The two fruits that feel most “summery” to me are strawberries and peaches. When they are in season, we end up buying as many as we can eat, and they’re a constant source of fruity joy in our kitchen. Several summers ago, I needed to make a dessert for an event but didn’t have sour cream (to make sour cream peach pie) or gelatin (to make a classic strawberry pie) – though I did have an abundance of the two aforementioned fruits. We also had some fresh basil from our herb garden, so after a bit of research, I went out on a limb and made the strawberry peach basil pie you see below.Jump to Recipe
I know, I know – normally, you only use basil in savory foods. But I promise, this pie doesn’t taste savory! Instead the basil adds a lilt of herbaceous flavor that makes this pie both delicious and unique. My parents request this pie every summer; if you make this recipe at home, you’re almost guaranteed to be the only person bringing this dessert to your next potluck or carry-in.
It’s worth mentioning that all of the ingredients for this pie filling are vegan and gluten-free. If you use a pie crust that also fits those stipulations, this would be a great recipe to share with your friends who have dietary restrictions.
As you might expect, this pie calls for strawberries, peaches, and basil. For the filling, you will also need lemon juice, granulated sugar, and cornstarch. As for the crust, you can use whatever you like as long as it is unbaked and it provides enough square footage for a double-crust. I’ve used Pillsbury unbaked pie crust before and it is perfectly adequate. The dough you see in the images below is a sweet shortcrust pastry dough, the recipe for which will show up here on the blog sometime soon.
Start by rolling out half of your pastry dough and pressing it into in a 9.5″ pie pan. Set this aside.
Next, wash and slice all of your fruit. If you are using frozen fruit, allow it to thaw in a colander or mesh sieve before mixing it with the other filling ingredients. The frozen fruit will release a lot of extra juice that, if allowed to remain in the pie, will make this dish more fit for the soup course than for dessert.
If you are using fresh peaches, I recommend peeling them before slicing, but that’s technically an optional step. The peel on a ripe peach is fairly soft and subtle in flavor. My family dislikes it in baked goods, but if your family appreciates the extra fiber, it would be fine to skip that step.
Pro tip: if you do choose to peel your peaches, don’t bother using a traditional potato or apple peeler. That device will end up removing half of the peach flesh along with the skin, wasting far more fruit than necessary. Instead, the classic blanching method removes none of the underlying fruit; the peel practically falls off.
Now that all of your fruit is ready, combine the sliced strawberries, sliced peaches, lemon juice, and sugar in a large bowl. Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for roughly 30 minutes. The sugar will help to draw out additional liquid from your sliced fruit and (hopefully) mitigate a soggy bottom on your final bake.
After the fruit mixture has rested, drain it using a mesh sieve and return the sugared fruit to its bowl. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Add chopped basil and cornstarch to your fruit and mix to combine. Make sure the cornstarch is mixed evenly throughout the filling, as it will help prevent the filling from becoming too runny.
Once the oven has preheated, transfer the fruit filling to your prepared pie pan. Roll out the remaining pie crust and place it atop your pie in whatever artistic manner you desire. Be sure to leave holes to allow the fruit filling to vent.
Cover the edges of your crust with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the center has set and the crust is turning golden brown. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for the optimal dessert experience.
I hope you enjoy this unique take on a summer fruit pie! Had you ever baked a dessert with basil before? Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, and to tag @WhiskAverseBaking in your posts on social media.
Strawberry Basil Peach Pie
- 9.5” pie pan
- Unbaked pie dough bottom and top crusts
- 5 small peaches peeled and sliced
- 1 pint strawberries sliced
- 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- Combine sliced strawberries, peaches, and sugar in a large bowl. Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for roughly 30 minutes. Drain this mixture through a mesh sieve and return the sugared fruit to your bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add basil and cornstarch to your fruit and mix to combine.
- Once the oven has preheated, transfer the fruit filling to your prepared pie pan.
- Place the top crust over the filled crust in whatever artistic manner you see fit. Be sure to leave holes to allow the fruit filling to vent.
- Cover the edges of your crust with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing and serving.