‘Dog Days’ Berry Riot Pie makes one 9” pie (adapted from The Farm Journal Cookbook and The Times Picayune)
Hazelnut Crumb Crust
(you can substitute a fully baked 9” pie crust of your choice if you prefer)
1⅓ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
⅔ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed, coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons sugar
generous pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, process the cookies, hazelnuts, sugar, salt, spices and melted butter until you have medium crumbs; do not over process. You can always give it an extra pulse or two if you want a finer crumb. Lightly butter your pie plate and then use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. I like to use a small ¼ cup measuring cup to smooth and distribute the crumbs evenly. Chill the crust for 15 minutes before baking. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, just until set. Cool completely before filling.
Berry Riot filling
This is a classic stove-top, ‘ice-box’ pie recipe.
5 cups assorted fresh berries (choose from strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries*) lightly rinsed and patted dry
⅓ cup cornstarch
⅓ cup water
1 cup sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups heavy cream
(* if using raspberries in the mix, add them at the very end, after the berry mixture has cooked and cooled slightly so they retain their shape and don’t break down too much.)
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, orange and lemon zest. Place the berries in a heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the sugar/salt/zests and combine gently using a rubber spatula. Cook over medium heat until the berries start to soften and give off a good bit of juice. Scrape the cornstarch/water mixture into the berries and cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, scraping the bottom of the saucepan with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, until the berries thicken and the mixture is translucent. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool, (add the raspberries now if you are using them as part of your 5 cups of berries) then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. (You can refrigerate the filling overnight and finish the pie the next day.)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the 1¼ cups of heavy cream until thick. Remove from the mixer and finish whisking it by hand until it is firm but not overly so- you don’t want to overbeat it. Scrape the chilled berry mixture into a large bowl and then carefully fold in the whipped cream until combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pie shell and smooth the top. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing. The longer it is refrigerated, the easier it is to slice. Serve with additional berries.
Crispy Pineapple Cherry Pecan Biscotti makes approximately 2 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour, sift first then measure
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 oz. butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
6 oz. pecans (halves and pieces) toasted and cooled
3 oz. candied pineapple, diced
3 oz. dried cherries
½ teaspoon vanilla
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk
Melt butter in microwave, set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and granulated sugar. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cooled, melted butter and the sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat on low until blended. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, then the pecans, diced pineapple, dried cherries and vanilla. Blend on low just until combined. The dough will be sticky. Using a rubber scraper, turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly flour your hands and divide the dough into two equal pieces, shaping them into logs, about 1½” wide by ¾” thick. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place each log on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart (they spread during baking.) Brush with the egg wash and bake for 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove the biscotti from the oven and let cool thoroughly on a rack. It’s easier to slice them for the second bake when they have cooled completely, otherwise they tend to be a bit temperamental (just like some bakers we know…)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place the cooled logs (one at a time) on a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice the biscotti diagonally into ½” slices. Lay flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Don’t over bake. You want nicely crispy, not call-the-dentist-I-broke-a-filling-crispy.
Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down-in-Rum
(from Mark Miller’s Coyote Café)
1 large sweet ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
½ cup light rum (I used Barbados Silver Rum)
½ cup dark rum (I used Gosling’s Black Seal)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped with the tip of a paring knife
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Place all ingredients in a clean glass jar, cover tightly, and let sit at room temperature for 48 hours. Set a large mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the macerated pineapple, reserving the juice. Measure 3 cups of pineapple and set aside. Save the remainder of the fruit and the juice (refrigerated) to serve with cocktails or desserts. (The Coyote Café suggests placing the pineapple juice in the freezer until very cold and serving with fresh lime juice in martini glasses.)
