7.19.2014

My Favorite Summer Pie

It was the 4th of July and we were in Flagstaff, Arizona, weekend guests of our friends Jennifer and Pat.

When you live in the Sonoran Desert, where the temperatures hit 105°F (40°C) daily for over a month, you delight in (and pray for) an invitation to someplace cool and refreshing.

A place like Jennifer and Pat's home in Flagstaff, nestled among the tall ponderosa pines.

We arrived the day before the holiday around sunset, pie basket in hand.

In the basket were my favorite pie plate, a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar, and flour, and the sweetest peaches, blueberries and cherries from the market.

As a small 'thank you' to our hosts, I offered to make a pie to go with our 4th of July feast.

And July just happens to be the perfect time of year for my mother's Cherry Berry Peach Pie. My favorite summer pie.

Following the 4th of July annual parade - a wonderful string of small-town floats, bands, and community groups on foot - we returned to the house to bake the pie.

Pie baking began with a warning: "You do know that baking at high altitudes is different, right?" Pat warned.

I didn't remember that if, indeed, I ever knew it. "I'll just Google that..."

It turns out that pies aren't terribly affected by altitude, but there was a hint that pastry dough should be a little moister above 7,000 feet (2,134 meters).

So, with a slightly wetter dough and lots of veins of butter still visible, I proceeded. The additional water actually made it easier to roll without cracking or falling apart.

Dinner - beer-can chicken (possibly a future post?), rice pilaf, salad, perfect wines - was amazing. Their daughter Laura and 9-month-old grandson Aiden joined us. 

Following dinner, the pie was a big hit. I can tell because Aiden ate an entire, adult-portion piece, including the crust! He was one happy, sugared-up toddler!

It rained lightly throughout the evening, which meant no fireworks.

Usually that would have made me sad. But, when in the company of the warmest and most welcoming friends, we were as content as we have ever been.

Sycamore Canyon - the second largest canyon in Arizona, just west of Flagstaff.
After all, there will be fireworks again next year.

~ David

Cherry Berry Peach Pie

pastry crust for 2-crust, 10-inch pie
5 medium peaches (I used 7 Saturn peaches), sliced
1 heaping cup blueberries
1 heaping cup pitted and halved sweet cherries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
milk for brushing
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 450°F (225°C).

Roll out 2/3 of the pastry crust, leaving remaining 1/3 covered in the refrigerator. Line a 10-inch pie plate with the rolled out crust and set aside.

Mix the fruit and drizzle with lemon juice. Toss with sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Spread fruit evenly in the prepared bottom crust and place in the refrigerator.

Roll out remaining crust into an oval a little longer than 10 inches. Slice the crust into long 1/2-inch wide strips. The center strips will be the longest.

Remove the pie plate from the fridge, and trim the overhang to 1/2-inch. Weave a lattice crust on top using the longest pieces for the centers, and the shorter ones on the outer edges. Incorporating the lattice ends as you go, crimp the edges of the bottom crust

Brush the lattice and the edges with the milk, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C). Bake for an additional 45-50 minutes until fruit is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

Serves 8. 

38 comments:

  1. Hi David, what a glorious looking pie, love fruit pies this time of year. Flagstaff is such a wonderful place to visit, especially when it's really hot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheri - you know the appeal of Flagstaff more than most! Glad you like the pie!

      Delete
  2. I'm not sure that I could handle an entire month of 40 degree temperatures and can only hope it isn't as humid as it can be here.
    Thanks to our major supermarkets importing peaches from the U.S. I'm tempted to make this pie. Even cherries and blueberries are plentiful.
    Or perhaps I'll just invite you both around and you can turn up with all the ingredients!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we could just pop on over with all the fresh fruit smuggled in our basket! To be honest, it is almost 3 months of 40°C temps - but we don't mind, really - our air-conditioning is really good and the mornings and evenings are lovely.

      Delete
  3. Oh my, oh my, oh my.... what a delicious looking pie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Liz! Just a couple more months till stone fruits come your way!

      Delete
  4. David, I am a real pie lover but I have never made one with the combination of cherries, peaches and blueberries - that sounds quite wonderful! And I love the look of that pie - so very pretty and elegant! All of your pictures are amazing and I love the fact that you baked the pie when visiting friends for the 4th of July celebrations - I cannot remember of ever hosting guests who offered to make dessert! I am impressed!
    What a wonderful way to start off my early Sunday morning - reading your post and looking at all the beautiful photography made my day!
    Herzlichste Grüsse und euch beiden ein wunderschönen Sonntag,
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dear Andrea! I love cooking and baking when I go to visit friends - it is really my fun way of saying thank you! (The hard part is not being in the way!)

      I was thinking of you a lot yesterday, as I fine-tuned a post about my summer living in Heidelberg. We hope to go there next summer - how far is Bonn?

      Delete
  5. Wow David! that's really yummy! I did not even know that a pie can be affected by a certain altitude! :-) In Italy we call it "crostata" and this is my favourite pie too :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marco - we make a lot of traditional Italian crostate here, too. The altitude issue was a surprise, for me, as well.

