This pie was born out of frustration, deception, and laziness. I was all set to try to recreate the famous Hess’s Patio Restaurant fresh strawberry pie (even if you don’t know Hess’s Department Store, you know the kind of pie I’m talking about—giant raw strawberries with candy-color glaze and whipped cream a mile high on top). When my oldest daughter saw what I was trying to do (this is the same daughter who requested the Hess’s Patio Pie for her birthday every year until Hess’s went out of business), she said she didn’t like the ingredients in the glaze and would rather I not make it…yes, this is the picky one. And yet there sat two giant containers of perfect organic giant strawberries, as well as two organic frozen pie shells I had purchased just for this occasion (the occasion was another daughter’s sleepover with five friends celebrating the end of school).
So, while the older daughter wasn’t looking, I filled the bottom half of the pie shells with cut and sugared strawberries (adding a little butter, too) and baked it like a regular pie. Then, after it was out of the oven, I put the fresh sugared strawberries on top (“no glaze”). Along with lots of fresh whipped cream, these two pies were gone by morning. I never did tell my picky one, who never eats cooked fruit. After all, the cooked fruit was on the bottom, where you couldn’t see it! The cooked-fruit-on-the-bottom approach has the added benefit of holding the bottom of the piecrust in place (crusts can sometimes puff up if you don’t weight them down, if, say, you’re making a fresh fruit pie and need to cook the crust separately).
I made it with strawberries, but I think you could make this with almost any fruit! These measurements are very flexible!
The Easiest Summer Fresh Fruit Pie
4–6 cups fresh fruit (berries, cherries, peaches, etc.)
½ cup sugar
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoons flour, cornstarch, or tapioca
Juice of ½ fresh lemon
Pinch of salt
Piecrust of your choosing (bottom only)
1. Clean and cut the fruit. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon juice over all of it, and mix.
2. Take out half the fruit and set aside to cook. Add the flour, cornstarch, or tapioca (to thicken) to the fruit that’s to be cooked, and stir.
3. Put the fruit to be cooked into the pie shell. Dot with butter and add the pinch of salt.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is bubbly and golden.
5. When the pie has cooled a bit, top with the rest of the fresh fruit.
6. Serve with whipped cream and ice cream, and devour!!!!!