Pie-crust promises

The summer fruit is here, and if your trees or your shopping bags are overflowing with peaches, plums and berries, there’s only one thing to do: Bake pies. But pie-baking can be fraught with perils, so I asked Noreen St. John-Verdini, a baker at Sacramento’s Real Pie Company, for her top tips—and her own favorite kind of summer pie:

1. “Use really well-chilled butter and dice it ahead of time.”

2. “Use the freshest fruit you can find—organic is best.”

3. “Make sure the oven is hot. If they have a pizza stone, they can put it in the oven, and the crust won’t get all soggy if you use fresh fruit that produces a lot of juice.”

4. “[My favorite pie] would be strawberry rhubarb, because that’s what my grandmother always made for me. I grew up on the East Coast, so rhubarb is more summer than spring for us.”