On a hot summer day when we found an abundance of fresh fruit in our refrigerator, I would help my Mom make a fresh fruit pie. Think basically of a big fruit salad, with a citrus glaze to hold it together in a sugar cookie pie crust! I have fond memories of this dessert. In my mind it is associated with those hot days of summer that are filled with fresh vegetables from the garden and lots of fresh fruit, maybe some of it recently picked that day. It’s made on one of those days when you’ve been working hard outside in the garden or on some project or other, and the family is hot and tired but they come together for a great refreshing meal…a great end to a good day. Traditionally, it is important to over-fill the pie crust so that the fruit is just about spilling over the edge of your pie plate. It is also tradition for the baker to bemoan the messiness of the pie as she serves it… Usually the pie crust ends up sticking a bit to the pan, and the fruit just kind of falls all over (because the pie is so over-stuffed of course) and you end up with a big delicious pile of crust and fruit on your plate. Perhaps this is not a dessert for someone who is serving an elegant meal and wanting to impress their guests, or for someone who wants to take a picture of a beautiful slice of pie. But personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way because then it just wouldn’t be quite the same.
The neat thing about the recipe is that you can use whatever fruit you have on hand. It calls for six cups of fruit, you get to pick what you throw into the mix to make up that 6 cups though. It’s really a refreshing, delicious dessert, and one that it so healthy that you don’t have to feel the least bit ashamed of eating a quarter of a pie at a time as my husband and I did… As with most pies, it is best on the first day. The crust does get a bit soggy by the next day. I suppose you could use a regular pie crust for it, and then it might come out of the pan better, and you might be able to have a nice looking slice of pie. But I would miss the cookie flavor of the crust, and I’m pretty sure I would miss just having that big mound of fruit and crust on your plate. It doesn’t try to pretend it’s something it’s not, it’s just down to earth fruity goodness. Top with a generous dollop of cool whip, and enjoy!
Fresh Fruit Pie
No-Roll Cookie Crust:
1/4 cup margarine, allow to soften
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
Mix margarine, sugar and egg yolk. Add flour and mix with pastry blender until crumbs form. Press firmly into 9-inch pie pan.
Bake at 400 for 8 minutes or until the edge is brown. Cool.
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
6 cups of assorted fruit: strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pineapple, kiwi, nectarines, mandarin oranges, peaches, bananas, etc.
In a saucepan mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in orange juice until smooth. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest.
Cool completely. Fold in 6 cups of assorted fruit, and pour into cookie crust. Chill for 4 hours before eating.