Cream Cheese Pastry makes enough for one 8” cast iron skillet
(from Kristina Migoya's Pies and Tarts)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ice cold water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, ice cold water and lemon juice. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. Add the cubed cream cheese to the mixer, and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles cornmeal; do not over mix. Add the cubed butter, mixing on low until the mixture is crumbly with irregular pieces of butter. Turn this out into a large bowl. Sprinkle the vanilla/water/lemon juice over the mixture and use your fingertips to gently mix the dough until it just holds together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before rolling out. (You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate.) Generously butter and flour an 8” cast iron skillet. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into a 12” circle, about ⅛” thick. Dust the pastry with a bit of flour, fold the circle in half and then in half again. Place the pastry in the center of the skillet, unfold it gently, using your fingertips to fit the dough into the bottom of the pan. Allow the excess to hang over the edge of the pan. Carefully place the dough-lined skillet in the refrigerator while you prepare the crumble and the filling.
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugars and salt. Use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to add the cold butter until you have a crumbly mixture. Refrigerate until cold.
Apricot and Plum filling
5 cups total, miniature apricots and plums, halved, pitted (you can substitute small peaches or nectarines for the apricots; cut them in quarters or close in size to the halved plums)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
½ cup granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (taste the fruit; if tart, use 3 tablespoons brown sugar)
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
egg wash for brushing the edge of the pastry made from one egg whisked together with 1 tablespoon of milk or heavy cream
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Rinse, halve and pit the apricots and plums. Place the fruit in a large bowl, toss with the orange juice and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, zest, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch. Remove your pastry lined skillet from the refrigerator and the cornmeal crumble. Place the skillet on a parchment lined baking sheet. Add the sugar/spice/cornstarch mixture to the fruit, turning to coat evenly. Pour the filling into the skillet and gently fold the pastry overhang up and over the fruit, pleating it every 2” or so, leaving the center uncovered. Sprinkle the cornmeal crumble over the exposed fruit. (You should use about 1½ cups of crumble.)
Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and juices from the fruit bubble thickly throughout. Set aside to cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before serving. Keeps covered at room temperature for 2 days, covered and refrigerated for 3 days.
makes one 9” pie
(adapted ever so slightly from Emily and Melissa Elsen)
For the crust- makes one 9” single crust
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
½ cup white whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons sugar
4 oz. (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
¼ cup ice cold water combined with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 egg white whisked together with 1 teaspoon of water to paint the crust
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, salt and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles peas with a few large pieces of butter remaining. Add the cold water/cider vinegar and using your fingertips, gently work the mixture together until it forms a soft dough. If it feels a bit dry, you can add an additional teaspoon or two of ice cold water. Gather the dough together, shape it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before rolling it out. When chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into a 12” circle. Fit the dough into a 9” pie plate, folding the edges under and crimping them. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the frozen pie shell on a baking sheet, use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the shell to prevent shrinkage/puffing up. Line with parchment paper and beans and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, remove parchment and beans. Brush the crust with the egg white and teaspoon of water. Bake for an additional 5 minutes on the middle rack of your oven until the crust is set and lightly golden. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
3 cups fresh corn (I used 3 ears of corn; kernels cut from the cobs weighed 15 oz.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter for sautéeing the corn
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup good quality maple syrup (use Dark Amber or Grade B)
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
In a bowl, toss the corn kernels with the vegetable oil. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy bottomed sauté pan or preferably a large cast iron skillet . Melt the butter over medium heat and add the corn kernels. Sauté the corn, stirring it occasionally to prevent sticking, just until it softens and begins to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place the corn and the heavy cream into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse several times until you have a coarse puree. Scrape this mixture into a large bowl, add the milk and let the mixture steep for at least half an hour. (Note: the length of time the puree steeps affects the amount of liquid absorbed and extracted. Ideally, you want to come away with a total of 1 cup of heavy cream/milk extracted from the kernels.) Set a fine mesh strainer over a large Pyrex measuring cup or a bowl and using a rubber spatula, press on the kernels, straining the liquid from the corn puree. You should end up with 1 cup of liquid; you won’t be using the reserved kernels for this recipe, but I use them to make corn chowder or as an add-in to waffle batter. (A little bacon wouldn’t hurt the chowder or the waffles, if you’re so inclined…)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt, nutmeg and maple syrup. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the yolk. Add the strained liquid from the corn puree and whisk once or twice just to combine. Set the cooled pie shell on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place it on the middle rack of your oven. Carefully pour the custard filling into the pie shell and bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. When the pie is finished baking, the edges will set and be puffy, the center will jiggle ever so slightly. Don’t be tempted to overbake; the filling continues to set up as it cools. Place the pie on a rack to cool completely before serving. Serve as is or with summer berries. Refrigerate leftovers.
(Inspired by The Farm Journal, Paul Prudhomme and Marion Cunningham)
For the biscuit dough (from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 to 1½ cups heavy cream
egg wash made from one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons heavy cream
coarse sugar for sprinkling
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and orange zest. Gradually add 1 cup of cream to the dry ingredients, using a fork to stir the mixture into a soft dough. If it feels dry, add enough additional cream to make the dough hold together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment and gently roll the biscuit dough into an ⅛” thickness. Cut out six 6” circles (you may have to patch the dough here and there to squeeze out six circles) and chill while preparing the peaches. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
A note about the peaches…
White peaches tend to be less fuzzy than their yellow counterparts. You can make these without peeling if you don’t mind eating the skin. Peeled peaches are slippery making it a bit trickier (but certainly do-able) to maneuver the dough around the fruit. Either way, seek out freestone. Peel (or not) the peaches, halve them from stem to stern and give them a gentle twist. If they are stubborn, use a small paring knife to carefully ease them apart. (White peaches are delicate creatures and tend to bruise easily.) You can also use the knife to help release the pit from the fruit, if need be.
6 small freestone white peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
⅛ cup brown sugar combined with 1 tablespoon of finely diced candied ginger
Place 1/2 teaspoon of the brown sugar/candied ginger mixture in the cavity of each peach half. Place the two halves back together and stand one peach in the center of one circle of dough. Bring the sides up and around the peach, wrapping it completely and pressing the edges together to seal. Set each dough-wrapped peach into a greased muffin tin. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Poke the top of the pastry with a fork or a knife to allow steam to escape. Set the muffin tin on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. The peach should test done with the tip of a knife and the pastry should be golden. Delicious served with heavy pouring cream. Whipped cream isn’t half bad, either.