(photo credit: Sharon Brady Huetz)
Sour Cream Pastry (adapted from Kate Lebo)
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup cold water
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup fine cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
In a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream, orange juice and cold water. Place this in the fridge. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt. Use a bench scraper or your fingertips to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture should be crumbly and resemble coarse cornmeal. Retrieve the sour cream/orange juice/water mixture from the fridge. Gradually add it to the flour/butter mixture, using a fork to gently incorporate most of the liquid into the dry ingredients. You want the pastry to be moist but not overly wet. (You will probably be left with a tablespoon or so of liquid that does not go into the pastry.) Gather the dough together and shape it into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out.
When ready to roll out the dough, lightly dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Roll out the dough on the parchment paper into a circle about 14” in diameter and ⅛” thick. Place the parchment on a baking sheet and refrigerate the pastry while you prepare the filling. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
4 cups fresh blueberries, lightly rinsed, picked over for stems, dried on a paper towel
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
Place the cleaned blueberries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, zest, salt, nutmeg and tapioca starch. Add the sugar mixture to the berries, turning to coat with a rubber spatula. Retrieve the pastry from the refrigerator. Pour the berries in the center of the dough, leaving a good 2 inch border. Scatter the butter pieces over the berries. Gather an edge of the pastry and gently pull it towards the center of the galette, creating a ruffle. Continue working your way around the edge of the pastry, pulling the dough towards the center, every three inches or so until the berries are surrounded by a complete circle of pastry. Brush the outside of the galette with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Return the galette to the fridge for 15 minutes to set up before you place it in the oven. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees until the pastry starts to turn golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes until the fruit bubbles around the edges and in the middle of the galette. The pastry should be golden brown. Remove to a rack and let cool for an hour before slicing.
Makes one 9” pie
All Butter Pie Pastry:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup ice cold water
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a bench scraper, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle half of the water over the mixture, using your fingertips to incorporate the moisture into the butter/flour mixture. Add just enough additional water so that the mixture comes together. Divide the dough in half, shape into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out one disc into a circle about 12”in diameter. Place the pie pastry in your pie plate, tucking the excess dough underneath so it is even with the edge. Crimp the edges and place the pie plate in the refrigerator. Roll out the second disc of dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, into a disc about 10” in diameter. Use a fluted cutter to cut 1” strips for the lattice top. Place the lattice on a baking sheet, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Maple-Bourbon Caramel: (makes about ½ cup) Adapted from Leslie Mackie
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
generous pinch of salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup good-quality maple syrup
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, brushing the sides of the pan with a pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Swirl the pan so the sugar heats evenly but do not stir. Cook until the mixture turns amber, then carefully add the cream. The mixture will bubble up and spatter. Gradually add the maple syrup and bourbon, whisking until incorporated and the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the butter and whisk until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. (It is important that the caramel is cool before you add it to the peaches and fill the pie shell. You don’t want to soften the chilled pie shell with hot caramel syrup.)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
5 to 6 large, ripe peaches (about 2½ lbs.) rinsed, peeled, pitted and sliced ¼” thick
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons tapioca starch (if the peaches are very juicy, you can add an additional 1½ teaspoons of tapioca starch)
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Retrieve the pie shell from the refrigerator and set it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooled Maple/Bourbon Caramel and set aside. Pour the remaining caramel over the peaches, turning to coat with a rubber spatula. Gently stir in the tapioca starch/spice mixture until combined with the peaches. Use a slotted spoon to place the peaches in the pie shell. Add just enough of the juices to cover the fruit without overflowing the pie plate. (Follow Kate Lebo's good rule of thumb to leave about ½” below the top of the pie plate.) Retrieve the lattice from the refrigerator, weave the strips over the top of pie, fold the edges under and crimp so the lattice and the bottom crust are well sealed. Bake the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden and juices bubble at the edges and through the center of the pie. Cool on a rack for at least 3 hours. Drizzle the reserved Maple-Bourbon Caramel over the pie before serving.
makes one 9” pie
For the crust-
1 cup salted pretzels
1 cup walnuts
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (I used Stumptown Coffee Flake Salt)
2-3 oz. butter, melted
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the pretzels until finely crumbled. Add the walnuts, brown sugar and salt. Pulse a few times until combined. Add between 2 and 3 oz. of butter until the mixture holds together. Transfer the mixture to a lightly buttered 9” pie plate. Use your fingers to press the crust evenly in the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
For the ice cream layer- (there are no bells and whistles in this layer, but you can certainly fold in any number of treats into the ice cream or put 10 oz. of ice cream in the pie shell, a layer of bananas or nuts and then another 10 oz. of ice cream; totally up to you)
20 oz. of good quality ice cream
I find it easiest to scoop the ice cream into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and give it a whirl until the ice cream is softened but not melted. It only takes a few spins of the paddle to achieve this. (Alternatively, you can scoop the ice cream into a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to soften it.) Scrape the ice cream into the pie shell, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Sad but true, the pie should sit in the freezer for several hours. It makes it easier to add the meringue and slice it in the end.
For the fudge sauce- (from Maida Heatter)
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, put through a fine mesh strainer
Place the heavy cream and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the cream just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the sugars and the salt, stirring to dissolve, then add the cocoa. Whisk until smooth then remove from the heat.
For the toasty meringue-
1½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup water
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place the egg whites and vanilla into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer onto medium and whisk just until the egg whites turn foamy. Turn off the mixer and prepare the sugar syrup.