      Delete
  6. That looks scrumptious. It will be on our menu very soon and I'll record it on my blog lovefood2lovelife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your visit to C&L, Ann! I will definitely keep an eye out for your post. (And I look forward to visiting LL2LL in a few minutes!)

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful pie! I had a similar 4th this year - no fireworks (boo!) but remedied by good food and company :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good food and friends should always trump fireworks, right? Glad you had a good 4th, Ahu! Loved seeing your bagels - I need to try them again!

      Delete
  8. Your pie sounds scrumptious, and looks beautiful, as does the photos of AZ. Gorgeous. We recently made a beer can chicken for the first time - they turn out fabulously tender and moist - though quite silly looking, sitting on that can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathleen - I couldn't agree with you more - the chicken looked so, well, embarrassed sitting on that can! If I do post the recipe, it will be hard to show it without making fun of it. But it was wonderful! Glad you liked the pie and the photos of Sycamore Canyon!

      Delete
  9. David, high altitude baking is a pain in the *%#!! You won't believe the issues I had, and still do, when I moved here. Even at 5500 ft where we live, it's a problem but I have it down now.
    Your pie is absolutely beautiful. Love the lattice work. Looks like you had a lovely time in Flagstaff.
    And thank you so much for your lovely comment on my last post, I truly appreciate your support. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - at 5500 feet? I had no idea... Glad you like the pie, Nazneen. Take care of yourself. xox

      Delete
  10. This pie looks delicious! I'm loving anything peach right now...and love this combo with cherries, etc. I've never had to consider high altitude baking...fascinating, isn't it? Flagstaff looks beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah! I don't know if it is coincidence, but I was just bemoaning the fact (to a friend) that brie just doesn't run anymore. Sigh...

      Delete
  11. I have never baked at high altitudes, but heard it causes problems. Your pie, however, looks just perfect. What a beautiful place you were staying.
    I posted about beer can chicken years ago and totally forgot about it until you mentioned it and had to go and look up the post. It turned out pretty good, the skin was deliciously crunchy. Looking forward to hearing how you liked it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved the beer can chicken we had in Flagstaff. Our friends said they were getting us the contraption to make it ourselves - the options are really amazing. The skin was really crispy, and the meat was so evenly cooked.

      Glad you lied the pie, Fiona! Baking at altitude may be harder when it includes yeast or other leavenings.

      Delete
    2. Did you use a contraption? I just stuck the chicken onto a beer can and into the oven (I don't have a grill, or a garden/terrace to grill on).

      Delete
    3. Yes - there is a funny little stand for the can and then it helps the chicken sit up! Very comical! Nice to know it works in an oven, too!

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Why thank you, Greg! I actually pride myself on my crust-making skills, so it makes me feel great when people notice!

      Delete
  13. You must be the best guest ever - I have never had anyone come to stay and cook me anything :( Love all your photos the pie looks absolutely gorgeous. I commend you on your fearless baking at high altitude :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if I ever came down there, I would SO cook and bake for you! (Although it might not be as good as your own cooking and baking!) Thanks, as always, Laura, for your wonderful comments!

      Delete
  14. I SO wish I had a slice of that pie right now w a big scoop of ice cream and a good cup o'joe! Where are you when I need you, D?
    Can't wait to make this one. Love those li'l mice, too! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Colette - I thought of you when I added the picture of the mice! :) I knew you would like them. Wish we did live closer...

      Delete
  15. I wish that I could gather the ingredients for a pie, carry them in a basket, and then put it all together--at an altitude I am not accustomed to--and have it look like yours! I have no doubts that your pie was as tasty as it was pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan! I know you could do this, and then have the right rosé to match it!

      Delete
  16. Oh my God , for sure you deserved a little break from that heat ( 40 C!!)
    The friut pie looks fantastic and refreshing.
    Please don't be selfish, could it be MY favorite summer pie too ? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daniela - we get quite used to the heat here! And, since it is very low humidity, it really is tolerable!

      I am more than happy to share my favorite pie with you and would be honored if it became your favorite!

      Delete
  17. A pie basket! I love that idea David! Every single summer I wish for the peaches I had growing up, back when organic was not a choice, it was the norm and we didn't even know there was a non-organic alternative in the future... Love the combo with berries. And those mice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drat! I never thought of putting a photo of my pie basket on the blog! Next time, I will definitely show it. It was my Aunt Nell's basket and it holds two pies. I love using it.

      As for the peaches, I was just saying to Mark that I don't think I have had a really perfect peach until I moved here. So glad I have them now...

      Delete
  18. What a gorgeous pie - the lattice is especially beautiful. It sounds delicious, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Teresa! It is really delicious - hope you get a chance to try it!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

If you would like to receive follow-up comments, simply click the "Subscribe by E-mail" link to the right of the "Publish" and "Preview" buttons.