Friday, August 14, 2009

Nana's Fresh Fruit Pie

Summer is in full swing here in the North. Our county fair is next week. My garden is producing green beans by the bushel, zucchini, sweet peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. As for fruit, we are still picking raspberries and huckleberries and peach season is coming soon. Strawberry and blueberry seasons are finished and the jam is in the freezer.

I think that aside from my garden, fresh fruit defines summer for me. Watermelon, blueberries, and juicy ripe peaches capture the very essence of the season, in all its glorious splendor, and nothing does a better job of showcasing that splendor than a fresh fruit pie.

Not just any fresh fruit pie…but Nana’s extraordinary fresh fruit pie…a pie with an amazing secret—its cheesecake middle. (For those of you who had this at Kevin’s client appreciation luncheon and have been awaiting this post, I apologize for being so long in getting it up.) The pie can be made with any fresh fruit you like…softer fruits work best for obvious reasons—all berries, and peach are wonderful. I’ve never tried banana, pear, apricot, plum, or cherry, so if you do, let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!

Nana's Fresh Fruit Pie
(Recipe make 2 small pies or 1 large pie)

4-6 C Fresh Fruit

1 Pkg Graham Crackers, or equivalent (6 oz/~2C) Vanilla Waffers or Animal Crackers
½ C Sugar
½ C Melted Butter

8 oz Cream Cheese—low fat is OK but will give a softer set
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3 C Lemon Juice
1-2 tsp. Vanilla

2 C Cold Water
1 C Sugar—or if fruit is sour, more sugar to taste
1 Small Pkg. Jello
5 Tbs Corn Starch

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place graham crackers and sugar in food processor and blend into crumbs. Add butter and mix until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into pie pans or baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust turns slightly more brown. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Middle: Place cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk into food processor and blend until smooth and without lumps. Add in vanilla and lemon juice and blend until mixed. Pour immediately into crust and allow to set (10 minutes).

Glaze: The type of glaze you make will depend upon the fruit you use to make the pie. In most cases you can match the jello to the fruit and make the glaze as follows:

Place water, sugar, cornstarch, and jello into a small saucepan and whisk until cornstarch is disolved and there are no lumps before placing over med-high heat. Heat until glaze is thickened and you can see a ‘faint line’ after pulling the spoon through the glaze(runny pudding consistency). Glaze should be clear.

For certain types of fruit, the pie is better if you use fresh juice and lemon jello. This is true of blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries etc. For these fruits, cook approximately 2 cups of berries in 1 cup of water until boiling and fruit is mushy. Strain through a cheese cloth to get juice. Then take: 1 cup juice, 1 cup water, 1 small pkg. lemon jello, cornstarch and sugar and prepare as above.

If using peaches as your fruit, add ¼ tsp. almond extract to glaze mixture.
If using blueberries or huckleberries, add ¼ tsp. vanilla to glaze

Make sure berries or fruit is well drained and heap onto pie. Allow glaze to cool about 10 minutes before pouring over fruit. Chill well before serving or until glaze is set.


  1. oh my god... yes please.... looks soooo good

  2. Ooh, yummy! I'll have to try this one sometime :)


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