makes one 9” double-crusted pie
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
½ ice cold water (you may not need to add all of it)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold pieces of butter and use your fingertips to combine. Gradually add a few tablespoons of the cold water, toss to distribute; the dough should feel shaggy. Add an additional tablespoon or two of cold water, just enough so that the dough barely holds together. Gather the dough, divide it into two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out.
Remove one disc of dough, roll it out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a circle about 12” in diameter and about ⅛” thick. Transfer the dough to your pie plate, trim the edge so you have a 1” overhang and refrigerate. Retrieve the second disc of dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a circle about 10” in diameter and about ⅛” thick. Refrigerate the top crust on a baking sheet while you prepare the filling.
Nectarine-Raspberry Filling: (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
2½-3 lbs. of ripe but firm nectarines, rinsed, (not peeled) enough to yield 8 cups of slices
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 generous cup of fresh raspberries, lightly rinsed, dried on paper towels
1 tablespoon orange zest
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon Cointreau
egg wash made from 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
Place the nectarine slices in a large bowl and toss with the orange juice. In a medium bowl whisk together the orange zest, sugars and salt. Add the sugar mixture to the nectarines, toss to coat and let the fruit macerate for half an hour. The fruit should yield close to 1 cup of sugar syrup; drain the fruit, placing the liquid in a small saucepan. Cook the syrup over low heat until it is reduced by about half. Let the syrup cool completely. Add the Cointreau and cornstarch to the nectarines, turning to combine. When the sugar syrup is cool, add it to the nectarines. Toss to combine then turn the fruit into the chilled pie crust. Dot with the raspberries and place top crust over the fruit. Seal edges, roll under and crimp decoratively. Cut a few steam vents in the top crust. Place the pie back in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the chilled pie on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil strips after 20 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45-55 minutes, until the juices are bubbling thickly around the edges of the pie and through the vents in the top crust. Cool on a rack for several hours before slicing. Refrigerate any leftovers.
(adapted from Debbie Major)
makes one 8” x 11“ tart, serving 8 generously
For the Lemon Pastry-
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
zest of 1 large lemon
1 stick (4 oz.) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup good quality seedless blackberry jam
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, place the flour, salt, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer the flour/butter mixture to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and lemon juice then add to the flour/butter mixture, using your fingertips to combine. Gather the pastry together, pat it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into an ⅛” thickness. Transfer the pastry to a buttered and floured 8” x 11” tart pan with a removable bottom. Smooth the pastry along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use a fork to prick the base of the pastry all over then refrigerate for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set the chilled tart shell on a baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 18 minutes, just until lightly golden. Let the tart shell cool for about 5 minutes, then use an offset spatula to smooth ¼ cup of jam over the bottom of the tart shell. Prepare the almond filling.
For the Almond Filling-
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
1½ cups blanched almonds, finely ground in a food processor
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups blanched almonds, finely ground in the food processor
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup fresh blackberries, lightly rinsed, dried on paper towels
1 cup fresh figs, lightly rinsed, stemmed, cut in halves then each half cut in quarters
¼ cup blanched toasted almonds
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy. Add the ground almonds and beat on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and beat on low just until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/eggs, beat on low just until incorporated. Add the extracts. Scrape down the bowl thoroughly.
Carefully spread the almond filling over the jam-lined pastry. Scatter half of the fruit on top of the filling, gently pressing the berries into the mixture. Scatter the remaining fruit over the filling. Place the tart on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes to set the filling. Remove the tart from the oven just long enough to sprinkle the ¼ cup blanched toasted almonds over the tart. Return the tart to the oven and bake for an additional 35 minutes until toasty brown and tests clean with a knife. Let the tart cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before removing the sides of the pan and slicing. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes eight 4½” tarts
For the Tart Shells- (slightly adjusted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 oz. (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
Butter and flour 8 tartlet pans (with removable bottoms) measuring 4½” across by ¾” deep. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Place the brown and granulated sugars in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse once or twice to combine, then add the cubed butter, peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Pulse several times until the mixture is combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and pulse just until the mixture is combined; do not over mix. Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, pat it into a disc, thoroughly wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours before rolling out. When ready to roll out the dough, lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto the parchment and place a large sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough. Roll the dough to a thickness of about ⅛”. Cut out 8 circles of dough about 6” in diameter. Fit the dough into the tartlet pans, smoothing it evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pans. Place the tartlet pans on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or pop them into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up before baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the tartlet shells on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway though. The tart shells will puff up in the middle; when you remove them from the oven, use a ¼ cup metal measuring cup to gently pat the dough down. Place the baking sheet with the tartlet shells on a rack to cool completely.
For the Fillings-
1 cup of good quality jam (concord grape, strawberry or raspberry)
8 oz. milk or dark chocolate, melted and cooled
one pint of your favorite ice cream
Salted Caramel* (see recipe below)
coarsely chopped peanuts
coarsely chopped pretzels
fresh berries or grapes
Handle the baked, cooled tart shells with care. Use an offset spatula to spread about 1 tablespoon of jam or a thin layer of cooled, melted chocolate in the bottom of the tart shells. Add a few scoops of your favorite ice cream and drizzle with caramel, peanuts or pretzels. Or all three. Garnish with fresh berries or if you're lucky, concord grapes.
Salted Caramel (from Leslie Mackie)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ -1 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to your liking)
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and the water. Whisk to combine, then bring to a simmer. Brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush to keep sugar crystals from forming. Cook until the liquid turns amber. Carefully add the cream, which will cause the caramel to bubble up. Mix with a whisk until combined and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Whisk in the butter and sea salt to taste. Cool slightly before serving.
makes nine 3” scones
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup stone ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
½ cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used basil and parsley)
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped, sautéed in 1 tablespoon butter until golden, cooled
8 oz. fresh corn kernels, puréed
½ cup buttermilk
egg wash made from 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Use a bench scraper to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with uneven pieces of butter throughout. Add the cheddar cheese, herbs and cooled onion, tossing gently to incorporate. In a medium bowl, combine the puréed corn kernels with the buttermilk. Add the corn and buttermilk to the flour/butter mixture, using a rubber spatula to combine just until the dough comes together. Using lightly floured hands, pat the dough into a disc about 8” in diameter and ¾” thick. Use a 3” round cutter to cut out nine circles. Place the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet, setting them about 1” inch apart from each other. Brush the scones with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.