Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2012 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variation: Streusel Oat Topped Nectarine or Peach Potluck Pie
This fail safe recipe is perfect for a potluck or a picnic. I have made it several times, and it is perfect with different types of stone fruit, especially nectarines or peaches, or with the fresh or frozen berries, or a mix. It is adapted from Gladys Potter, Rick Bayless's grandmother. She was acclaimed in the family for this dessert. We have added a lot of detailed information, and step-by-step explanations with 30 color photos to her recipe, so you can understand it better. We have also included a mini-tutorial on how to make a lattice top crust. Note that if it is warm inside your kitchen, chill the pie dough a bit longer after rolling so it handles better. There is a surprise ingredient in the dough that makes it especially tender.
PIE RECIPE HELP
Cream cheese in the dough makes it especially tender and contributes to a great flavor in the crust.
Pie Pastry Dough: (Makes a double crust)
1/4 cup cold water; or more, if needed
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks or 16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into pieces
Nectarine or Peach Filling:
5 pounds ripe nectarines or peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar, to taste
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
Heaping 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2–3 tablespoons whole or 2% milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons sugar
STEP I: MAKE THE PIE PASTRY DOUGH
1. Combine the water and vinegar in a small bowl. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Place flour, salt, and baking powder, into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients.
3. Add the chilled butter, and cream cheese on top of the dry ingredients, in the food processor.
4. PULSE the ingredients about 6 to 10 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
You should be able to still see small chunks of butter and cream cheese in the mixture. This helps form the flakier texture in your pie crust.
4. Through the feed tube, drizzle in the cold water and vinegar mixture, while you pulse the food processor, until mixture begins to clump together (it won't form a ball). It may take a few pulses. You may not need all of the water mixture.
5. Open the processor to check the condition of the dough. It should still be a bit crumbly, but it should start to clump together. To test the dough, squeeze it between your fingertips and it should just stick together. If it does, the dough is done - do NOT add any more water.
SARAH SAYS: If the dough is too dry, add more water, a few drops at a time, up to a teaspoon, and hit the pulse button for a second. Open the food processor and check the dough after each addition. Most of the time, I find that 1/4 cup water total is plenty. Of course, the moisture content of flour can vary, and you MAY have to add more than 1/4 cup, but do so, about 1 teaspoon at a time.
If the dough is too wet, add a teaspoon of flour at a time, and pulse the food processor to combine.
6. Empty the food processor contents out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, press dough together, gather plastic wrap over dough, then flatten into a 10-inch square.
Place in the refrigerator, to chill for about 1 hour.
The pie dough can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and refrigerated or frozen for up to a month. Thaw in refrigerator before use.
STEP II: MAKE THE NECTARINE OR PEACH FILLING. PREHEAT THE OVEN. FORM THE PIE AND BAKE.
1. Meanwhile, combine nectarines or peaches, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Cut off two-thirds of the dough. Wrap and place the remaining one-third piece back in the refrigerator.
4. Roll out the remaining portion on a floured surface into a 14-x 18-inch rectangle. Refrigerate, to chill for about an hour.
5. Then ease the rolled-out pastry dough into a 9-x 13-inch baking dish.
To do, first fold the dough in half.
Then lift the dough over the baking dish.
Gently ease it into place, making sure you gently press the dough into the corners of the pan. Never force the dough.
5. Brush rim of the dough with milk, fill pastry with nectarines, and dot with butter.
6. Remove remaining dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out on floured surface into a 10-x 14-inch rectangle and trim.
7. Cut the dough in half, lengthwise, then cut each half in half. Then cut each of the 4 sections into three strips. This will give you twelve strips for the lattice.
8. Refrigerate strips, to chill for about 1 hour.
9. Then lay on top of filling in a lattice pattern. HOW TO.
NOTE: I used 5 strips across the length, and the remaining 7 strips across the width.
10. Crimp (flute) and trim edges. HOW TO
Brush strips with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
11. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F, and bake until pastry is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes more. Let cool briefly before serving.
Scoop servings into individual bowls or cut pieces and place on plates. Serve warm with ice cream or let cool and cover and take to a potluck event.
Pies are best served the same day. Can be stored at room temperature for a day, well wrapped. Refrigerate pies for a day or more for longer storage.
Can be frozen unbaked or baked for a month or more.
Streusel Oat Topped Nectarine or Peach Potluck Pie: Double the Streusel Oat Topping. Fill the pie. Do not place a top pastry crust on. Instead, sprinkle the crumb topping evenly all over the filling.
Bake pie as directed, above.