Pie Crazy

Summer has been busy and posts have been sporadic.  I’m still out here, working hard on some new exciting things I’ll talk about soon.

In the meantime, we’ve been entertaining…a lot.  I love summer dinner parties for many reasons-lots of chilled rosé, no fussy food, and plenty of fresh produce to inspire me.  The grill helps too and mine has seen its fair share of burgers and skirt steak this summer.  But, truth be told, it’s the summer desserts that I love the most. 

In July’s Bon Appétit there is a recipe for Blueberry Crumble Pie. I made it once, substituting fresh peaches and raspberries for the blueberries because I’d picked up tons at a farm and they were obscenely sweet.   The dough turned out so fantastic it’s become my favorite recipe.  It’s really just a very basic pâte brisée, an all butter crust that needs no embellishment.  Don’t overwork it is my best advice. You can absolutely mix it in your food processor but pulse it together just until it gets crumbly-if it forms a ball you’ve gone too far.  And, don’t skip the step of gently smearing the dough across your work surface.  This distributes the butter in a way no food processor can (the French call it ‘fraisage’ but ‘smearing’ is just fine with me).

Here are a few pics of some of the things I’ve created with this dough.  Give it a shot.  The recipe makes enough for one crust so if you want a double crust pie be sure to make two batches.

This is my version of the crumble pie with raspberries and peaches.  I used a deep dish tart pan so I could pack it with extra fruit.

Same dough, blind-baked then filled with fangipane (creamy almond filling) and sliced farm fresh nectarines.


Finally, my death-row dessert is blackberry pie. I found some gigantic and sweet blackberries at the market and turned the dough into hand-pies.  I cut it into circles about 6 inches in diameter and filled it with a par-cooked filling I made (berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice).  I vented these babies way too much and they leaked all over their baking sheets but, thankfully they were packed full and still turned out great when done.  Who doesn’t love a pie you can take on the run?
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