In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Stir the sugar to dissolve and heat over medium. Place a Pyrex measuring cup next to where you are working. (Once the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F, you will need to pour the syrup into the Pyrex cup to stop the cooking.) When the syrup has reached 240 degrees F, pour it into the Pyrex cup, turn the mixer on to medium and carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Aim for the side of the bowl, trying not to hit the whisk attachment. Once all of the sugar syrup has been added, turn the mixer to high and whisk until it turns very thick; this takes between 8-10 minutes. Scrape the meringue from the whisk attachment before it gets too hard to do so, and retrieve the ice cream pie from the freezer. Spread the meringue over the ice cream and swirl it decoratively. Return the pie to the freezer (you can even do this several hours ahead of time) before browning the meringue with a kitchen torch. Serve the pie with fudge sauce and fresh fruit.
(Note: You can skip this step and substitute freshly whipped cream, but the meringue adds a nice balance to the saltiness of the crust. If you use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue, you never need to turn on the oven for this pie; a treat in itself.)
inspired by Haven in Lenox, Mass.
This began as a bar cookie recipe that happily stepped into a tart pan. Garnished with ganache and fresh apricot slices, it's a perfect summer dessert. If you skip the ganache, it makes a fine breakfast. (It also works beautifully swapping the dried apricots for dried cherries and garnishing with fresh cherries.)
makes one 13” x 9” tart
¾ cup (6 oz.) dried apricots, diced
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ cup (4 oz.) uncrystallized candied ginger, diced
In a small bowl, combine the dried apricots and orange juice; set them aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt and brown sugar on low speed. Add the cubed butter and mix until the consistency is similar to cookie dough. Add the coconut, walnuts, oats, orange zest and candied ginger. Add the apricots and orange juice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly butter and flour a fluted rectangular tart pan (mine measures 11” long x 8” wide.) Press the dough into the tart pan, using a sheet of parchment paper to pat it smoothly. Place the tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, until golden in color. Let cool completely, then glaze with ganache. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set and garnish with fresh apricot slices.
4 oz. heavy cream
4 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil. Pour the scalded cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until shiny and smooth making sure the chocolate is completely incorporated into the cream.
about 1 pound of ripe but firm apricots, rinsed, halved, pitted and thinly sliced for garnish
makes one 9” pie
(It’s a good idea to prepare this pie in stages; you can make the pastry dough, the crumble and the spiked cherries a day before you bake the pie. If you are short on time, try to let the cherries and bourbon sit for at least 2 hours.)
Pastry Dough (yields two 9” pie shells; you will only need one for this recipe)
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons sugar
1¼ teaspoon salt
8 oz. cold, (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup + an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Using a bench scraper, cut in the butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Drizzle in the ¼ cup of cold water and use your fingertips to distribute the liquid. If the pastry is dry, add just enough additional water so the dough comes together. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Divide the dough in half, shape it into two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. (You will only use one portion of the dough. Freeze one for another use.) Refrigerate one portion of dough for at least 2 hours or overnight before rolling out.
Roll out the dough into a circle about 12” in diameter and ⅛” thick. Ease it into a 9” pie plate, fold the edges under and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while you prepare the crumble and filling.
Brown Butter Almond Crumble
½ cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned and cooled (see below)
½ cup sliced almonds
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, sugars, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally so it cooks evenly. The butter will get foamy, then turn toasty brown. (This takes about 6 minutes.) The butter will have a ‘nutty’ fragrance; remove the pan from the heat. Place a fine mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl; carefully pour the brown butter through the strainer. (Straining it removes the sediment that settles at the bottom.) Let the butter cool completely. Use a fork to combine the brown butter with the dry ingredients then add the almonds. The mixture should be crumbly. Cover the crumble with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the cherry filling.
2½ pounds of sweet cherries, rinsed, stems removed, pitted and halved (you should have about 6 cups)
¼ cup bourbon whiskey
1 vanilla bean, split in half, seeds scraped
In a large bowl, combine the bourbon with the scrapings from the vanilla bean. Add the pitted/halved cherries and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (They can be refrigerated overnight if you choose to bake the pie the following day.)
When ready to bake the pie, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cherry Filling (adapted from Kate Lebo)
6 cups of bourbon-spiked cherries (see above)
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
Retrieve the bowl of bourbon-spiked cherries from the refrigerator. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, tapioca flour, salt, nutmeg and orange zest. Sprinkle the sugar/tapioca mixture over the cherries. Add the orange juice and use a rubber spatula to combine the mixture thoroughly. Retrieve the pie shell from the refrigerator. Scrape the cherry filling into the pie shell and place it on the parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the pie with another sheet of parchment paper or a piece of aluminum foil. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the pre-heated oven. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface. Using an oven mitt, remove the parchment paper (or aluminum foil) from the top of the pie. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Retrieve the almond crumble from the refrigerator, break it up using your fingers and sprinkle it over the cherries. (Some of it will sink a bit, not to worry.) Cover the pie completely with the crumble and return the pie to the middle rack of the oven. Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, until the juices bubble up through the crumble and around the edges. (If the crumble is turning too brown, cover it with parchment or foil after about 30 minutes.) Remove from the oven and let the pie cool completely on a rack before serving, about 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
(Note: I prefer to bake the pie without the crumble to begin with so the crust sets and the cherries begin to soften. Adding the crumble later prevents it from turning too dark.)