Pie in our eyes: Seven ways to get your fill

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Raspberry pie from Foods of All Nations. Raspberry pie from Foods of All Nations.

Dessert trends come and go, but a good slice of pie stands the test of time—especially when it’s filled with seasonal fruit and served à la mode. Here’s a deep dish worth of local choices of America’s most classic dessert.

The individual peach pies at Albemarle Baking Company might be small, but the double-crusted delights are packed with Henley’s Orchard peaches and topped with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for $4.95.

Local peaches are the filling du jour at Anderson’s Carriage House too, but the pies there get a crumbly topping made with oats, flour, butter, spices, and plenty of brown sugar. Get a slice for $2.99 or a whole pie for $12.99.

The local peach pie at Breadworks looks pretty enough for the windowsill, with a lattice-style top crust that’s egg-washed and sprinkled with sugar for $13.95.

Life is a pieful of cherries at Chandler’s Bakery, where you can get a cherry pie topped with a lattice crust or a crumb crust for $10.99.

Relish the final strawberries paired with its tastiest partner, rhubarb, at Family Ties and Pies, a vendor at the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday farmers’ markets. The Meynig family’s strawberry-rhubarb pie has an all-butter crust with a lattice top and comes in two sizes: small for $7, or large for $15.

Berries unite in Foods of All Nations’ raspberry, blackberry, blueberry pie with a tender, shortening-based double crust for $10.99.

Buttery pastry crust goes freeform at Paradox Pastry with the individual-sized rustic crostade that’s filled with almond cream and fresh raspberries for $5.

Easy as crisp
Making a flaky, tender homemade crust isn’t exactly easy as pie. Flour-coated fat particles need to stay separate and cold, so butter or lard must be cut in and then ice water added gradually yet quickly.

Forget about it if you want to make a double crust. The term “upper crust” refers to early American times when only affluent households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower pie crusts.

Rather than take the Pillsbury way out, commit this crisp recipe to memory, fill a 9″x13″ dish with your favorite fruit, and after 45 minutes at 375 degrees, you’ve made your pie and can eat it too.

Crisp topping
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Pick your own filling
Nothing beats a pie oozing with fruits you picked yourself. Here’s a list of where and when to pick spring and summer’s sweetest.

Strawberries
Mid-May to June
Critzer Family Farm, Seamans’ Orchard

Cherries
Late June to July
Seamans’ Orchard, Spring Valley Orchard

Blackberries
June through August
Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery

Blueberries
June through August
Berry Patch of Free Union

Peaches
July and August
AmFOG, Carter Mountain Orchard, Chiles Peach Orchard, Critzer Family Farm, Drumheller’s Orchard, Dickie Brothers Orchard

Pit stop
Make quick work of pitting a pound of cherries with this cherry pitter from The Happy Cook ($14).

Or, channel MacGyver and use a paper clip. Unfold it at its center, and depending on the size of the cherry, insert either the large or small end of the clip through where the stem was. Loosen the pit, and pull it out. If you want to leave the stems intact, insert the clip into the cherry’s bottom.

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