Blueberry pie
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7 Smart Tools to Make Show-Stopping Fruit Pies All Summer Long

From time-saving slicers to the cutest pie bird.
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If you thought you'd leave your oven alone for the next few months, I have news: Summer is prime baking time, especially when it comes to juicy fruit pies. Berries and stone fruits are in season from now until September, and when they're at peak ripeness, they make delicious pies. But to take your homemade dessert from good to pro-level, you've got to have the right tools.

Summer pies, specifically, are made better with the proper equipment. (Those who have ever pitted pounds of cherries by hand can attest to this fact). As a leading supporter of the #TeamPie community, I've rounded up seven handy tools for better fruit pies. From the sweetest little venting birds to efficient lattice-helpers, these are the tools you'll reach for year after year.

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Lodge 9-Inch Cast Iron Pie Pan

View at Amazon ($20)

Fruit pies are juicy and saucy. While delicious, this often results in a soggy or undercooked crust. The best way around that problem is with a high-performing pan. Leading cookware brand Lodge has created a cast iron pie pan with excellent heat retention. It delivers high temps evenly throughout the entire crust. It comes pre-seasoned, so you can bake directly out of the box (no years-long seasoning period required). I'm also a fan of the ridged edges which help achieve a top-notch crimp. Psst: It's currently on sale at Amazon for 33% off! 

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Le Creuset

Le Creuset Pie Bird

View at Le Creuset ($16)

A pie bird isn't just for show, although this one from Le Creuset sure is pretty. At just 3.5 inches high, this ceramic bird is designed to help steam circulate evenly around your pie as it bakes. This results in a juicier filling and flakier crust. It even has an arched bottom to nix the dreaded "soggy bottom" problem. It comes in two colors, simple black or white, but the real allure is beyond aesthetics. Its relatively pronounced shoulders help support the pastry and hold it out of the pie filling.

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Molto Dolce Pie Lattice Roller Cutter

View at Amazon ($23)

It takes patience, a steady hand, and a working knowledge of math to cut a perfect lattice by hand. Thankfully, roller cutters exist. This one is made with handsome, rust-resistant stainless steel and has a smooth wood handle. Unlike basic rollers, this creates a delicate fishnet pattern that's almost too pretty to eat. And with its own cleaning brush, dough scraper, and storage sachet, it's highly giftable. 

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Chef'n Stem Gem Strawberry Huller

View at Amazon ($8)

Preparing a mountain of strawberries isn't as simple as slicing off the stems. To do the job right, you've got to remove the inner core of the berry, too. (It has a slightly bitter flavor.) Chef'n has made a winner of a tool with its Stem Gem. It's as simple to use as pushing a button. The easy-grip plastic handle is comfortable to use, and safe for kids. With over 9,100 perfect ratings on Amazon, this is the best-loved strawberry huller on the market. As if it wasn't already a smart buy, it's also dishwasher-safe and not a space hog.

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

OXO Cherry Pitter

View at Williams Sonoma ($15)

Since when is pitting a pie's worth of cherries fun? Since you got this clever tool from trusted brand OXO, that's when. It's made from durable zinc and comes fitted with a strong spring-triggered design, so you don't have to work too hard. The ergonomic handle also helps combat pitting-fatigue. Although there are models that tackle multiple cherries at one time, you really can't beat this one for accuracy and clean incisions, which is especially important for desserts that require intact cherries. The best part? Without question, it's the plastic splatter guard. I also love that this tool isn't just a one-trick pony; you can use it all year long for pitting olives. 

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Zyliss Peach Slicer

View at Walmart ($17)

Slicing soft peaches is a messy, sticky job. This smart tool offers a cleaner and more efficient method. Tiny serrations in its curved blades make it perfect for peaches; they cut cleanly through the skin without squishing or smashing the flesh. There's even a plastic drip guard to capture juices, so they can go into your pie filing, not onto your cutting board. It can be used with any stone fruit, including nectarines and plums, and it's so easy to clean, you'll soon be reaching for it for snack time and fruit salad prep, too.

summer pie tools
Credit: Courtesy of Skordo

Skordo Posy Sugar

View at Skordo ($6)

A little sprinkle of sugar on the top crust before baking makes homemade pies shine (and sparkle). Although regular ol' granulated sugar will do the trick, you can't beat the summery flavors in Maine-based retailer Skordo's Posy Sugar. Its delicate grind is mixed with lavender, rose, hibiscus, and vanilla for a sweet flavor and pretty hue. It's sold in four different volumes; speaking from experience, I'd highly recommend splurging on the 12-ounce polybag.