Monday, 13 February 2012

Weekend Baking -- Apple, Peach Raspberry, and Blueberry Sour Cream Pies

Ready to get baking.

This weekend turned out to be so unexpectedly busy that I haven't had a chance to sit down in front of the computer until now. I'm certainly not complaining, it is awesome to have some quality time with excellent friends and that was mostly what I was busy with.

On Saturday evening our friends hosted a big barbecue in honour of our friend visiting from New York. As usual there was so much food that I almost exploded. As usual, I got too caught up in conversation to remember to take any photos. Oops.

I was in charge of dessert, and luckily I took some photographs before heading over to their house.

I made three pies - Apple, Peach Raspberry, and Blueberry Sour Cream.

Before:
Baking is more fun when there's Pyrex involved.    
After:
Delicious!


For both the Apple Pie and Peach Raspberry Pie I used the following pastry recipe -- borrowed from Wanda's Pie in the Sky an awesome book that seems to be out of print but can be purchased used here.

Double Crust Pastry

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup shortening cut into small pieces, frozen for 15 minutes
1/3 cup cold water

 Directions
 Make sure all of the ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or a pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, butter and shortening. Process or cut until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs and begins to clump together a little. Sprinkle with water and then allow to rest for 30 seconds. Process very briefly or cut with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a short cylinder. Divide into 2/3 and 1/3 and press into disks. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

If the dough is too hard to roll, allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut a circle about 1 1/2 inches larger than a pie plate and transfer the disk to the plate by rolling it onto the rolling pin and lifting it. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge about 1/2 inch over the plate. Roll the second disk as directed by the recipe.


 Apple Pie

Simple apple pie is my all-time fave.
Ingredients
1 recipe Double Crust Pastry (see above)
7 cups tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions
Prepare the pastry as directed above, setting aside the smaller disk.

Preheat the oven to  400°F / 200°C.

In a large bowl, mix together the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn into the prepared crust, leaving room at the edges for sealing and crimping the top crust. Dot with the butter.

On a floured board, roll out the remaining disk of dough into a circle 1/8 inch thick. Cut a circle to the size of the pie plate. Wet the edges of the pie crust and place the pastry circle over the fruit. Seal and flute the edges (good video here). Cut vents in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. If time allows, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Put pie tin on a cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F/175°C. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.


Peach Raspberry Pie


Like Peach Melba, this pie goes awesome with ice cream

 
Ingredients
1 recipe Double Crust Pastry (see above)
41/2 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
2 cups raspberries (frozen are fine)
2/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions
Prepare the pastry as directed above, setting aside the smaller disk.

Preheat the oven to  400°F / 200°C.

Place the peaches in a medium bowl and the raspberries in a smaller bowl. Divide the 2/3 cup of sugar to the two bowls, adding 1/2 cup to the peaches and the rest to the raspberries. Divide the cornstarch between the two adding 2 tablespoons to the peaches and 1 to the raspberries. Add the lemon juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract to the peaches, mixing well. Turn the peaches into the prepared crust, pushing them to the sides but leaving room at the sides for sealing and crimping the pastry. Stir the raspberries and pour into the centre.

On a floured board, roll out the remaining disk of dough into a circle 1/8 inch thick. Cut a circle to the size of the pie plate. Wet the edges of the pie crust and place the pastry circle over the fruit. Seal and flute the edges (good video here). Cut vents in the top to allow steam to escape. Or make a lattice following the video here.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. If time allows, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Put pie tin on a cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F/175°C. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.


Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

 Recipe is available at Epicurious

I didn't have any pecans in the house so I used oats instead. I also used more blueberries than suggested and vanilla in place of almond extract. It was super delicious!

Yum!!!  
Happy Baking!



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