Saturday, August 7, 2010

In the Kitchen: Summer pies and tarts

I have come to the most obvious realization of the century: when it is hot outside and you are making pies, do not make them on a school night. Because of all of the chilling and time and all that, wow. I was up until 2 am. Bad plan. Baaaaad plan.

But pie? Good plan. Always a good plan.

Sour cherry pie with almond crumble

adapted from Smitten Kitchen


----Almond crumble
2/3 cup whole oats, ground to a flour in a food processor (yielding 1/2 cup oat flour---this is super easy! love it.)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted whole almonds (so---I kind of cheated and used almond flour since I had some. I know, I'm a pumpkin eater)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/4 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted, or 2 pounds frozen sour cherries, partially thawed


1. Roll out the chilled pie dough into a 12 inch round. Gently fit into a 9- or 9.5-inch pie plate. Fold the edges under and crimp decoratively. Either refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes (if you don’t wish to blind-bake the crust first) or preheat oven to 425ºF, line dough with foil and weigh it down with pie weights. (pie weights are ceramic dealy-bobs, or you can use beans. I used mung beans, because that's what I had. Big mistake. They got all gross while blind-baking). Bake until crust is light golden brown, about 30 minutes (for a more stable, crisp bottom crust).
2. R educe temperature to 375°F.
3. Grind oats to an oat flour in a food processor with pulses. (this is pretty nifty to watch) then add the all-purpose flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and whole almonds. Grind them together until the nuts are coarsely ground (again, I used almond flour).
4. Stir together with melted butter in a bowl.
5. In a large bowl, mix the cherries with the sugar, cornstarch and kosher salt. Taste the mixture to see if you want more sugar than is called for...(be sure to try and see. Always do little taste tests of batters and such to make sure you haven't totally messed up the salty or sweetness)
6. Pour the cherries into your unbaked or blind-baked pie shell. Sprinkle the almond crumble over the cherries. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and thick. Remove to a rack to cool to room temperature before serving.

Blueberry Tart

(this one definitely got a little oozy, all over my oven. Whoops)

adapted from Wild Berry Tart (Skogsbär flan)

Originally from The Food and Cooking of Sweden


500 grams / 1 ¼ pound fresh berries
7 oz / 1 cup sugar

10 oz / 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 oz unsalted butter
2 oz / ¼ cup confectioners sugar
1 egg, beaten


1. To make the pastry, put the flour in a food processor. Cut the butter into small pieces, add to the flour, and then mix together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (make sure to pulse! You don't want to heat up the butter)
2. Stir in the sugar and add the egg to the mixture and combine to form a dough. Wrap in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry thinly and use to line an 8 inch tart pan. (I kind of just pushed it into the kitchen was a mess by the time it was midnight, and I just...kind of...uh...caved).
4. Put a circle of wax paper in the pie shell and fill with baking beans to weight down the crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pastry has set. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for five minutes until the base is dry.
5. Fill the tart with berries and sprinkle the sugar on top. (I only used about 1/4 cup of sugar; 1 cup just seemed insane after I got to the 1/4 cup mark and the tart seemed very covered in sugar. Since the blueberries were fresh and sweet, I did just go with 1/4 cup. If you're using raspberries or sour-er fruits, douse on the sugar).
6. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pie works at any time of the day (or night)!