Reimagined Pineapple Upside Down Dessert serves 8+
(inspired by Jessie’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake)
1 cup pitted sweet cherries
3 cups Fresh Pineapple Upside Down in Rum, strained
4 tablespoons sweet butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
½ cup toasted pecans
good quality vanilla ice cream
Crispy Pineapple Cherry Pecan Biscotti
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir over low heat until combined, then add the cherries and strained pineapple. Cook until the cherries plump and the sauce reduces a bit. Remove from the heat, stir in the pecans and let cool. Serve over vanilla ice cream teamed with biscotti. Refrigerate any remaining fruit and sauce.
makes one 9” pie
(adapted from Kristina Petersen Migoya’s Pies and Tarts)
Pie Pastry for one 9” lattice crust
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup ice cold water
1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Using a bench scraper or your fingertips, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs with a few pea-size pieces. In a small bowl combine the ice water and vinegar. Add half of the water/vinegar to the flour/butter mixture and use your fingertips to combine. Add just enough of the remaining water/vinegar to the pastry so it comes together and does not feel dry. Gather the dough into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out one disc into a 12” circle and gently fit it into a 9” pie plate. Fold and crimp the edges, refrigerate. Roll out the second disc of dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into a 12” circle and cut into 1/4 ” strips using a pastry cutter.* Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Bellini-Poached Peach filling
Open a fresh bottle of Prosecco and pour yourself a flute-ful.
3 lbs. of ripe yet firm peaches, preferably freestone (this will yield a generous 6 cups)
1 cup of Prosecco
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
zest of one small lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons tapioca starch (you can substitute cornstarch)
egg wash made from one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
Peel, halve and pit the peaches, saving any runaway juices. Slice the peaches into 1/4 ” wedges and place in a large bowl. In a medium deep-sided pan, heat the Prosecco and peach juices over medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, poach half of the sliced peaches in the simmering Prosecco for 2-3 minutes, just enough to soften them slightly. Place the poached peaches in a fine mesh strainer set over a mixing bowl. Poach the second half of the peach slices for 2-3 minutes and add these to the peaches in the strainer. You should have about 1 cup of poaching liquid between what is left in the pan and the liquid from the strained peaches. Reduce this liquid over medium heat until it thickens and you have about ¼ cup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Toss the poached peaches with the lemon juice and then spread them on a sheet tray in a single layer so they cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest and tapioca starch. When the reduced peach poaching liquid and the peaches are cool, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
(*If the effects of the Prosecco find you feeling crafty, you can twist the 1/4" pastry strips into a decorative circle, as pictured. It's best to prepare this in advance on top of a parchment-lined tray and chill it completely before carefully transferring it to the top of the pie.)
Remove the pie plate with the bottom crust from the refrigerator and set it on a parchment lined baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the cooled peach slices, 3 tablespoons of the reduced poaching liquid and the sugar/tapioca starch mixture. Turn to coat evenly using a rubber spatula. Pour the filling into the pie shell and arrange the pastry strips into a lattice on top of the filling. Trim, seal and crimp the edges. Brush the lattice top with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the crust. Cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
Place on the bottom shelf of the pre-heated 400 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees, baking for an additional 45-50 minutes. Move the pie to the middle shelf and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the juices are bubbling thickly around the edges and through the middle of the pie. Set on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing, about 3 hours.
Peach Pie with a Kick of Caramel and Sriracha makes one 9” pie
(inspired by Jessie who baked a mean peach pie and liked hot sauce in and on many things)
Prepare one recipe of pâte brisée (see nmmnp Fresh Cherry Pie with a Splash of Bourbon). You will only need half, enough to fit a 9” pie plate. Fold and crimp the edges and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. (Reserve and refrigerate the 2nd disc of dough for another use.)
Caramel Sauce makes approximately 1 cup
(from Leslie Mackie)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
generous pinch of salt
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, salt and water. Whisk together to combine then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Use a pastry brush to brush the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Simmer the mixture, don an oven mitt (this syrup is dangerously hot!) and carefully swirl the pan occasionally. The syrup will turn from brown to amber. Carefully add the cream, stepping back a bit because the mixture will sputter. Whisk gently until incorporated, then whisk in the butter and salt. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. You will need ½ cup of the caramel for the pie filling. Reserve the rest to drizzle on top.
