Nectarine Blackberry Open Faced Pie and a Pie Party for 18 Reason’s DIY Desserts

by Irvin on June 20, 2012 · 43 comments

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Nectarine Blackberry Open Faced Pie for Pie Day 2012! Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m going to throw out a few words at you: Nectarines. Blackberries. Pie. What do you have? The makings of what could be a pretty straightforward pie for our second annual “Pie Day” celebration! But no, this pie is a little bit fancy schmancy because the roots of our “Pie Day” was to create a virtual pie party, where people across the world can make pie and share pie via their blogs or facebook for all the world to see. And if the world is going to see my pie, I wanted to show off! That said, I’m luckier than most bloggers because I get to actually have a REAL LIFE pie party, as I help co-host the 18 Reasons DIY Dessert event that occurs quarterly and the last one had the theme of pie. I brought a couple of pies to the event, but this one was my “show stopper” pie, a Nectarine Blackberry Open Faced Pie.


18 Reasons is a non-profit organization that tries to foster relationships with food and community. I’ve been working with them for the past couple of years, helping to co-host the DIY Dessert event with my friend Melanie. We’re a couple baking geeks that loves to eat and chat and eat some more. For the DIY Desserts event, we open up the space for anyone to stop by (with or without a pie) and hang out for a couple of hours. Desserts for all!


Our group this time round was small and intimate, but packed full of fun. Melanie arrived with a classic Key Lime Pie with a graham cracker crust. She had never made it before and, in fact, had never bought or used condensed milk in her life. She was baffled when she opened up the squat can and found a sweet viscous liquid that looked like Elmer’s glue. Her initial squeamishness changed, however, when she tasted her final product. Who doesn’t love key lime pie?



This being the season for awesome summer fruit, there was a mixed fruit pie that I adored. Baker and DIY regular Jo, went to the farmers market, picked the best fruit there and made the pie, a method I highly recommend when it comes to making pies. We also had an Apricot Cherry pie with crisp topping that had the baker Maggie balancing its juicy pie pan on public transit. I love it!



Barbara showed up with a chocolate nut pie, based on a King Arthur flour recipe, which was ridiculously good. Warm, still from the oven, just the fragrance alone when you cut into it was almost enough. Almost. We also had a banana toffee pie, brought in from BiRite, which was wonderful, but that was to be expected (I mean, it is a Bi Rite, my favorite grocery store, ever).



Finally there was a savory ham and egg pie that was pretty fantastic. Historically, pies were created to help preserve savory foods and the crust was more of a preserving package. Pies were usually savory and it wasn’t until America, when we started to make sweet dessert pies. I was super thrilled that we had one savory pie at the DIY dessert pie party!




As for my pies, I had brought two pies, one that was still in the recipe developing phase, and my Nectarine Blackberry Open Faced Pie. I had seen a nectarine tart in the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and fell in love with the way it looked. It didn’t seem too hard, though a bit more time consuming than the average pie (go figure, it was a Martha Stewart recipe) and I was right. Simple slicing and curling was totally within my baking ability. I, of course, adapted it to my own taste, adding a dash of tequila and a bunch of blackberries along with a crumble topping around the edges. Exactly the show stopping pie that I wanted to share with 18 Reasons and everyone else for Pie Day. Happy Pie Day everyone!


For more pie posts, bounce on over to Gluten Free Girl, Just Cook NYC, Vanilla Garlic and Not without Salt.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa June 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

Pies are fabulous and simply divine. Yours looks amazing! A wonderful creation.




Laura June 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

Stunning! Fantastic job. I have some blueberries waiting to jump in a pie crust, I’d better get going!


Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

Stunning Irvin! And I am seriously crushing on that ginormous serving spatula by the Apricot Cherry Crisp…that is my kind of utensil 🙂


Irvin June 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Right? I think we had to MacGyver what we had at 18 Reasons as a serving utensil. It worked out just fine!


aida mollenkamp June 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

Irvin- I love the hi-low, fancy-no fuss combo of the nectarine rosettes and the streusel. Absolutely gorgeous!


Irvin June 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thanks Aida! I’m all about the hi/low combo. And really, who can say no to streusel?


Ryan June 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

That is one ridiculously beautiful pie.


Brian @ A Thought For Food June 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

You and your little nectarine flowers. Damn you for being so darn talented! This pie looks rockin’ my friend!


Felisa June 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I just drooled on my keyboard.


Irvin June 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Better wipe that up then!


Liren June 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. I would allow myself 2 minutes to stare at it before digging in 🙂


Kathy - Panini Happy June 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

A simply stunning pie, Irvin!! Does the tequila enhance the texture of the crust, or is it for flavor?


Irvin June 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Simply for the flavor. I use alcohol in my crust because it helps to inhibit the gluten from forming and making the crust tough. The crust stays moist and supple, which means you can work with it by using as much flour as you want to roll it out.

