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Entries in pie (2)

Thursday
Nov012012

Dutch Desserts Heal a Sprained Ankle

Let's talk about combinations. Some things just go together, for example:

Salt and pepper.

Chocolate and pretzels.

Maple syrup and bacon.

Milk and cereal.

Wine and cheese.

Coffee and donuts.

I could go on, but I'll add just two more: 

1. Trail runs and sprained ankles.

2. Mixed berries and the most unbelievable pie crust I have found to date.

I'd like to address these last two in particular.

To #1, I should perhaps add, "momentary lapse in sanity" and make it threesome. A few weeks ago, I decided to do a trail run at Muscoot Farms. This was not a good idea. But it was fall! It was a farm! There was a farmer's market with donuts (and, yes, coffee) awaiting at the finish line. I thought, hey, it's only five miles.

Five miles of the most treacherous terrain I've encountered on foot. It was one part steeple chase, 1 part train run and 1 part gauntlet. I fell three separate times. And then I stepped on a rock and twisted my ankle. I was (and am) very cranky about it.

To ease my mental and physical anguish, I bought pie from Dutch Desserts who were hawking their wares at the farmer's market following the run.

These pies looked amazing. They had mini and regular sizes, and the mini's were pretty hearty. They stood about three inches high (hooray for spring-form pans!), with a lattice crust top that enclosed different fruit, chocolate or pumpkin fillings.

I was immediately attracted by the mixed berry. It spoke to me. Its deep purple color put me into a trance. Which, considering I had just run up almost-vertical hills, was probably not too difficult. But still. A trance, I tell you. I purchased it and one of its raspberry peach siblings. 

Only the mixed berry survived the ride home to be photographed. Let me first discuss the crust. 

THICK. BUTTERY. Flaky...but not too. It didn't crumble when pressed with a fork (thank you, copious amounts of butter). And it wasn't dry. It was like a soft-baked cookie, nestling a dense, almost pudding-like terrine of fruit.

How dense? Pretty darn so. The fruit was packed in tight, resulting in a fruity compote with the consistency of Greek yogurt. I mean this as a good thing. As an added bonus, the fruit wasn't too sickly sweet. You could taste the actual berries. I would say of the two, the crust was the sweeter of the combination.

If you are no where near Muscoot Farms, you can purchase pies directly from Dutch Dessert's website here. And with all number of holidays approaching, I suggest you make haste and do it soon. Like now. Go one, get!

Just don't go racing around on any trails, you might sprain an ankle.

Tuesday
Sep132011

My Favorite Summer into Fall Dessert – Peach Crostata

It's quite possible this is my favorite Marmo-baked dessert. This dessert accomplishes some fantastic things in the realm of taste and texture:

It's tangy (depending on which fruit you choose for the filling).

It's sweet – but not overdone.

It's crust is a buttery fantasy of golden brown deliciousness that surrounds the tangy fruit in a chewy and crispy envelope.

A magical thing happens with the fruit and crust in which the mushy fruit creates an ooey-chewy layer of dough right where the fruit and crust meet – Not unlike an L&B slice of pizza – yet the rest of the crust remains firm and fresh. It's magic.

Side Note #1: This is a good pie to eat at 2am for your second dessert. Or first breakfast...

Side Note #2: You could modify this with other fruits – apples! Berries! Cheese puffs! No, not the cheese puffs.

Side Note #3: This is a good "pie" to make if you are not good at crusts. You're allowed to be messy with this crust, as it's just a fold-over. No special trimming or arrangements involved.

So let's get down to how make it, because you are going to want to do that. Soon.

Fruit Crostata

What You Need for the Crust:
1 2/3 cup flour
3 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 c cornmeal
1 teaspoon grated orange peel – optional
14 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter
1/3 cup ice water.

What To Do for the Crust:
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, orange peel and salt and blend in a food processor. Add butter using on/off pulse until butter is reduced to pea size pieces.

Add the water a little at a time until dough comes together. Gather dough together into a ball and chill for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to about 14 inches wide. 

Slide the parchment and dough combo onto a baking sheet.  Chill for another 15 minutes – no more!

What You Need for the Filling:

1/4 cup sugar
4-5 peaches or nectarines sliced and peeled
1/2 pint of raspberries
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg beaten

What You Do for The Filliing:

Stir sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl.

Mix in fruit and vanilla extract.

Let this stand until juices are released – about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spoon fruit onto the center of the dough, arranging it in a 10 inch diameter circle in the center of the dough. Lift the edges of the dough, fold them over the fruit center, and pinch them to form a seam. 

Brush the dough with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until crust is golden brown, about 55 minutes.