Pie for a Late-Summer Sunday

The day felt different as soon as I woke up. Overcast and cool, I wondered whether I had slept through several weeks and had awakened to the end of Summer.

This mid-August Sunday the four of us gathered for breakfast at our kitchen table. It was really five of us, if you want to count Harry under the table tickling out feet.

We haven't had breakfast all together on a weekend in a while. I've been rushing out to garden before the heat is staggering.

Being together made O. think about the fact that we haven't had donuts or pancakes lately. All we had this morning were bagels bought the day before.

The weekend had that feel to it that usually I don't sense until toward the end of August. It's a feeling, a whiff of Fall, even though we probably have a month and a half of warm weather left.

It's the light that gives it away. The evening light is changing with every passing day. The pool we go to is now closing a half-hour early, at 7:30pm. I feel like I want to put out my arms and cry, "No, not yet. We're not ready!"

It's not a sensation I welcome. Most of my Summer list is yet undone, and I want to relish every moment.

The past two weeks I have made pie with the last of the fruit from the previous Saturday's farmer's market. I want to use up what I have before a new week's haul.

Last week I made blackberry, blueberry and peach pie.

This week my pie reflected the lateness of the Season. With some melancholy I made a blackberry, blueberry, apple pie. The apples are Summer apples--Ginger Gold. Apples of any kind, though, make me think Fall.

While the pie baked, I put on my jacket and barefoot went out to garden in the rain. I planted some beet seeds in the space where I pulled out one tomato plant this week. My feet were wet and covered in grass. They looked especially tan in the grey light.

Planting the beets was a little like my baking pie, Summer mixed in with Fall. It will be like this for weeks to come now. Summer with a lot of life left, and Fall sidling up.

Farmer's Market Pie
adapted from Sweet Amandine's Peach (or Apricot or Anyfruit) Pie
adapted from Ruth Reichl's Comfort Me With Apples

1/2 recipe of Martha Stewart's pate brisee (or the pie dough of your choice)
2 lbs. of fruit (stone fruit unpeeled and sliced, apples, peeled and sliced)
juice of 1/2 lemon, if using apples
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour, plus 1 Tbs. for tossing with fruit
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pie dough and fit into a 9-inch pie pan, using a fork or your fingers, press down along the edges to form a pattern.

Wash and dry, but do not peel the fruit (except for apples). Slice fruit, if necessary.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, and turn the flame down to low. Add the flour and the cinnamon, and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Remove from heat.

Place the fruit into the unbaked shell. Using a spatula, cover the fruit with the sugar mixture. Don't worry about covering every last bit of fruit. The fruit should peek out from the cracks; during baking, juices will bubble up through the holes.

Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 35 minutes more, until the top is crusty and brown.

Transfer the pie to a rack and cool.

On a hot Summer day or evening, this is surprisingly good straight from the fridge. Otherwise, serve warm, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8-10.

Note: I've had some trouble with this particular pie crust recipe. It sticks like crazy when rolling it out, and isn't fully filling my pie pan. I'm thinking about next time increasing the flour to 1 1/2 cups.