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Nectarine Raspberry Pie

August 26, 2013

When I was a kid, my parents spent every summer buying lots of different fruits and making jam. They’ve long since decided that canning is too much work, but I still remember one particular jam that was my absolute favorite (and that I’ve never seen made commercially): peach-raspberry. That flavor combination has stuck with me since I was little, so when I spotted this pie recipe in Gourmet Today earlier in the spring, I immediately added it to my must-make list for later in the summer. Since nectarines are basically peaches without the fuzz, I kept my fingers crossed that the flavors in this pie would be reminiscent of the fondly-remembered jam from my childhood.

A fresh fruit pie will have the best flavor if made when the fruit is at the peak of its season, which here in upstate New York translates to mid-July/early August for raspberries and nectarines. Because my partner’s birthday at work was July 10th, I decided to take the opportunity to finally give it a try! This was actually the second pie I made for his birthday (the first being tourtiere), so this wasn’t so much for him as it was for the rest of my coworkers. He’s not much into sweets and so preferred the meat pie, but generally birthdays = dessert and therefore a sweet pie would keep everyone else happy. :)

It turned out exactly the way I was hoping – I could smell my parents’ peach-raspberry jam all through the house while the pie was baking! And it tasted phenomenal. I’m definitely adding this pie to my make-again list. Enjoy!

Nectarine raspberry pie

Serves 8

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½  sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/4  cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 5 – 7  tablespoons ice water

Filling and assembly

  • 3  pounds nectarines, halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch-wide wedges
  • 1½  cups raspberries
  • 1½  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2  tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2  tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 3/4  cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1  tablespoon whole milk

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a food processor (you can also use your fingers or a pastry blender) just until mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-sized) butter lumps. Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse (or gently stir with a fork) until incorporated. Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing (or stirring) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.
  2. Turn dough out onto a work surface. Divide dough into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together and divide into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other. Form each portion into a ball and flatten into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Put a rack in the lower third of oven and place a large baking sheet on rack. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss nectarines with raspberries and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  4. Grind tapioca into a powder in an electric coffee/spice grinder or mini food processor. Whisk together with cornstarch, salt, and ¾ cup sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Assemble and bake: Roll out larger piece of dough (keep remaining piece refrigerated) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into 9-inch pie plate (do not trim edges) and refrigerate while you roll out dough for top crust.
  6. Roll out remaining dough in same manner into an 11-inch round.
  7. Gently toss fruit with sugar mixture and spoon into pie shell. Cover with top pastry round and trim edges, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively. Brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Cut several steam vents in top of pie with a small sharp knife.
  8. Place pie on hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake, checking occasionally and covering edges of pie with a pie shield or foil if they are browning too fast, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes more.
  9. Cool pie on a rack to warm or room temperature, at least 2 hours, before serving.

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