Pistachio Oatmeal Crumble
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
¾ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup shelled pistachios
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
In a large bowl, using your fingertips, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cardamom, salt and pistachios. Add the butter, pinching the mixture together until it forms nice sized clumps. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
3 pounds of ripe peaches, (preferably freestone) rinsed, peeled, pitted and thickly sliced (should yield 6 cups)
zest of one small orange
1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ cup of homemade caramel sauce, completely cooled
1½ teaspoons sriracha (this provides a substantial kick; adjust downwards if you wish)
In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches with the orange zest and juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup* of caramel sauce and the sriracha. (*Taste the peaches- if they are not summery sweet, you may wish to add an additional tablespoon of caramel to the mix.) Remove the pie shell and the crumble from the refrigerator. Add the cornstarch mixture to the peaches, turning to coat evenly with a rubber spatula. Add the caramel-sriracha, combining well. Turn the filling into the prepared pie shell and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Crumble the topping over the pie and place strips of aluminum foil around the edges to prevent over-browning. Bake the pie on the lowest shelf of your oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce the temperature to 37j5 degrees and move the pie to the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for an additional 50 minutes, or until juices bubble thickly around the edges and peek through the middle (use a knife to move a few of the crumbs aside and test to see that the middle of the pie is hot and starting to bubble.) If the crumble is getting too toasty, cover it with a sheet of parchment paper. Cool the pie completely on a rack before slicing. This will take several hours; while you wait, secure a container of Ben and Jerry’s Pistachio Ice Cream from your grocer’s freezer. When ready to serve, drizzle each slice with additional caramel sauce and serve with a large scoop of pistachio ice cream.
(adapted from Fine Cooking and Cooks Illustrated)
2½ cups cold flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
12 oz. cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
¾ cup ice cold water (you will use less than the full ¾ cup)
Place the cubed, cold butter into a large bowl. Whisk together flour, salt and sugar in a separate bowl. Sift this onto the cold butter cubes and use a bench scraper to cut the butter into the flour. The mixture will be crumbly. Add the cold water a little at a time using the bench scraper to bring the dough together. I did not use the full ¾ cup; the dough should be shaggy and crumbly. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of lightly floured parchment and shape it into a rough rectangle, about ½” thick. (Some prefer to work directly on a lightly floured countertop, which is perfectly fine. The trick is not to add too much additional flour.)Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Turn it 90 degrees so the folds are vertical. Roll into a rectangle, rolling open end to open end. Fold into thirds again, turn, roll, and repeat. The dough will become smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for half an hour. Remove from the fridge and give it two more “turns.” Wrap once more in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for another half hour before rolling out. Cut a 5” square template out of parchment paper. Roll the dough into a rectangle about ¼” thick and cut out eight 5” squares. Set the squares on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill them while you prepare the filling.
(this will make more than you need for the turnovers; use the extra syrup and cherries over ice cream or in beverages)
1¼ pound of sweet cherries
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped using the tip of a small sharp knife
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
egg wash made from one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cream or milk
coarse sugar for sprinkling
Rinse and pit the cherries. Add the vanilla bean scrapings to the sugar and mix with your fingertips to blend. Place the cherries in a large bowl, add the vanilla sugar, lemon juice and salt. Turn to combine and let the fruit macerate for half an hour. Strain the fruit well, reserving the juice. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the pastry squares from the refrigerator. Place two tablespoons of cherries in the center of each square. Brush the edges of the pastries with some of the reserved cherry juice, then fold each square into a triangle. Seal the edges with a fork. Brush the turnovers with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Place the turnovers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Return the turnovers to the fridge for at least 15 minutes before baking so the pastry is cold before it goes into the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden.