Oh late-summer riches. The abundance of juicy, sun-soaked things (tomatoes, peaches, eggplant) seems to stretch out forever, until we think warm days will never cease. Sometimes I even find myself getting a little complacent, maybe even smug? Ho-hum, yet another obscenely delicious plum. Yawn, yet another incredibly perfect tomato. Thanks to the endlessly (read: brutally) hot summer here in the Northeast, my kitchen countertops have been strewn with these gems for months.
Earlier in the summer I had promised Dahlia that we'd make a make a pie together, but we never quite got around to it. It was time to make good. Besides, as I surveyed the lingering produce on my counters I realized I really needed to do away with those fruit fly magnets.
I adapted this recipe from my book In The Kitchen With a Good Appetite, using it as an opportunity to make use of every bit of stray fruit—nectarines, peaches (both yellow and donut), raspberries, and blueberries.
My favorite piecrust is one I’ve used again and again. A devoted pie-lover, I kept trying different techniques over the years—trust me, I’ve earned this recipe. It’s both easy and versatile. I was feeling fancy, so I went with a lattice top. Dahlia and I whipped this beauty up in the morning and then took it over to my parent’s house for brunch.
A good trick when traveling with freshly-baked pies? Don’t go with a standard plastic cake carrier. If the pie is at all warm, it will steam itself and loose its essential flakiness. Just put a wire cake rack in the bottom of an open cardboard box (so the bottom can cool) and voila. No steaming. This pie was still molten when we got in the car, so it was still a bit warm when we tucked into it after our bagels and lox. And all that summer bounty was condensed down into a totally luscious dessert that reminded us all to be grateful for this season, quickly approaching its denouement.
At least apple pie season will offer some solace. There's always a reason for pie.
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
20 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
4 to 10 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
2 1/2 pounds (about 6 cups) peaches and nectarines, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or less if the fruit is very sweet)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Pinch Kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or a combination)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
1. First make the dough, in the bowl of a food processor pulse together flour and salt just to combine. Add butter and pulse until chickpea-sized pieces form. Add the water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until mixture just comes together. Pat the dough into 2 discs, one using two-thirds of the dough. Wrap the discs in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days), before rolling out and baking.
2. Preheat the oven to 375° F. On a very lightly floured surface, roll out larger disc into about a 12 inch round and line a 9-inch pie pan with about 1 1/2 inches of overhang. Using your fingertips, flute the edges of the dough around the pie pan. Chill the dough at least 30 minutes before baking. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges of the crust begin to crisp but do not take on color. Remove the weights and the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp the bottom of the crust.
3. While the piecrust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine the peaches and nectarines with the lemon juice. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt and gently toss until the sugar dissolves. Allow the fruit to macerate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. When the pie crust is ready, transfer it to a wire rack to cool slightly, remove the foil and pie weights and raise the oven temperature to 400° F. Add the cornstarch to the fruit and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the berries and toss gently. Scrape the fruit mixture into the prebaked pie shell.
5. Roll out remaining dough disc into about a 10 inch round and slice into strips about 1 inch thick. Top pie with strips, weaving them into a lattice. Crimp edges to seal. Place pie on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Brush the lattice crust and fluted edge with the egg white and sprinkle generously with the Demerara sugar. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is pale gold.
6. Lower the temperature to 350° F. Continue baking the pie for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deeply golden brown.