Baking Tips: Summer Fruit Pie Fillings

F&W's Grace Parisi shares her secrets to baking delicious fresh fruit pies.

Summer is the season for fruit pies—gooey, bubbling-over, sweet-tart summer fruit pies. I make it my task to create a perfect piecrust and fill it with yummy, seasonal fruit.

The Fruit

My favorites are peach and blueberry because aside from being so thoroughly delicious, the fruit is abundant and cheap. The best summer fruits—strawberry, rhubarb, blueberry, sour cherry, nectarine, peach—just happen to make the best fruit pies.

The Thickener

For the thickener, I prefer cornstarch because as the cooked fruit and juices gel, the filling becomes completely clear, as opposed to flour, which thickens a bit and becomes cloudy. This way, the fruit looks like little gems. The amount of thickener required changes with each fruit due to the varying juiciness of each.

The Sugar

The sugar is wholly dependent upon the fruit's sweetness. The amounts of sugar in the recipes are the upper guide (think March peaches). Taste your fruit—if it's tart, follow the recipes carefully. If it's supersweet, omit a few tablespoons. But whatever you do, turn your ovens on and bake a pie!

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