One of the most popular seasonal pie flavors at the bakery I used to work at was peach raspberry. It was so popular that in just three weeks, I pitted and sliced over 900 pounds of peaches in our small bakeshop.
This isn’t the exact recipe we used at the bakery, but instead a version I prefer to make at home. I swapped out the spices and toned down the sugar to let the fruit take the lead. There’s really no better way to celebrate summer than with fresh fruit.
Sometimes peaches can taste overly sweet. And sometimes raspberries are too sour. Peach raspberry pie balances the honey sweetness of peaches with tart raspberries all encased in buttery, flaky pastry.
The Best Peaches for Pie
Yellow peaches are best for pie. They are very sweet with sprightly acidity. White peaches, on the other hand, have less acidity and a mellower flavor.
Avoid clingstone peaches and go for freestone instead. Clingstone, like the name suggests, means that the fruit clings to the stone, making them very difficult to pit. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell if a peach is clingstone or freestone without trying to remove the pit. Luckily, most supermarket varieties are freestone, so most peaches labeled “yellow peach” will work.
If you’re looking for specific varietals, try Early Amber, Fay Elberta, Glohaven, or Golden Jubilee.
When assessing whether a yellow peach is good enough for pie, look for ones with golden skin and yellow flesh. The peaches should be ripe, but still slightly firm. When gently squeezed, it should feel like you could leave a dent without making a juicy mess. Overly ripe peaches will make a runny pie.
In the off-season, you can use frozen or canned peaches. Be sure to use ones canned in juice, not syrup, and drain the juice before using them. If you choose to use sliced frozen peaches, you don’t need to thaw them, but you may need to add an additional 10 minutes or so to the bake time.
Peeling the Peaches
I don’t mind leaving the peach peel in rustic desserts like pie, but some don’t like the texture or the slight bitterness of the peel.
If you prefer to peel the peaches, cut an “X” on the bottom of each peach (opposite the stem). Submerge a few at a time in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Fish them out carefully with a slotted spoon and transfer them to an ice bath. The skins should now peel off easily.
The Best Way to Thicken Fruit Pies
While fruit naturally contains a thickener called pectin, there isn’t quite enough of it in peaches and raspberries to thicken the pie filling on its own. Most pies rely on an added starch to absorb excess moisture and thicken the filling.
The thickening power of starch is heat-activated, so the pie has to be baked long enough for the filling to reach a high enough temperature. A good sign that the filling has been heated enough for the starch to activate is when you can see the filling bubbling through the vents cut in the top crust of the pie.
The most common thickeners for pie are flour, cornstarch, and tapioca.
- Flour is the weakest thickener and can lead to a cloudy filling. It should only be used with fruits that are already high in pectin, like apples.
- Cornstarch will initially make the filling cloudy, but it turns clear once it’s boiled.
- Tapioca starch makes for the clearest filling and doesn’t tend to have the gel-like consistency that cornstarch can have.
- Cornstarch and tapioca have about the same thickening power and can be substituted one-for-one.
If the fruit you are using is very ripe, or if you’re using frozen fruit, add an additional 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch to help with the extra moisture.
When transferring the filling into the pie crust, be sure to leave behind any excess liquid that may have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. Bake the pie for longer if the crust hasn’t browned enough and the filling isn’t bubbling yet; check back every 10 to 15 minutes.
Tips and Tricks for Making Peach Raspberry Pie
Baking pie often gets a reputation for being difficult, especially when making the crust from scratch. Here are a few tips that can make “easy as pie” ring true.
- Keep it cold. Roll out the dough before making the filling and chill it in the fridge while preparing the fruit. This keeps the butter cold so it’s sure to bake into a flaky crust.
- Pre-rolling the crust also means that the filling doesn’t sit for too long before assembling the pie. Sugar extracts moisture from the fruit (think macerated fruit). So, having the crust ready prevents too much liquid from leaking from the fruit, which would lead to a soupy filling.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl first and then add them to the fruit. This ensures the filling is evenly mixed and prevents clumps. You wouldn’t want to accidentally bring back the Cinnamon Challenge with a bite full of cinnamon. It also makes it easier to stir the filling without crushing the delicate raspberries.
