May Magic of the Month – Seven Summer Pies

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May’s Magic of the Month is a celebration of wonderful fruit pies that remind us of the long, summer days ahead. Mama Bear was well known for her delicious, made-from-scratch pies.  In her restaurants, bakeries and catering, pies were always among the top requests.  Notice some of the pies have her signature pie crust bear as a garnish. The seven pies in this month’s feature were some of her favorites.

1. Mile High Strawberry Pie

In the summers, this was by far the most requested pie at my mom’s restaurants.  When this seasonal special became available, people came from far and wide to have a delicious slice.  They couldn’t get enough – and neither will you! Strawberry collage 1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
One container (12 ounces) whipped topping
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

STEP 1
Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the cooked pie crust.
STEP 2
Fill pie crust with 2 cups of the largest berries
STEP 3
In a saucepan, mix the remaining 2 cups berries, sugar and cornstarch
STEP 4
Cook strawberry mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly (use spoon to crush strawberries as they heat) for 8-10 minutes  or until the mixture is thickened and clear
STEP 5
Stir in lemon juice
STEP 6
Remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly
STEP 7
Pour berry mixture over the berries in the pie crust

STEP 8
Cover pie with whipped topping, use a sliced strawberry for garnish
STEP 9
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours

2. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

If you love a fresh strawberry pie, just wait until you taste our double crust version of the strawberry rhubarb pie. The sweet strawberries perfectly complement the tart rhubarb. Incredible! Strawberry rhubarb collage2 pie crusts, for top and bottom

3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced if large; halved if smaller
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
 
For top of crust:
Cream or milk
Sugar

 

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
STEP 2
Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl
STEP 3
Fill and dot with bits of unsalted butter
STEP 4
Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Place over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that the overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp decoratively.
STEP 5
Transfer pie onto a baking sheet. Brush cream over dough and sprinkle with sugar.
STEP 6

Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

3. Blueberry Pie

You can’t feature summer pies without including blueberry.  Its beautiful color and tart but sweet flavor makes for a delicious dessert

Blueberry collage1 9-inch pie crust (1 extra crust for top crust, if desired)
6 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and stems removed ( frozen can also be used, thawed and drained)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup fast-cooking tapioca
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces (if using a top crust)

 

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
STEP 2
Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl
STEP 3
Transfer blueberry mixture to pie crust
STEP 4
If you choose not to use a top crust, freeze unbaked pie for at least 2 hours before baking
STEP 5
If you choose to use a top crust, add butter pieces, brush with cream or milk and sprinkle with sugar
STEP 6
Place pie on the middle rack of the oven with a pan on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over
STEP 7
Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened

 

4. Lemon Crunch Pie This was another favorite in my mom’s restaurants.  This pie is truly incredible.  The recipe makes this the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  We love it!   Lemon crunch whole collage Lemon crunch slice collage1 (9 inch) pie crust

2 lemons, juiced and zested
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten

Crumb topping:

 

With a fork, mix together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup butter until crumbly

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
STEP 2
In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
STEP 3
Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil
STEP 4
Stir in butter
STEP 5
Place beaten egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture
STEP 6
Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture
STEP 7
Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thickened; remove from heat
STEP 8
Pour filling into pie crust
STEP 9
Top with crumb topping, cover and freeze for at least 2 hours before baking
STEP 10
Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown


5. Apple Pie

A summer pie feature wouldn’t be complete without the infamous apple pie!  This double crust pie is always a huge hit – especially if you add some butter pecan ice cream and sprinkle cinnamon over the top.Yum! Apple collage 2 (9-inch) unbaked pie crusts
6 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith (or a mixture of both) apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
STEP 2
Combine apple juice, 1/2 cup sugar and butter in a sauce pan and heat until melted
STEP 3
Add the apples and cook until fruit is tender
STEP 4
Combine remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with cornstarch; stir into the fruit mixture and cook until thickened
STEP 5
Cool and pour into the pie shell
STEP 6
Cover with top crust
STEP 7
Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown

 

6. Peach Pie 
This pie not only tastes delicious, but it looks beautiful with its lattice crust.Peach pie collage2 9-inch crusts for top and bottom crust
10 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced or frozen, thawed
4 tablespoons fast-cooking tapioca
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter

STEP 1
Place one crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate
STEP 2
Mix peaches, tapioca, sugar and add to pie shell
STEP 3
Slice butter and place on top of peach mixture
STEP 4
Slice second pie crust into lattice strips and place on top of peach mixture
STEP 5
Brush lattice strips with cream and sugar
STEP 6
Bake for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden

7. Cherry Pie

Last – but certainly not least – is our cherry pie.  We prefer the crumb topping to make it deliciously sweet. Cherry collage  1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
4 cups pitted cherries
4 tablespoons fast-cooking tapioca
1 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Crumb topping:
With a fork, mix together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup butter until crumbly
STEP 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
STEP 2
In a large mixing bowl, combine tapioca, salt, sugar, cherries, and cinnamon; let stand for 15 minutes
STEP 3
Cover with crumb topping
STEP 4
Place pie on the middle rack of the oven with a pan on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over
STEP 5
Bake for 50 minutes 
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