The concept came from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe which uses vodka, a neutral flavored spirit that doesn’t impart any flavor. I started experimenting with different alcohols to add different flavors to the crust. Pretty much any clear distilled alcohol works: vodka, tequila, bourbon, gin, or rum. That said, I’d stay away from anything sweet as it would probably caramelize when the crust bakes and possible burn.


Wendy Read - Sunchowder June 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Irvin..the “flowers” are so gorgeous 🙂 I miss you…what a beautiful pie for pie day!


Chuck June 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Wow, give me a fork and let me at those pies. Just stunning! I love the way you made a flower out of the nectarines. I’m going to have to give that a try. Perfect for a bakery or coffee shop. Love it!


Meg June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Beautiful photos – I love the idea of nectarine rosettes. Very pretty!


Heidi @ Food Doodles June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Oh my gosh, that looks like so much fun! And your pie is stunning!


kellypea June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Well this pie is gorgeous. Holy cow! Putting the blackberries on the bottom is such a great idea. And the tequila? Well.

I love this event so need to see if we have anything like it in San Diego. Beautiful venue, too. I have my eye on that egg pie. Really cool idea.


Irvin June 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Start your own! Basically it’s a potluck, but you know, with strangers. And (mostly) with desserts. So much fun.


Belinda @zomppa June 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I love those rosettes!! How lucky for a real pie party. I can’t get over those gorgeous rosettes.


Jamie June 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Gorgeous pie! Gorgeous! But I love that hidden blackberry filling! And getting people together to bake is wonderful, especially showing people that they can bake when they thought they couldn’t.


sandra June 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm



Nina Munchen June 21, 2012 at 12:00 am

Hello Irvin
Thanks for the nectarine blackberry pie recipe.
I’ll create one for sure, my kids are gonna like it 🙂
If you don’t mind, can you submit your nectarine blackberry pie photo in ?
It’s a food photography site full of all DIY food pictures from members around the world. Or perhaps you’d like to submit by yourself? Let me know when you did, so I can share it.


Irvin June 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Hi Nina! Thanks. Feel free to submit the pie pic if you’d like. I’m happy to have my photo shared with others!


baker in disguise June 21, 2012 at 1:35 am

so pretty!! am stealing the look of the nectarines for my next pie!!!


Jen @ Savory Simple June 21, 2012 at 5:13 am

That lineup of pies on the table looks incredibly inviting. I would like to taste every one of them, especially yours! It is beautifully presented.


SMITH BITES June 21, 2012 at 5:38 am

Lordy Irvin, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to seduce me – wow!! Falling all over myself for those gorgeous nectarine ‘flowers’ – just beautiful!


Girl in a Food Frenzy June 21, 2012 at 5:59 am

Those peach rosettes are a stunning way to finish that pie and what an amazing party idea for the Pie loving crowd, winner all round.


Sarah from 20something cupcakes June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

Beautiful, Irvin!


Megan June 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Where can I find the recipe for that savory pie? The one that looks like meatloaf with an egg? And I’m going to plan a pie party asap! This looks like fun. Now I just need friends who cook. Hmmm.


Irvin June 21, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Oh I wish I had it! Sadly it was someone who dropped by with it. She said she found it in an old cookbook and decided to try it. If I see her again at the next DIY desserts event (which won’t be until September) I’ll ask her.


Megan June 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

No problem! Even if you get it a year from now, please pass it along! Thanks!


Jazmin June 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Oh man, my love of pie knows no bounds. Going to make a rhubarb pie from the garden as soon as I can! Also, what font did you use for the cover photo? I love elegant scrawl (I’m kind of a font geek…)


Irvin June 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

The font is called P22 Cezanne Pro. You can buy it at My Fonts.

Also, I love rhubarb!


B @ Crags and Veggies June 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

WOW, this pie looks amazing! I love the way you twisted the nectarines too, will definitely have to try that!


Jim @ True Confections June 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

That is one absolutely gorgeous stunning piece of work! I don’t think I would be able to cut that one, it’s too pretty. I always love when you come up with these great combinations.

Tried your gemaicha brownies as well from last year; love that combination!


Irvin June 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Oh yay! I love those genmaicha brownies. So glad you liked them…

And people at the party were NOT as precious about the pie. It was completely gone in an hour!


myfudo June 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

I love the intricate presentation. Makes the pie all the more charming. Heavenly!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

That looks like the best party ever!! I’m totally in love!


Averie @ Averie Cooks June 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Irwin it looks amazing…would love to be a guest at that party!



Heidi @foodiecrush June 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Martha should just stand on down. And I bow down to this one. Gorgeous looking and the hit of Tequila will make it look even better after the first taste. Serious wow factor.


Joelen June 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Love the assembly/presentation of the nectarines! What a delicious event… and thanks for highlighting pie (which is way better than cupcakes IMO lol)!


My Recession Kitchen July 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Absolutely beautiful. I love the nectarine and blackberry combination and the presentation is amazing.


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