- I prefer using frozen raspberries for baking because they don’t get squished while mixing. That said, if you’ve got your hands on some plump, in-season raspberries, use those.
- Use a metal or glass pie dish. Metal is a better heat conductor than glass or ceramic, so it will cook the bottom crust better. However, with glass, you can check the bottom crust to see if it’s browned and crisp. Ceramic will still make a good pie, but it may take longer for the bottom crust to crisp up.
Try Another Fruit Combination
If you’re suddenly inspired by what’s in season or wistfully constrained by what isn’t, luckily there are many variations you could try. Swap out the peaches for another stone fruit or try another berry in place of the raspberries. You could even try nectarine blueberry or plum blackberry.
Store the baked pie loosely covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to two days or refrigerated for up to four days.
This pie can be frozen before or after baking.
To freeze before baking: Wrap the pie tightly with plastic wrap or place it in a zip top freezer bag. Bake it directly from the freezer following the recipe, though it may need an extra 15 minutes in the oven.
To freeze a baked pie: Let it cool completely, then place the pie uncovered in the freezer. Once it’s completely frozen, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in a zip top freezer bag. When ready to serve, thaw the pie on the counter. A frozen pie will keep for up to 3 months.
More Seasonal Fruit Pies
Peach Raspberry Pie
The pie crust used in this recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance. If you’re making it the day of, you’ll need to budget about 2 hours of time to make it and let it chill.
If the peaches are very ripe, or if you’re using frozen peaches, add 2 extra tablespoons of tapioca starch to the filling.
- 1 full recipe Perfect Pie Crust (2 single crusts)
- All-purpose flour for rolling the dough
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (30g) tapioca starch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon, zested
- 6 cups (2 1/4 pounds) ripe peaches, sliced
- 2 cups (8 ounces) raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, half and half, or milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven:
Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
Make the pie dough:
Make the pie dough, divide it into two disks, and chill the disks in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Roll out the dough:
Remove one disk from the refrigerator. Dust your countertop lightly with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.
To roll the dough, start at the center and roll outwards to the edges. Rotate the dough as you roll to keep the dough circular. If the dough starts to stick to the countertop or rolling pin, lightly dust it with more flour.
Carefully transfer the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. To do this while minimizing the risk of tearing the dough, roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll it into the pie dish. Gently press in the dough to line the pie dish.
Roll out the second disk following the same method. Transfer it onto a plate or parchment paper. Cover the crusts with plastic wrap, and place both in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling:
In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, tapioca starch, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and lemon zest.
In a large bowl, gently toss the sliced peaches and raspberries with the lemon juice. If using frozen raspberries, they don’t need to be thawed.
Add the sugar mixture and mix with a rubber spatula to evenly coat the fruit, being careful not to squish the raspberries.
Fill the pie:
Remove the bottom crust from the refrigerator. Transfer the filling into the crust and spread it out evenly, leaving behind any extra juices that may have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.
Top the pie:
Remove the top crust from the refrigerator and place it over the pie. Trim any excess dough, leaving about a 1-inch overhang from the edge of the pie dish.
Fold the dough under itself, tucking the top crust under the bottom crust, so the edge of the fold is flush with the rim of the pie dish. Use your fingers to crimp and seal the edges.
Use a sharp knife to cut a few vents on the top for the steam to escape.
Brush the pie with the egg wash:
In a small bowl, whisk the cream and egg yolk to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to apply the egg wash over the top crust. Sprinkle the top generously with the turbinado sugar.
Bake the pie:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil to catch any drippings. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake it for 1 hour, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling in the center.
If you’re using frozen fruit, the pie may need to bake for longer. After an additional 10 minutes, check if the crust has browned enough and if the filling is bubbling. Keep checking every 10 minutes.
Cool and serve:
Transfer the pie onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing and serving.