Peach, Raspberry, and Basil Pie

"basically all i want to do is invite people over to my house and hear the pop of another bottle of wine and the sound of glasses clinking together and i want to bring out a pie from the oven and tell people i hope they saved room for dessert and put a big, melty scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of each piece as i hand it off on a little plate and no one ever once talks about how early they have to be up for work tomorrow"
--From one of my favorite online writers--I love what imagery this evokes.

I made this pie a couple months ago but never posted it on the blog. 
Actually, it's a funny story. I hate making pies. Mainly because I'm terrible with things that require a crust. I'm just no good at rolling out pie dough. I think it's because my hands are very warm, and I constantly have to put the dough back in the fridge to firm it up. It doesn't help that I keep my house pretty warm, too. I usually end up getting frustrated with the edges and so my pies tend to be scrumptiously ugly. 
But nevertheless, I made this pie in honor of my little trip to Hermann, MO. 

Last month, I was invited to judge a pie contest in Hermann, Mo as part of my job as a writer for Sauce Magazine. It was my first time venturing farther west into Missouri, and I was honored to be invited. Hermann is a small town of around 2,400 inhabitants, and the camaraderie, love and good will among everyone was immediately apparent.

It's strange for a kid like me, who has half grown up in the bustling, chaotic city of Mumbai and half in the suburbs of Atlanta, neither of which comes close to the tiny small-town feel of Hermann. I couldn't get over the fact that there were no traffic lights but only stop signs everywhere and that everyone seemed to know everyone else's names. 

I was the only judge and sampled seven delicious pies and two scrumptious cobblers. I chose the caramel-apple-pecan pie as the winner, although a blueberry-lavender pie came rather close. The experience was so fun and sweet! And it got me thinking about pies--I wanted to make something to honor my experience there.

I was a stranger to pies until I moved to the U.S. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about cooked fruit in general, but now I love a tangy cherry or a sweet nectarine pie. The combinations possibilities are endless, yet many people stick to traditional flavors. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but amidst all those recipes for classic peach or strawberry-rhubarb pies, I like to think of something a little outside the box.

Although I already had a lot of raspberries and peaches lying around (my favorite pairing for most fruity desserts), I decided to add the basil on a whim. The basil lends an herbal, floral flavor to the overall taste. And also, we're growing a lot of basil. The raspberries are tart and balanced by the sweetness of the peaches. All are met in a crunchy, buttery crust. My pie may be ugly but it's damn delicious.

Peach, Raspberry and Basil Pie
Makes 1 pie
Adapted from Zoe Bakes

1 pint raspberries
6 ripe, firm yellow or white peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped *
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
A handful of basil, roughly chopped
1 pie crust (recipe follows)
1 egg white, beaten

Toss raspberries and peaches together in a bowl with the lemon juice.
Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, the cornstarch, salt and basil in a small bowl and then pour it over the fruit, mixing well so it’s coated. Add more sugar to taste.
Pour the fruit mix into prepared a 9-inch pie pan lined with the pie crust. 
Place the top crust round over the filling, crimp the edges together, and make small slits in the top (I cut little shapes in mine.). 
Brush the crust with the egg white. 
Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and then freeze for 15 minutes.
Place the oven rack on the lowest possible level and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake another 40 minutes. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent the pie with foil and continue baking.
Let the pie cool before serving (The filling may not completely set if it’s still warm.).
Best served with ice cream.
*Nectarines also can be used in place of peaches.

Pie Crust
Makes 1 double- or 2 single-crust pies

2½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, cubed and chilled
¾ cup ice cold water
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
Sprinkle the butter over the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mix together until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
Drizzle half of the ice water over the mixture, and use a rubber spatula to gather the dough together. Add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.
Divide the dough in half and wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap. Let chill for at least 1 hour.
Roll out each dough ball separately to a 13-inch round and an 11-inch round between two sheets of parchment paper. 
Use the 13-inch round to line a greased 9-inch pie pan, leaving ½-inch overhang around the edges. Reserve the 11-inch round to top the pie after adding the filling.


  1. i love that quote at the top! and this pie instantly made me miss summer flavors; i remember when you said you went to Hermann, and that small-town stuff sort of freaks me out. I have family who are farmers in North Dakota, and it's the same there: everyone knows everyone.
    This pie sounds lovely, and i'm pinning it to remember for next summer when all my beloved peaches and raspberries are back in.

  2. Thanks, dear! I'm a bit late in posting the recipe, but that's the great thing about blogs and the internet, it'll still be here waiting for you next summer :P

  3. Your pie looks amazing! I'm jealous that you got to judge a pie contest. I've been wanting to visit Hermann for a while. It's wine country, right?

    My hands are the opposite. They're always freezing!

  4. Thanks! And yes, it's wine country, very pretty!


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