Stone Fruit & Strawberry Pie

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It’s Father’s Day Eve! Yes, Father’s Day Eve is a thing. At least in our house it is. At least this year. Greta woke up very excited to give her dad his gifts this morning. So, before he got up, we wrote out his card and wrapped his gifts. And that is how Father’s Day Eve 2016 began. Once that happened, we figured we might as well start planning Father’s Day Eve dessert, right? And the father in this house is a big fan of pie. So, while Greta and I were out at the farmer’s market and grocery store this morning grabbing stuff for dinner, we grabbed some peaches, nectarines and strawberries. Oh, and some Gifford’s Old Fashioned Vanilla ice cream. The only time I allow for vanilla ice cream is when it’s going with some pie. And even then, I can usually make a case for some other flavor. But I didn’t think this sweet and tart fruit pie should have to compete as the main attraction today. So, after some awesome local grass-fed Delmonico steaks on the grill, served with Greta’s Father’s Day BBQ sauce, alongside some grilled herb veggies, grilled corn on the cob and local herb and garlic goat cheese, we had dessert. I present Stone Fruit & Strawberry Pie…

I have to say, I was surprised that there was no additional sugar in the filling and it was really the perfect sweetness all on its own. And this is fruit in Maine in June. So, we’re not exactly getting the peak of the season ripeness here. I also have to admit that this was probably the second time I’ve ever attempted a lattice pie crust and I was reminded at how easy and beautiful it is. So, give it a shot! Or just roll out a nice simple pastry round. Either way, this crust is amazing. I will definitely be adding it to my rotation.

Stone Fruit & Strawberry Pie
Adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

All-Butter Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie (recipe below)
1 pound nectarines and peaches, sliced (3 cups)
2.5 cups sliced strawberries
Pinch finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Dash Angostura bitters
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing

 

For the pie:

Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9″ pie pan.

Combine the fruit, lemon zest, juice, allspice, salt and bitters in a large bowl and stir well. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell and put back in the fridge.

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While the pie chills, remove the second pastry round from the fridge and roll out. At this point, you can either use it as-is or cut out your lattice strips. Once you have the top dough set, remove the pie from the fridge, arrange your dough and crimp.

Chill the pie for 10-15 minutes to set. Meanwhile, position your oven racks in the bottom and center positions and place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Brush the chilled pastry top with egg wash to coat, being careful not to drag filling onto the pastry if you have a lattice top. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

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Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30-35 minutes longer.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2-3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

All-Butter Crust:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 lb cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ice

NOTE: I used my food processor to cut in the butter, but you can do the entire process either by hand (using a pastry blender or fork) or by food processor. Just be careful not to over-mix if you go the machine route.

Blend the flour, salt and sugar together in your food processor. Add the butter pieces and pulse until most of the butter has been cut into pea-size pieces. Do not over-blend.

Combine the water, cider vinegar and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture and pulse. Add more water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the mixture just starts to come together. At this point, I removed the ingredients to a large wooden cutting board and used a bench scraper and my hands to blend the additional water until I had a dough ball. Unfortunately, I forgot to note just how much water I used, but it was not nearly the full amount. This will vary anyway, every time you make the dough, depending on the humidity in the air. Just go slowly and don’t add more than you need. Otherwise, your dough will get too sticky. Once the dough is ready to go, divide in half. Shape each half into a flat disc, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight is possible. This will give your dough time to chill, as well as allow the gluten to relax a bit, making it easier to roll out. Trust me, you want to give it this time. I took a shortcut and stuck my dough in the freezer for a half hour and it wasn’t really ready. It still tasted really good, but it was tougher to roll out and not quite as pretty when it came time to line the pie plate and crimp the edges. (Not that this part has ever been my strong suit anyway).

This dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

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