Friday, June 6, 2014

Nectarine Pie--or "you'll never eat peach pie again" pie

The filling should be gooey and sticky and the crust should be flaky and light.
I prefer pie over cake any day, and I have always said that if you want the best peach pie in the world, make it with nectarines! They are slightly more tart, easier to peel, and have lovely red tones that make a beautiful colored pie filling. I also believe they aren't usually as bruised as peaches get at the market.

My nectarine pie recipe was discovered in a used cookbook I bought at a thrift store, and it can be easily adapted. Here, I added some blueberries. How many? I am not sure, I just dumped some in, maybe a good handful? The cookbook I have is the "Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook" edited by Nell B. Nichols and magazine staff members. (I also have their complete bread cookbook, which is also a wonderful mini bible of basic bread baking information.) This pie edition is dated 1965 and has a definite mid-century "please your man and feed the farm hands" tone about it. It has some kick ass pie recipes, using everything from fresh fruit to frozen lemonade. I truly believe pies are the mother of invention in the kitchen, the epitome of making do with what's on hand.

So, here is the original Nectarine Pie recipe, exactly as I found it (no blueberries like in the pictures). I buy a lot of old cookbooks and always browse through for the most used recipes, usually identifiable because the pages are so stained.
If you look closely, you'll see the recipe below as well as one for Plum-Delicious Pie! A Bonus!
Nectarine Pie

Pastry for two crust pie (recipe follows)

5 c of peeled, pitted and sliced nectarines (I usually use 10)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1/4 tsp mace
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated lemon peel
1-1/2 Tbl butter, cut into small bits and pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
If you end up with a few little slivers of peel, they will add a bit of the rosier color to the filling.
Combine nectarines, lemon juice, sugar, flour, mace, salt and lemon peel, place in a pastry lined 9-inch pie pan. Dot top of filling with butter.

I toss the butter with the filling, because I always forget to put it on the top.
Adjust the top crust on the filling, flute edges together and cut some vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape. (I like to make a lattice top on this pie so I can see how gooey the filling gets. It should be sticky before removing from the oven.)

I can not say often enough, cook long enough to get the juices in the filling bubbly and sticky.
Bake in hot oven about 45 minutes or until crust is browned and juice begins to bubble through the vents on top. Cool for at least an hour before serving.

Flakey Pastry Dough
(recipe adapted from Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook, a fabulous collection if you can find it)

This makes two 9" crusts

2 c. sifted, all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. of butter or lard, or a combo of both (have it slightly softened, not quite room temp)
4 to 5 Tbl. of icy cold water

Put flour in a mixing bowl with the butter, cut into smaller chunks). Add salt and pinch the butter with the flour using your finger tips until you get a coarse crumbly mix. Add the water a couple tablespoons at a time. You want just enough to allow the crust to hang together in a ball. At this point, handle the dough as little as possible.  Divide into two balls.

Lightly flour your counter or work surface and roll out dough to about a 10 or 11 inch circle, and use according to your favorite recipe. This makes a nice flaky crust.

No comments:

Post a Comment