You know when you just get that lightning bolt thought where you just suddenly know exactly what you want to bake? No? Well, let me explain.
Trying to decide what to bake on a weekly basis gets tough after a while. You have to be simultaneously realistic (no, there’s no way I can make croissants on a 90-degree day in my tiny kitchen, as much as I want to), and creative (no, you can’t crap out and do another chocolate chip cookie recipe). And there are definitely some weeks where, as Friday approaches, I am completely at a loss with regard to what I’ll make that weekend. And then BOOM. Lightning bolt. I want to make pie. That’s it. That’s the only thing I could possibly be excited about making this weekend. Pie.
But what kind?
Enter: FARMERS MARKET.I love farmers markets. They’re beautiful places full of food. You can’t go wrong there. But the best thing about farmers markets is that they pretty much force you to cook/bake seasonally. You’re ONLY going to find produce that is in season (and if you’re finding produce that should be way out of season at your FM…that’s questionable and maybe you should go to a different one.) I knew I wanted to make pie, and so I hopped on over to one of the 98273432 farmers markets in Chicago, and let their selection dictate what type of pie I’d make. The peaches and pears looked particularly tasty, and that was that.
Isn’t it pretty?? That rapini went into this recipe (which I HIGHLY recommend you try, because holy crap it’s delicious.)
Anyway, the pie. So as it turns out, as long as you use a good pie dough recipe, making a lattice top really isn’t all that difficult. Who knew?
for the crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and then frozen (or just very cold)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, cut into cubes and then frozen (or just very cold)
1/2 cup ice water
- In your food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt a few times to combine.
- Add the butter and shortening, and pulse a few times. It should begin forming large curds. Don’t overdo the mixing — what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley.
- Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water — add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine.
- Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.
- Split the dough in half, and shape into two separate disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling.
- To roll out the dough: Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand. You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to life the paper, plastic or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.
- If you’ve got time, slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 mins to rest and firm up.
- Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad.
- Keep your second disk of dough in the fridge until you’re ready to make the lattice-top.
for the filling:
5 large peaches
3 small/medium pears
1 cup of sugar
1 TB cornstarch
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of salt
- Peel fruit, and cut into wedges. I prefer my slices to be about 1/4″ thick. You can change it up if you want, but just remember that if you chop it too small, your pie will be soupy.
- Toss fruit with sugar, and let it sit for 1 hour.
- Drain fruit in a colander for 20-30 min, saving 1/2 cup of the juice.
- Toss fruit with 1/4 cup of the reserved juice, lemon juice, spices, and salt.
To assemble and cook:
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Take your already-plated bottom crust out of the fridge.
- Add your filling.
- Roll out your second disk of dough, and follow these instructions for making a lattice-top.
- Brush top of pie with an egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 425F on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, then drop the oven temperature down to 375F and continue to bake another 25 minutes. If you notice the crust is browning faster than you’d like, you can fit a loose foil hat over your pie to protect the crust from burning.
- Let cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.