"Recipeless" Fruit Pies
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, 6 to 8 servings
Dough for Basic Foolproof Lard Crust, page 187
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on tartness of fruit
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on juiciness of fruit
4 cups prepared fruit
2 tablespoons butter
Prepare dough for crust. Use half to line a 9-inch pie pan. Preheat oven to 425F (220C).
In a large bowl, combine sugar, seasonings, cornstarch and fruit. Turn into unbaked pie crust. Top with dots of butter. Roll out remaining dough to fit top of pie.
Place over fruit. Trim and moisten edges. Crimp to seal. Make slits in top for steam to escape. Bake 45 minutes or until crust is golden.
Apple Pie: Pare, core and slice tart apples. Fill pie and bake as above.
Blueberry, Blackberry, Red-Currant, Gooseberry, Raspberry, Strawberry or Fresh Cherry Pie:
Clean berries; pit cherries. Use 1/4 cup cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to fruit mixture. Fill pie and bake as above.
Cut fresh rhubarb into 1-inch chunks and measure. Because rhubarb is so tart, use 1 to 1-1/4 cups sugar for an all-rhubarb pie. Use 1/4 cup cornstarch. Fill pie and bake as above.
Combine half fresh rhubarb, cut into 1-inch chunks, and half strawberries, halved. Increase sugar to 1 cup. Use 1/4 cup cornstarch. Omit cinnamon and nutmeg. Add 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel to fruit mixture. Fill pie and bake as above.