Saturday, June 19, 2010

The perfect summer pie.

To be honest, you’ve already wasted a ton of time in never having made this pie.  It is probably the best pie I’ve ever made, and I make a mean pie, especially in the summer when all the stone fruits and berries are singing their in-season siren song of irresistibility. 

This is a custard pie – homemade custard to be exact, filled with summery berries, poured into a homemade graham cracker crust and chilled.  As all the flavors blend together something really magical happens, and you start to question how you were ever able to achieve these flavors without the aid of unicorn tears.   This pie is time consuming but I implore you – do not use a store bought graham crust and please don’t skip the homemade custard for something instant – this will definitely not be the same pie if you do.

Hopefully you’ll make this pie asap, and its deliciousness will distract you from the fact that I won’t be posting for a couple of weeks…I’m off to Hawaii, but I promise a big picture-filled post on my return, so you can enjoy the island food I’ll get to partake of in just a couple of days!  Aloha!

Summer Fruit Cream Pie
by Martha Stewart, with my notes
Serves 12

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ¾ cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use a bit more)
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
1 ½ cups berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries…use a nice even mix of whatever you like above!)
Graham Cracker crust (recipe follows)

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan; whisk in milk.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes total (2 minutes after it comes to a boil).

Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined.  Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated.  Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until it reaches boil, 1 to 2 minutes (this actually happens really fast, so pay attention to when it actually boils again, not the minutes above, so as not to burn).

Immediately remove from heat, and stir in cinnamon.  Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until melted before adding another piece.  Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Gently fold in berries until evenly distributed.

Pour custard into previously prepared, cooled graham cracker crust.  Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard (to preserve texture and discourage a skin from forming).  Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight!)

Graham Cracker Crust

6 ½ ounces graham crackers (12 crackers) finely ground (1 ½ cups)
2 ½ ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined.

Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch pie dish.  Bake until crust is fragrant and edges are golden, 12-14 minutes.  Let cool completely before using, on a wire rack.


  1. Got to have the leftovers...delicious but not enough! We want more!!!

  2. did'nt hold together..more like very yummy pudding..any suggestions?

  3. The longer you chill the pie, the firmer it will get. I'd also be sure to use whole milk rather than anything with less fat, and that the custard comes to a full boil at both points described above.

    This custard definitely has a silky pudding-like consistency, rather than being stand-up-firm...glad it was still yummy even if the texture didn't come out as expected! Thanks for reading and trying it out :)