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Spiced pies unite summer harvest with relaxed autumn afternoons

Spiced pies unite summer harvest with relaxed autumn afternoons

What better way to say farewell to the warm, breezy days of summer and welcome the crisp, cool days of fall than with something that combines the two – a summer fruit pie seasoned with the warming spices of fall.

Because really, who doesn’t love pie?

“I don't think I’ve ever seen pie advertised. That’s how you know it's good,” said comedian Adam Corolla. “They advertise ice cream and other desserts. They advertise the bejeezus out of yogurt, but I haven’t seen one pie commercial.”

Peaches, apples and berries are among the best fruits for a pie, because they are unlikely to lose their shape, and are well suited to a wide variety of different spices.

Stone fruits like cherries and peaches are lovely with a hint of fresh nutmeg or cloves, apples and cinnamon are a classic pairing and blueberries come alive with a mix of ginger and other spice blends.

A mix of fruits – peaches and blackberries, apples and cherries - can spark your creativity, allowing you to create your own signature dish using your own favorite blend of spices. (Whether you share the recipe or not is entirely up to you!)

High-pectin fruits such as apples and blackberries won’t need a thickening agent, while blueberries and cherries may require some assistance such as cornstarch or tapioca to create a smooth, thick filling that won’t spoil your pie crust or spill out when you slice your pie.

Pie dough: Whisk together 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour,¼ cup sugar and ¾ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat 1 egg with 3 tablespoons ice water and drizzle it over the dough. Gently mix the dough with a fork until it just comes together. If dough is dry, add 1 more tablespoon cold water. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill well for at least an hour before rolling it out.

Spiced Peach and Berry Pie

For the Pie...
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Dash salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 cups fresh sliced peaches
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pastry for top and bottom pie crusts

 Making the pie...

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and lemon zest.
  3. Toss together the peaches and blackberries.
  4. Line a pie plate with one sheet of pastry.
  5. Layer sugar and spice mixture and fruit mixture until crust is fill. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
  6. Add the top crust and cut vents to allow steam to escape.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown. If crust begins to darken, cover edges with aluminum foil.

Spiced Cherry Pie

 

For the Pie...

  • Pastry for top and bottom of pie
  • 5 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • ¾ cup cherry juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter 

Making the pie...

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place one pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough.
  3. Cut the remaining crust into ½-inch strips and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, mix the cherries, juice, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, allspice and butter. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into the pastry-lined pie plate.
  6. Create a lattice pattern over the filling by weaving strips of dough, pressing the ends into the bottom pastry to hold them in place.
  7. Fold the bottom pastry over the lattice ends, crimping to seal tightly.
  8. Cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling begins to bubble.
  9. Cool for at least two hours before serving.

Spiced Apple and Pear Pie

For the Pie...

  • ½ lemon
  • 3 pounds baking apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh (about six)
  • 1 ½ pounds Bosc pears (about 3)
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter 
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pastry for top and bottom pie crusts

Making the Pie...

  1. Grade the lemon zest and set aside. Peel, core and slice the apples and pears into uniform 1-inch slices. Squeeze the lemon juice over the sliced fruit, then toss the mixture with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fruit and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and juices simmer, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, until the fruit softens and the juices evaporate some, about 10 minutes. Evenly mix the flour into the fruit; then cook about a minute more to thicken the juices slightly. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest; and remove from the heat. Cool filling completely.
  3. When filling is cool, fill a pastry-lined pie plate, mounding fruit slightly in the center.
  4. Top with remaining crust, cut away any excess and create a fluted edge around the entire pie. Cut vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
  5. Refrigerate the pie for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower heat to 375 and continue baking until crust is golden brown, about 50 minutes. If the edges of your crust begin to brown too quickly, cover edges with aluminum foil before returning it to the oven.
  8. Pie can be served warm with whipped cream.

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