the scent of a peach – peach n blueberry pie

by hungryrabbit on July 22, 2011

Peach n Blueberry Pie

Shopping these last few weeks at the Farmer’s Market, I was serially intoxicated by the aroma of peaches from one stand after another. Especially with extra warm days, the scent of fruit encourages binge sniffing.

With the snap of a plastic bag, shoppers began their hunt for the best of the bunch—nostrils pulsed with the fruity perfume, fingers caressed the fuzzy skin to ID candidates with the right firmness. Some wanted to capture this touchstone of summer in a scrumptious dessert. Others sought immediate gratification and snap their first bite of the fruit, juices exploding.

Ever since the crust debacle during prep for the Pie Party, I’ve been itching to refine my recipe. Ripe peaches encased in a flakey pie crust are one of summer’s top pleasures, so the timing was right. If I needed more encouragement, M lit when I mentioned the pending pie.

The next step was to break a bit from tradition. Peaches can get a boost from another in-season fruit—blueberries. They form a natural pair with complimentary colors, textures, and flavors that fit perfectly with that pie crust.

Whoever coined the term the phrase “easy as pie” must have had something other than baking in mind. While my fear of taking on this challenge has definitely lessened, it still requires persistence to perfect a pie crust. It’s worth it though for even one taste of this summer pie, whether the crust has a rustic flair or formally fluted.

Peach n Blueberry Pie

yield: 8 servings

FLAKEY PIE DOUGH

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12-1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (6 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka, cold
1/4 cup cold water

Directions

1. Process 1-1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor, pulse to combine. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 2 cups flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 6 to 8 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.

3. Divide dough into two balls, in 3:2 ratio (one slightly larger than the other). Flatten larger dough into 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll smaller dough into a log, about 1-1/2 inch in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

PEACH BLUEBERRY FILING

6-8 medium peaches, ripe but still firm, about 6 cups
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over and dry
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup granulated sugar, or more depends on sweetness of fruits
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3-4 tablespoons ground instant tapioca (pulverized Minute Tapioca in spice grinder)
Granulated sugar for sprinkling, 1-2 tablespoon (optional)

Direction

1. Roll out refrigerated dough into a 12-inch circle on generously floured work surface. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Using kitchen shears, trim overhanging, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger.  Chill in freezer until ready to use.

2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425℉, Prepare an ice bath and a pot of boiling water. Score a small x at the base of each peach with a paring knife and blanch in boiling water until their skins loosen, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted skimmer, remove peaches to ice bath and let stand to stop cooking, about 1 minute. Remove peaches from ice bath and pat dry.

3. Starting from the scored x, peel each peach, halve and pit it, then cut into wedges. Toss peach wedges, lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ground tapioca (3 tablespoons for moderately juicy peaches, 4 tablespoons for very juicy ones) in medium bowl.

4. Remove prepared rolled out pie dough from freezer and turn mixture into dough-lined pie plate. Remove dough log from freezer, grate log with large hole on box grater on top of peach-blueberry filling. Lightly brush grated pie-dough with ice water and sprinkle with granulated sugar, if use. Place pie on baking sheet and bake until crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375℉; continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes:

1. This pie dough is very forgiving, use up to 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to roll out the dough.

2. You can alternately divide pie dough into 2 equal size disc and roll top crust in the conventional way.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

sweetsugarbelle July 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

Ken I can literally almost smell.the peaches from reading your words and from the pics…WOW.

Brian @ A Thought For Food July 22, 2011 at 8:34 am

The perfect combo of the season’s best fruits! Love it, Ken!

Gail July 22, 2011 at 9:11 am

oooohh…shortening AND vodka in this crust! How was it? Flaky as all get out, I’ll bet!
I love peaches and blueberries, nectarines and blueberries….it all works.
Don’t fear the piecrust!

Daydreamer Desserts July 22, 2011 at 9:23 am

Nicely done, that’s one mighty fine & flaky looking pie Ken. I def. have to make it a point to go to my local farmer’s market this weekend… better start prepping my nostrils. :)

foodwanderings July 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

Love gresh peach in season too. Love the shots on the plate all crumbly and bits of fruits peeping through. Have a great weekend Ken and stay cool in this sweltering heat with your cool pie.

The Cilantropist July 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

Ken this pie sounds incredible, I love that you added bluberries! I seriously have been dreaming about peach pie lately… isn’t it just perfect for summer? :)

serena @bigapplenosh July 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

What a gorgeous pie!

Russell van Kraayenburg July 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Your posts are always such a pleasure to read. And as always you’ve got a beautiful collection of stunning shots here. This recipe screams summer and everything about it looks delicious. It looks like I will have to add this to my to-do list.

Have you tried making pie dough with lard yet? It sounds kinda gross but I haven’t gone back since trying it.

hungryrabbit July 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Thanks Russell, I haven’t tried lard because my bf is a pescatarian. I want him to be able to enjoy my desserts. However, it is an intriguing ingredient that I wouldn’t mind experiment with one day.

Laura Britton July 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

This looks absolutely incredible!! I will definitely be trying this soon :) Thanks for posting!

Maria @ Scandifoodie July 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Can I come over?! This looks irresistible and peach-blueberry combo is a match made in heaven!

Jamie July 25, 2011 at 6:09 am

Ken, everything about this pie is astonishing! Simple it is not for a dessert so utterly simple and homey. You always know how to lift the common up a few notches and make it special. Simply gorgeous pie, and one I so want to duplicate now that the peaches are at their best! I am in love…

Amy | She Wears Many Hats July 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Ken, I’m with you. I totally fear the pie crust, or any kind of crust for that matter. And I don’t know why. When I see others make them they seem so basic. Still, I shy away. But this combo may push me on to giving it another go. Totally drooling over here.

Jeanne @ CookSister! July 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

“the scent of fruit encourages binge sniffing” – I can SO relate!! I choose most fruit on the basis of smell (to the odd looks of strangers!). Peaches are a particular favourite… Adore the colours of the fininshed pie – the berries stain the peaches a positively ultraviolet hue!

stephchows July 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I must admit my peaches never last past me eating them whole, I just can’t help myself!

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