They were like a cross between a raspberry and blackberry.

                                                                  What IS this obsession we have with being thin?

                                                              2. Can I just say that there is hardly a topic here that has made me hungrier....I want to try everyone's pies and pie crusts!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: debit

                                                                  I think that I shall never spy
                                                                  A poem lovely as a pie.

                                                                2. Cherry remains my all-time favorite pie. But gooseberry is always the pie that means summer has arrived.

                                                                  I have stopped making any kind of crimped or decorative edges on my pies - I just gently press the top and bottom crust together and then fold them over. It looks ugly, but my edges don't get tough anymore. Which makes my traditionalist-recipe crust more reliably a pleasure to eat.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: lora

                                                                    I have never had a gooseberry pie!!! What is the taste of gooseberries comparable to?

                                                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                      Gooseberries are very tart, inedible on their own. If you like rhubarb pies and cranberry sauce, you'll probably like gooseberry pies. They are perfection with vanilla ice cream.

                                                                  2. I agree with OP about peach pie. but I also LOVE blackberry (actually I usually do blackberry "cobbler" as I learned how to make it, which is pretty much just a really deep-dish double-crust pie). My mom has blackberries growing at her house and ends up with way more than she can use, so she sends me home from visits down there with great big bags of frozen blackberries, and I end up making blackberry pies year-round.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: revsharkie

                                                                      you are making me very jealous. I like a little clove in the crust of blackberry crisp.