Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Elizabeth's July Pie - Lemonade Pie

I went easy in July. I was super sick with Baby #4, and I couldn't make a decent pie of any sort.

The product of a bad pie month: Lemonade Pie!

1. Make graham cracker crust. Cook it.
2. In a bowl, mix lemonade (6 0z.) and vanilla ice cream (quart). Pour into crust. Freeze.


There are actually better versions of this pie, some of which involve whipped topping, cream cheese, and/or sweetened condensed milk. I know it sounds preposterous, but I couldn't even pull one of those off. It doesn't matter, though. My kids loved this, but my kids pretty much ate toast for all of July, so them loving this pie was the equivalent of the troops in Iraq loving a USO tour from Cher.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ann's July Pie - Summer Fruit Crostata

It's been really important to me to take advantage of summer fruit for my pies while it's in season. I had planned to go fruit picking a few times (I did make it for blueberries!), but unfortunately had to be content with grocery store fruit for July. Lame! I didn't even get it from the farmer's market! Oh well, at least I'm staying true to my original plan by making a nice juicy fruit pie. I thought it might be fun to go with a crostata - free-form pie! And who better to turn to than the delightful Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. Listle and I are both MASSIVE Ina fans - so much so that we often call each other to talk about how much we love her, how we wish we were best friends with her, etc. In fact that a couple of years ago we gave each other her latest cookbook, just to say we had given them to each other instead of buying them for ourselves. So I went to her house for Thanksgiving, and we went to the bookstore and each bought a copy, and then were going to exchange them. BUT the joke was on her because I secretly switched out the copy for her with one of her America's Test Kitchen books so she would get all mad that I hadn't followed the plan. BUT THEN even better, when we passed the bags to each other, she took out the book and didn't look at it and then started dancing around, showing it to her husband and brother-in-law and singing something about how we had the same books. Oh man, she looked stupid!!!!!

This recipe comes from that cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home. I've never had bad results from an Ina recipe, and the streak still holds. This pie was AMAZING. I didn't have all the correct ingredients for the filling, so I used what I had, which I thought would be okay with Ina. I went with a filling of nectarines and blueberries, which I picked with my own hands!

The crust came together like lucious creamy velvelty goodness. I was told by more than one person that it was the best crust I'd made all year. The recipe actually makes two crusts, so I doubled the filling to make two crostate.

After placing the filling on the crust, you make a crumbly, buttery topping to cover the fruit. Once in the oven, it melted into the crannies of the nectarines, leaving the top crusted over the almost creamy inside. It's the perfect contrast against the juices of the fruit and the flaky pastry. Go, make this. Make it, friends!!!!!! After all, my best friend Ina gave me the recipe, so I'm just happy to pass it along.

Summer Fruit Crostata

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

Makes 2 crostate

For the crust:

2 cups flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter

6 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

3 lbs. nectarines

1 pint blueberries

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 grated lemon zest

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoons salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

For the pastry, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Freeze the butter for 15 minutes, then grate into dry ingredients. Mix together until the butter and flour mix resemble course crumbs. Add the water slowly, incorporating after each addition until the dough just begins to come together. Form into a ball, cut in half and form into two flat disks. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate for at least an hour. (The second disk can be frozen if not needed - if you aren't making two, halve the filling ingredients.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to the sheet pan.

For the filling, slice the nectarines into a bowl with the blueberries. Toss them with 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, the lemon zest and juice. Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2 border.

Combine the 1/2 cup flour, the 1/2 cup cup sugar, and the salt in a bowl. Freeze the butter for 15 minutes, then grate into the dry ingredients. Mix until the mixture is crumbly. Rub it with your fingers until it starts to hold together. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge.

Bake each crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let it cool for at least five minutes, serve warm or at room temperature.