Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Ever wonder how to make your own homemade fruit pie? I am here to help! Learn how to make pie crust and filling in with these easy steps! Plus, I am going to breakdown common mistakes, tips, and even a simple recipe you can use for almost any type of fruit, fresh or frozen.
Fruit pies are beautiful not only because they are incredibly simple, but because they really only need 4 things:
Fruit, Fresh or Frozen
Cornstarch or Flour
Yep, it really is that basic.
Learning how to make a fruit pie growing up was something that I have tried and failed at many times. My mom's side of the family is known for their pies, so making ones that people actually wanted to eat was the challenge, and when they did it felt like a WIN. (I think they were just afraid of the label "Vegan", so it deterred them from trying. I digress.)
Either way, here are common mistakes that I have made when creating (or trying to) a pie!
Common Mistakes Made:
1. Soggy Crust
This one is an easy fix. Cook the pie longer. A typical pie will cook for about 45-55 minutes. If cooked any less, the bottom of the pie will be one hot mess. Literally... Often, the top parts of the crust cook much faster, turning into a beautiful golden brown. However, if this occurs often for you, you can purchase a pie crust shield that will prevent this from happening, so you can cook your pie all the way through without worrying about the top crust burning.
2. Crust is BORING
I don't know about you, but I find regular pie crust to be insanely bland. It is hard for me to find one that I genuinely like. That's why experimenting with graham crackers, or my personal favorite, cookie dough can be transformational to the taste and look of the pie.
3. The filling is too dry or too liquidy.
This means the minute you cut into your pie everything falls apart. Liquid is pooling to the center, or on the flip side, you can still see flour coating the fruit. Both are not great. Let's talk about the first option. If the filling is too liquid that means, there was not enough thickener, like cornstarch or flour, or it wasn't cooled completely. The latter, being too dry, meant that either the fruit you were using was not a very hydrated fruit (think apples), and it you didn't add the proper amount of oil or water. (Don't worry we will cover more of this later!)
These are three of the most common mistakes I and many others have made mean creating a pie, but they are not the end of the world.
Now, I want to talk about the specifics of each layer, starting with fruit.
Foremost, each fruit varies in sweetness, water content, and taste. This makes making certain pies, like apple, slightly different from making a peach pie. However the base of it is the same and small adjustments may have to be made.
Filling: Fresh VS Frozen Fruit
1. Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits will need more liquid than frozen, because they have excess liquid. So when baking with fresh fruits, you will likely need less of a thickening agent, a tablespoon or two of water or oil scattered over the pie, and cooked slightly less.
2. Frozen Fruits
Like I said before, frozen fruits contain more liquid. As the fruit thaws, you will notice that a lot of water can form.
Here are tricks you can use in pies
Use completely frozen, dust in flour or cornstarch & sugar right away, then bake. (The BEST option)
Another option I have used is to completely thaw the frozen fruit and drain it. Then in a saucepan, add the flour or cornstarch, and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium-heat until it begins to thicken. Then let it cool completely before placing it in the crust. Once it is cooled, pour it over the crust and bake.
Ready to make your own pie now? I have comprised my favorite basic recipe that you can use and interchange with any fruits of your choice.
Cornstarch, Tapioca Starch, Arrowroot, and Flour. These are the thickeners. They make the recipe less liquidy. You can use one of these in the recipe. You toss the fresh or frozen fruit in this along with the sugar.
Pie crust is the base layer. Evening out the flavorful filling with a flaky, butter dough. You have many options when it comes to crust.
Graham Cracker Crust
Cookie Crust (the best, just saying)
Each have their own flavor profiles, drawbacks, and benefits. I have found store bought and cookie crust are my favorite simply based on ease and taste.
In the recipe below, I will have my favorite cookie crust, as well as a base pie filling to make your pie the best it can be!
If you try out this recipe make sure to let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #underthewillow on Instagram.
Want to save this recipe & tips for later? Pin it on Pinterest!