When nectarines and peaches are so perfect that you can smell their heady perfume and luxuriate in their fresh nectar as it dribbles down your chin, slice them and turn them into this delectable summer dessert. The fruit isn't cooked, so you can thoroughly savor its ripe, juicy sweetness. The slices are drizzled with blackberry syrup that is made by cooking down blackberries with a little cornstarch until they are just thick enough to coat the fruit and hold the juicy slices together.
If you use nectarines, you don't even need to peel them. To peel peaches either plunge them into boiling water for 10 seconds, remove and slip off peel or use a carrot peeler that has a serrated edge. (This type of peeler is also good for tomatoes.)
For my favorite pie crust recipe, click here. It needs to be blind baked (see the recipe). This means that it is baked without a filling. (When I was young I thought that meant the crust was blind, because it was covered with foil as it baked and couldn't see.) You can always substitute an already prepared pie shell, but they are usually smaller and fit better in a 9-inch pie dish. You will still need to pre-bake or blind bake it. To make this recipe in a 9-inch pie shell, reduce the filling by about one quarter.
One taste of this ambrosial pie and you may never bake a pie with summer fruit again.
Summer Nectarine (or Peach) & Blackberry (or Boysenberry) Pie
1 baked 9 1/2-inch pie crust, see recipe under Desserts.
6 nectarines, unpeeled, or 8 peaches, peeled
4 cups blackberries or boysenberries
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Whipped cream or ice cream for serving, optional
1. Make and bake pastry as directed.
2. Slice nectarines or peaches and combine with 1 1/2 cups berries. Place in baked pie shell.
3. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and water. Add 2 cups berries and bring to a full boil, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should be thin enough to fall between fruit, but thick enough to hold the fruit together. Spoon over pie, allowing to drizzle through the fruit. Refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.
4. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Makes 8 servings.