Nectarine Blackberry Pie

Until this summer, I had always been very methodical with fruit pies, overthinking flavour pairings and different spices.

The last few months, I’ve changed my mindset and started putting most of my focus on the fruit itself. I’ve always believed local and seasonal produce was the key to a perfect pie, but this summer, I’ve played more with mixing fruits (while not overthinking it) and reducing spices to let the fruit really shine through.

I think this pie emphasizes my new mindset. I took two delicious, local and in season fruits, threw them together, added an acid, binder and a couple of simple spices and salt and voila, a delicious summer fruit pie with minimal intervention.

I say this as we go into fall where warming baking spices reign supreme, so let’s see what happens next.

Crust Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp sea salt

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)

• 1 cup cold water

• 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

• 5 medium nectarines, sliced

• 1 1/2 cups blackberries

• 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 2 tbsp ground arrowroot

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• Pinch of ground ginger

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• Raw sugar, for sprinkling

• Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves (for a herringbone crust, make one half slightly larger, about 60/40) and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove the smaller half from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out the disk into a circle on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the pan and place into fridge.

Remove the larger disk from the fridge and roll into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle and place back in the fridge while you make the filling.

To make filling, mix sliced nectarines with blueberries, lemon juice and sugar until combined. Add arrowroot, cinnamon, ginger and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the fruit is evenly coated. Set aside.

Remove the dough rectangle from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut out about 20 even 10×3/4 inch strips. Place in the fridge until ready to use (can you tell keeping the herringbone strips cold is key?).

Sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom of the pie dough lining the pan (this keeps the crust crisp) and scoop filling into the lined pan with a slotted spoon.

For a herringbone lattice, instead of reiterating the Serious Eats tutorial, check out the link here!

Once you’ve made your desired lattice, slice off any excess dough along the sides of the pie pan using a paring knife and seal the strips to the crust edge using a fork.

Refrigerate the pie for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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