Friday, August 10, 2012

nectarine & blueberry pie

When it finally decided to cool down in Michigan I was really excited to turn my oven on again. When you don't have air conditioning and it's close to a hundred degrees outside, you eat a lot of cold food and take a lot of cold showers. Anyway, since I hadn't baked in quite a while, I decided to go all out and make a pie. I have to admit that I'd never made a pie crust from scratch before this, but I was extremely pleased with how it turned out. And the combination of nectarines and blueberries was absolutely delicious. I didn't follow a recipe for the filling, but you can see all the details below.

Crust Recipe via Simply Recipes 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 Tbsp ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.

Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.

Pie Filling Recipe:
3 1/2 pounds Nectarines, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup Blueberries
3/4 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons Quick-Cooking Tapioca
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest

Toss all of the ingredients together and let sit for 15 minutes. After rolling out one disk of the pie dough and placing it in a pie pan, fill the crust will the filling. Roll out the second disk and place over top, crimping the top and bottom crust together at the edges. Lightly brush a beaten egg over the top of the crust and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar. Cut a couple decorative slits in the top to allow for venting. 

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 425 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool when the top is golden brown. 

corydon cowansage

Maybe my fascination with geometric patterns is just too strong, but I'm really loving these oil paintings by Corydon Cowansage. The extreme close ups and use of cropping create really beautiful patterns out of everyday objects that we're quick to ignore. Who knew shingles or siding could look so fascinating. They almost make me want to move to the suburbs so I can have that white picket fence. Almost.