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Friday, July 5, 2013

A Pie in the Hand is Worth a Smile on the Lips

Happy Friday! Yesterday I posted an interesting New York Times article on my Facebook page about the deliciously underrated pie versus the beautifully decorated cake. It got me itching to post some pie here goes! Let's give pies some hootin' and hollerin'.

Hand Pies: Individual pies you can...well...hold in your hand...

Fried Peach Pies with Bourbon and Cinnamon
NY Times, August 1, 2007

For the crust:
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), chilled and cubed
  • 1 large egg, whisked with enough ice-cold water to make 1/2 cup
For the filling:
  • 1 1/4 pounds ripe peaches
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant tapioca
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon (or substitute orange juice)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Cinnamon sugar (see note), for sprinkling.

  1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms pea-size crumbs. Pulse in egg mixture a tablespoon at a time, until dough just comes together (you may not need all the egg mixture). Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. Flatten into disks with your palm, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make filling: Using a paring knife, peel peaches if desired (if they are ripe, peels slip right off) and pit them; slice 1/4-inch thick. Transfer peaches to a large skillet. Stir in sugar, tapioca, bourbon, lemon juice and cinnamon. Let sit for 10 minutes, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl, preferably metal, and freeze for at least 20 minutes to cool, stirring once or twice.
  3. Fill a medium pot with 4 inches of oil and heat to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out dough into 6-inch rounds. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in center of each round. Using a pastry brush, lightly moisten edges of each circle with water. Fold dough over filling, making a semicircle, and pinch edges to seal.
  4. Fry pies in batches until dark golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle immediately with cinnamon sugar.
Yield: 10 individual pies.
Variation: For baked peach turnovers, prepare dough without egg, using all water instead. Shape and fill pies as instructed. Arrange on two greased baking sheets. Prick each pie with a fork; brush tops lightly with milk or cream and dust with cinnamon sugar. Bake in a 375-degree oven until dark golden and bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes.
Note: To make cinnamon sugar, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

Slump: Biscuity dough dropped onto the berry bottom. Sometimes called a grunt or a cobbler...

Bluberry Slump
Nick Malgieri for Saveur, June/July 2012

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ½ lb. blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. Whisk together flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, and ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl; add butter, and using your fingers, rub butter into flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add milk, and stir just until a moist dough forms; cover and refrigerate dough until ready to use.
  2. Heat oven to 400°. Bring remaining sugar and salt along with blueberries and citrus juices to a boil in a 12″ cast-iron or enamelware skillet over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove pan from heat, and using two tablespoons, portion and form chilled dough into 2–3″ oval dumplings, and drop them evenly on top of the blueberry mixture. Sprinkle dough dumplings with sugar, and transfer skillet to oven; bake until biscuits are cooked through and blueberry mixture is reduced, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream, if you like.

Crumble: A pastry-like crumb atop a fruit mixture...

Peach and Blueberry Crumbles
Ina Garten

For the fruit:
  • 2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)
For the crumble:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
  3. For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it's in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  4. If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles in the refrigerator and bake before dinner.

Pie: The classic style...a fun version...

Key Lime Pie
Adapted by the Times from Nora Ephron's Heartburn 

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • One prepared 9-inch graham cracker crust, refrigerated
  • 2 to 3 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream, for topping

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat yolks until thick, about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk, lime juice and lime zest. Beat again until well blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour into pie shell, filling it to the brim and mounding slightly on top. Cover with plastic wrap, stretching wrap tightly across surface. Freeze until firm, at least three hours.
  3. Just before serving, remove from freezer and discard plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then spread with whipped cream and serve.

Happy baking!

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