Make pie, not soup

It took some testing to get this peach and blackberry pie up to snuff–by which I mostly mean not fruit soup. Here are some of my lessons from along the way. 

Anyone who’s eaten a great peach knows the uncomfortably sticky but delightful feeling of peach juice running down your chin. It’s part of why I look forward to peach season every summer, but all of that liquid does no favors for our pie. Too much liquid and the bottom crust can’t bake through, becoming a soggy mess trying to hold up a liquidy filling. No good!

We have two solutions to the soggy-crust pie soup problem: reduce the juice and fortify the crust.

First, we tackle the problem at its source: the juice. My recipe calls for mixing up the fruit filling ingredients and heating it all on the stove until it bubbles for about a minute. Sugar draws out the juice from the fruits, while boiling the whole mess reduces the liquid and sets the cornstarch to thicken it up. I’m not one for a gelatinous fruit pie but this step changes your soupy fruit into a filling with manageable (and delicious!) ooze.

Second, we set the crust fast. Both starting at a higher temperature and baking in the bottom third of the oven (closer to the heat) give the crust a head start to bake quickly. A set crust is less prone to dissolve in the yummy juices from the fruit, giving us both structural stability and a contrasting crispiness on the bottom.

Try these tricks on your next fruit pie and let me know how it goes!