By Maggie Blackwell
For The Salisbury Post
Pies! Glorious pies!
Strawberry yogurt pie is the easiest pie in the world to make, and a peach pie from the freshest peaches is everyone’s favorite. Summertime is filled with potluck opportunities, and each of these pies is a sure-fired crowd-pleaser.
I can’t give anyone credit for the strawberry yogurt pie recipe. It’s one of those fad word-of-mouth pies from a few years back. You can make it in 10 minutes flat, or include the kids and make in a half-hour.
The kids will love to lick the spatula, the bowl, and the dollops of filling that fall on the counter.
With this recipe, remember that you can’t run to the store and buy the ingredients an hour before taking your pie to an event. Cool Whip comes frozen and has to defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Although the ingredients call for a graham-cracker crust, I switched to an Oreo crust instead. In addition, I like to purchase a pack of thin chocolate wafers and stand them up around the edge of the pie. It adds contrast, and who minds a bit more chocolate in anything? The peach and blueberry pie is from Tyler Florence, who hosts “How to Boil Water” on the food channel. This pie is about as easy as they get, for a crust pie. You slice the peaches; throw in the blueberries, sprinkle sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch over them. Give it a toss and throw it in the pie crust. Cover with a second crust, cut vents, and bake. If you are taking it to a gathering, be sure someone is making homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it!
Use prepared crusts from the refrigerator section at the store, or make them from scratch. It’s not difficult at all. In fact, when I make a pie crust, I usually go ahead and make two, freezing one for a day when I’m in a rush.
Tyler Florence’s recipe for pie crust follows; all pie crust recipes are pretty much the same. Please note his pie crust recipe uses a little sugar and lemon. You won’t want to use sugar or lemon in pie crusts for regular food, like quiche or entrée tarts.
Most people seem to be timid about cutting the butter into the flour because you do this until it “looks right.” We have included a picture so you can see what it should look like when you have mixed it just right.
Mix up one or both of these pies for your happy summer outings!
Strawberry Yogurt Pie
1 prepared crumb crust, use graham cracker or Oreo
1 large tub of Cool Whip, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator (lowfat works fine)
1 small container yogurt with fruit in the bottom, strawberry flavor
1 quart strawberries
1 pint blueberries
Rinse berries. Slice strawberries.
In large bowl, mix Cool Whip and yogurt. Fold in berries.
Pour mixture into pie crust.
Garnish with more sliced strawberries, or a bit of shaved semi-sweet chocolate, if desired.
Chill until serving. Serves 6.
Peach Blueberry Pie
1 recipe basic pie pastry, chilled 30 minutes, recipe follows
Flour, for rolling
2 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced
1 pint blueberries
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. butter, cut into bits
1 egg, beaten with a drizzle of water
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Move oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
Divide dough in half and set one half aside; cover with a towel or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Loosely drape the dough round over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough over the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges to about 1/2-inch.
Toss fruit with sugar, lemon and cornstarch. Pile fruit into the pie shell and dot with butter. Roll out reserved dough to a 9 to 10-inch round and lay it over fruit. Trim, and crimp edges. Cut 2 or 3 (2-inch) vents in top of pie and brush with egg glaze.
Put pie on a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling up through vents, 50 to 60 minutes. Cover edges with aluminum foil if they brown too fast. Cool on a rack before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Basic Pie Pastry
2 C. all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. ice water, plus more if needed
Combine flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands.
(Or do the whole thing in a food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.)
Check the consistency of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If it’s still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes. Makes enough for 1 double-crust pie.
Freelance writer Maggie Blackwell lives in Salisbury.
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