This fresh peach and blueberry pie is the taste of summer. I know, I know, this sounds like a cliché and I am not the first person to ever write it. But for real, it is. It tastes like summer the way the first Caprese salad does, the first chilled-from-the-fridge gazpacho does, and the first drip-down-your-chin slice of watermelon, and so on.
Now that I’m an adult and the lazy days of summer are long behind me, I kind of think seasonal eats are summer’s biggest prize.
A Pie with Pennsylvania Dutch Origins
This recipe gets its start from my Great Aunt Charlotte’s peach pie recipe, but I’ve made many tweaks over the years to the topping, in favor of more butter. And sometime I add berries, sometimes I don’t.
She was Pennsylvania Dutch (a.k.a. German) and made everything from scratch, but peach pie was a definite specialty. The instructions were so simple, and the pies were always, always made with a crumb topping.
The Beauty of a Crumb Topping
The genesis of my summertime pie obsession started because I grew up eating crumb-topped pies like my Great Aunt’s. I’m convinced (although this is highly unscientific) that it has something to do with my Pennsylvania German background.
A crumb topping might be a little different from what you normally think of when you think of pie, but it’s still special: It’s rustic and homey. It’s also just what I want pie to be when I want pie, which is at any given fruit-loving moment from July through November.
A crumb topping is decidedly unfussy. The topping for today’s pie, however, amps up Aunt Charlotte’s approach because I’ve made the crumbs the size of small boulders, taking a cue from my New York-style crumb cake recipe, which consists of a glorious 3/4 crumb to 1/4 cake ratio.
The Best Fruit for Crumb Pie
I started pairing peaches and blueberries mostly because I would end up buying them or picking them at the same time at a nearby farm. As with much of nature, the fact that these fruits are ripe at roughly the same time is no accident whatsoever!
But sometimes I make this pie with just peaches (like Aunt Charlotte), and by all means, if you have superior specimens that you want to highlight in all their beautiful simplicity, go for it. Leave out the blueberries altogether—just add equal parts peaches.
CAN WE TALK ABOUT PIE ANXIETY?
People get really antsy about pie. I think it’s because most photos show a beautifully baked pie, the mere existence of which can bring an inordinate amount of fear and loathing, triggering a wave of kitchen insecurities. Let me tell you a couple of secrets, dear reader.
First: Pie dough is really forgiving. This recipe from Elise for Perfect Pie Crust that we’ve had on our site for years is tried and true. Just halve the all-butter version for the bottom crust in this recipe, and you are good to go.
You can make it lickety-split in the food processor, which is my preference, but you don’t need to use a machine. People have been making pies way longer than the dawn of La Machine in the 1970s (first generation food processor. Google it!) If it doesn’t roll out perfectly, just patch it back together. If the crust doesn’t fit right when you transfer it to the pie dish, gently press it into place. It can take it. Pinky swear promise.
Second: Pies are not designed to make you feel insecure. They are more benevolent than that. They are designed for you to eat them. They are not complicated and can actually be made fairly quickly. The dough comes together easily with minimal effort and chills for an hour. Then just toss together some fresh fruit, roll out the dough, put all in the oven, and then consume said pie with friends and family and neighbors and anyone who happens to drop by.
Maybe you add a scoop of ice cream. Maybe you don’t. Because pie. Who refuses pie? I have not seen it happen yet.
LET PIE COOL BEFORE SERVING
Please don’t be like me and let your food impatience get the better of you and cut into this baby before it’s cooled off. You really do need a couple of hours before you can cut into it.
If you don’t, it will result in a pie that does not acquiesce to your desires—in other words, it will not hold its shape and fall apart! Then you have crumble with a broken bottom crust, and that’s a different story. Still edible, but not quite pie anymore.
HOW TO STORE THIS PIE
If for some reason you have leftovers, you can freeze pie. I have never needed to do it with this pie because, like I said, I have never seen anyone refuse pie. I store this in the refrigerator covered in aluminum foil because the fruit can get moldy at room temperature, which in the summer means a warmer kitchen, irrespective of the air conditioning situation in your house.
GET MORE SUMMER PIE LOVE RIGHT HERE!
Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie Recipe
Ripeness and juiciness vary from fruit to fruit, so you may find that even after waiting a couple of hours for the pie to cool before cutting, this pie's juices may run a bit.
For the bottom crust:
- 1/2 batch all-butter Perfect Pie Crust, chilled
For the filling:
- 6 to 7 cups peaches (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices (peeled or not—your call)
- 1 1/2 cups (scant dry pint) blueberries, stems removed
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the crumb topping:
- 1 cup (128 g) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (room temperature to cool is fine)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Make the crust: Follow the directions for the all-butter version of Perfect Pie Crust but halve the recipe and chill the dough for an hour so it firms up. Let it sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll out—in a hot kitchen in the summer this can happen in as quickly as 5 to 10 minutes.
3 Roll out the dough: Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rough circle the size of a standard 9-inch pie pan. Carefully fit the dough into the pan. Return the pie crust to the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes while you make filling to keep it cold.
4 Make the filling: Combine the peaches and blueberries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch, tossing gently to combine with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Let it sit for a few minutes while you work on the crumbs.
5 Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, pinch of salt, and ground ginger (if using) with a fork, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar as you go. Add the melted butter and combine until all the flour is incorporated.
Using your clean hands, bring together the ingredients so the butter has evenly distributed, and you’ll naturally start to form crumbs.
6 Assemble the pie: Remove the chilled pie from the fridge and add the fruit filling, spreading evenly to fill the crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the pie. It will be mostly covered with crumbs and they will be delightfully irregular in size.
7 Bake the pie: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350°F and then turn the oven up to 450°F for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the top is brown and the pie is bubbling. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack, and wait for about 2 very long hours to cool before slicing.
This pie will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, although the crust will get a little dried out. It takes kindly to a gentle reheating in the microwave or a low oven (325°F) for about 15 minutes, straight from the fridge.
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