Stone fruit summer pie

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Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

Last weekend, we drove out to Niagara on a perfect summer day. It was so hot the ice melted in our water bottle almost immediately, and I watched the condensation drip, drip, drip away until it was all gone. It was a day for huge, floppy hats, sunscreen-slatherings, and big smiles as we watched Alan’s niece and nephew scamper through the orchards and return triumphantly, arms full of peaches and nectarines and plums and apricots.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

I’m headed back to the country this weekend to visit a friend’s cottage. You can bet that I’m going to return with basketfuls of fruit from every roadside vendor I see. The slow end of summer, with it’s stifling heat and wild rains and occasional cool evenings seems to produce the best fruit. The peaches we picked last weekend were so huge and ripe that they were bursting themselves open against the very branches that grew them.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

Now’s the time for pie. Summer fruit is at its best and most ripe, hanging redolent from the branches and begging to be wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust. Never made pie crust before? Fear not, I’ve got you covered with this tutorial here.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

The beauty of this pie is you can use any stone fruit you’ve got on hand; there’s no way to go wrong. Peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, nectarines, pluots — they all make a lovely stone fruit summer pie.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

What you end up with is sweet, tender fruit, boiled down and caramelized in their own sugars and juices, inside of a shatteringly crispy crust, rich as can be from all that butter. You won’t regret it.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

Happy baking!

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

Stone Fruit Summer Pie: a vibrant, gorgeous dessert that makes the most of the season's fruit.

Stone fruit summer pie

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 6-8 servings

A vibrant, gorgeous way to use up the last of the season's perfect fruit.


    For the crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, then shoved right back into the fridge
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold buttermilk + 1/4 cup cold water mixed together, with a few ice cubes
  • 1 egg for washing the crust (later step)
  • 1 Tbs coarse sugar for sprinkling
  • For the filling:
  • 6 heaping cups mixed stone fruit of your choice (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries, etc.), sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3-4 dashes Agnostura bitters
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • zest of 1 whole lemon, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 Tbs starch of your choice (I prefer tapioca, but potato starch, corn starch, or flour all work fine)


    For the crust
  1. (A more detailed step-by-step can be found here)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, and salt, or quickly pulse them together in a food processor. Add your cubes of butter and cut them in (or pulse in the processor) until the butter chunks are the size of small peas, and you have what looks like a very coarse meal. At this point, if you’re using a food processor, scrape contents out from the food processor and into a large bowl. People doing this in a bowl already, just keep using the same one.
  3. Add half of the ice water-buttermilk mixture, and mix it in. Continue adding the liquid mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is slightly shaggy, but holds together when squeezed. Try not to overmix.
  4. Shape dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap/parchment paper and refrigerate for minimum 1 hour. This resting period allows the glutens to relax, the liquid to distribute evenly, and the dough to become firm enough to roll out β€” all good things for a tender crust!
  5. For the filling
  6. While the pie dough chills, mix all of the ingredients for your filling together in a large bowl and allow to macerate for 15 minutes.
  7. Rolling and assembling
  8. Remove one of your doughs from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling. Set aside a small bowl of flour for dusting. Dust your rolling surface with flour, and roll out your dough into roughly a 12-inch circle, then gently transfer to your pie plate. Fill with fruit pie filling, and transfer to the fridge.
  9. Roll out the second dough the same way, then transfer to the top of your pie. Trim any excess, fold the top crust over the bottom and tuck it under, then crimp as desired. Cut slits in the top crust to allow the steam to escape during baking.
  10. Transfer the whole thing to the freezer for 20 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F, and set out a large rimmed baking sheet.
  12. When the pie is frozen quite solid, set the pie plate on the baking sheet. Break an egg into a bowl and mix with a splash of water to make an egg wash, then brush that all over the crust. Sprinkle with the Tablespoon of coarse sugar.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. (Keep an eye on the crust towards the end of the time for over browning. If the crust seems to be getting too dark tent a large piece of foil over it – just put it on loosely.)
  14. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before eating.




