Nectarine Pie For A Friend of Mine

/ Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If you love pie and you love fresh fruit AND you haven' t been baking lately...what the heck have you been up to?? It is prime pie bakin' season out there my friends. Whatever you're doing STOP. Go to the farmer's market, pick out whatever smells lovely and bake it into a buttery crust. (Freeze a few slices and enjoy it for weeks to come.)

If for some reason you can't make your crust buttery, then you might consider making the crust you see right below. My pie crust from Fanny Farmer's Cookbook is made with shortening, not butter, so you can feed all of your friends with dietary restrictions without sacrificing taste or texture.

Now for those of you who were brave enough to continue reading, even after I said
shortening, bravo to you! Shortening is often thought of as butter's runner-up (both with flavor and healthfulness), but it is absolutely not true. First of all, a large percentage of the baking world prefers solid shortening to butter when preparing pastry dough. Shortening is more stable due to it's higher melting point, so it coats the flour more evenly, produces a much flakier crust and is simple to work with. The only thing that's missing...the butter flavor. For many people a combination of 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening creates the perfect flaky-buttery crust. Secondly,shortening is no worse for you than butter if you seek out natural non-hydogenated brands. Earth Balance has a fantastic product, Earth Balance Natural Shortening. It's vegan, trans-fat & lactose free and works the same as Crisco. Speaking of Crisco, Crisco Zero may not have been zero calories like it's cola counter part, but it was a healthier way to make your crust trans-fat free...before it was discontinued in 2004. Oh well! If you have it lying around, don't use it it's old :)

My dairy free crust was filled with a huge bowl of fresh nectarines (DF's favs) with only a little sugar to sweeten things up, a pinch of cinnamon and a little lemon zest. You can sub in nearly any fruit you'd like...just adjust the flour depending on how juicy your fruit is.

Nectarine Pie
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup solid shortening (such as Earth Balance Shortening)
6 to 8 tablespoons ice-cold water

3 pounds fresh nectarines, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon

1. Make the Crust: Wisk flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or your hands until it reached a fine meal. Sprinkle ice water over dough 1 tablespoon at a time and blend with a fork until the dough holds together when you press it between your fingers. Separate dough into two disks. Refrigerate until ready to use, or freeze for up to 2 months.
2. Make the Filling: Combine the nectarines, flour, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest together in a large bowl; set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out one crust at a time into an 11-inch round. Lay one crust down in a 9-inch pie pan, trim any excess dough. Pour filling into pie pan. Top with second crust; press the two crusts together, fluting the edges with your fingers. Cut slits into the top of the crust to let any steam escape. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and filling is bubbling inside.
4. Let the pie cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or soy ice cream, if desired.

1 comment

  1. Hey Erin -

    This is Erin Styles from Brittany - if you recall! This blog is absolutely fantastic! I thoroughly enjoy reading it. It sounds as though you are leading a really full, exciting life right now. Good luck with everything!

    P.S. Can't wait to see your decorated apartment! Looks lovely thus far.


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