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18 Responses to “Stone fruit summer pie”

  1. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness August 31, 2015 at 11:29 AM #

    O.M.G. this pie looks amazing! You are so talented! I feel like mine would never come out looking that pretty!

    • toughcookie September 7, 2015 at 9:23 PM #

      Chrissa, that’s nonsense! First of all, I’m of the opinion that there’s really no such thing as bad homemade pie. And second, although it took me a while to get comfortable with pie pastry, it really does get easier with practise!

  2. Claudia | The Brick Kitchen August 29, 2015 at 6:14 AM #

    Just came across this post and wanted to say that your photos are absolutely gorgeous! So jealous of all your ripe late summer stone fruit – it is still cold and wintery here in the southern hemisphere and fruit pies seem awfully far away! Love the lattice crust on your pie here too – can just imagine how flaky and buttery it would be πŸ™‚

    • toughcookie August 31, 2015 at 10:09 AM #

      Thanks, Claudia. Your blog is gorgeous too! Love that rhubarb tart you have up. If it’s any comfort, I suspect that even winter in Aus/NZ is far, far warmer than what we have in store for us in the coming months!

  3. Alanna August 27, 2015 at 10:15 PM #

    This is stunning as all get out. I just love your photos, every one.

  4. Wanda August 22, 2015 at 12:43 PM #

    Love stone fruit in anything. This pie looks and sounds delicious!

    • Alanna @ One Tough Cookie August 23, 2015 at 10:00 PM #

      Thanks Wanda! I feel the same way — pie, crumbles, cobblers, salads … it’s hard to go wrong with stone fruit!

  5. Janice @Kitchen Heals Soul August 22, 2015 at 7:48 AM #

    So, you use tapioca starch (not tapioca flour or minute tapioca?) to thicken pies? Hmmm…. I just made a peach pie with a combination of flour and cornstarch, but that wasn’t my favourite thickener so far. I like “minute” tapioca and it works well without leaving any kind of flavour or starchy mouthfeel, but it turns into teeny tiny translucent beads, which most people do not and will not notice, but I wondered about grinding it. Maybe the answer is tapioca starch!
    Sorry, I’m rambling πŸ˜‰

    • Alanna @ One Tough Cookie August 23, 2015 at 10:03 PM #

      Great question, Janice! As far as I know, tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing, if that helps. I’ve also had success using minute/instant tapioca (it’s much easier to find in the grocery store), and then I pulse it a couple of times in a spice grinder to make it really fine. I really enjoy it too — helps the filling sets up so nicely and, as you said, no one even notices!

  6. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls August 21, 2015 at 2:48 PM #

    Wow, Alanna! That looks awesome! I love stone fruit, and I think a pie is a perfect way to tribute the end of another season’s bounty. Beautiful! (P.S. Cute spoon!)

    • Alanna @ One Tough Cookie August 23, 2015 at 10:04 PM #

      Thanks, Amanda! The pie server’s from an antique fair, but I’ve seen a bunch of them around lately!

  7. Olivia @ livforcake August 21, 2015 at 11:59 AM #

    This looks AH-mazing Alanna!! Like, so good. I frikken love stone fruits and what a perfect way to wind down the summer months!

  8. Julia (@Imagelicious) August 21, 2015 at 11:49 AM #

    Gorgeous pie. Amazing photos! I liked your detailed instructions on pie dough in the other post. I like how you roll it first and then fold it and roll again, I bet it adds even more wonderful flakeyness.

    I am going to the same farm to pick fruit tomorrow, so I’ll be making stone fruit desserts soon too! Enjoy your time at the cottage.

    • Alanna @ One Tough Cookie August 23, 2015 at 10:07 PM #

      I learned it all from The Bojon Gourmet! The process is called ‘turning’ the dough, and it’s the same process for making flaky croissants! Works like a charm πŸ˜‰

  9. Elsa August 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM #

    I’m off to buy fresh peaches…and then I’ll start this pie! You keep me busy!!! Elsa.

    • Alanna @ One Tough Cookie August 23, 2015 at 10:08 PM #

      Goodness knows, you keep yourself plenty busy without my help! Hope you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