SRP #6: American Pie

A dental “SRP” refers to “Scaling and Root Planing,” an intense, deep-cleaning experience, involving much saliva, some blood, and sharp instruments.  A FoodSwing Blog “SRP” refers to “Short Recipe Post,” an intensely delicious culinary experience,  involving minimal foreplay  and many tears…tears of joy.

Nectarine Blueberry Pie

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I honestly don’t know how the Founding Fathers felt about pie — I’m a few years shy of 240 years old, myself — but I know my father is a pie guy!  Being the good Pilgrim he is, my dad is very loyal to the classics — pumpkin pie and apple pie — and is very wary of the newfangled pies the kids are eating these days.  Still, I thought the recent hot and humid 4th of July weekend weather might make him a bit more agreeable to step outside the box…the pie box!

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Nectarine Blueberry Pie

Crust:
2 3/4 cups sifted flour (i.e. sifted before measuring)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold milk
Pie filling:
4 medium,  nectarines (or any ripe stone fruit, really), thinly sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup granulated sugar (add more if your nectarines aren’t super sweet)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar + dash vanilla, whisked together, for brushing
Prepare crust:  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sifted flour and salt.  Add oil, milk, and butter cubes.  Use a pastry blender or large fork to gently combine crust ingredients without excessively man-handling them — an over-mixed dough is tough and sad when baked.  Mix only until no dry flour is visible but streaks of butter are still present.  Form into a rough ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.
Prepare filling:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit.  In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, place sliced nectarines and blueberries, and pour sugar-flour-spice mixture on top.  Use a rubber spatula to gently toss contents of bowl to coat fruit in dry mixture, being careful to not mash the fruit — this step is important for preventing a soupy pie…soup should be soupy, pie should not.
Shape crust:  Roll out 1/3 of the dough into ~1/4″ thickness.  Use your cookie-cutter-of-choice, to cut out as many shapes as you can.  Transfer shapes to a cookie sheet, and freeze shapes while you assemble the rest of the pie.
Spray a 9″ pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Take 2/3 of the chilled crust dough, place between two sheets of plastic wrap, and roll out into a circle ~10″ in diameter.  Transfer dough to prepared pie pan, and gently adapt dough to the shape of the pan.  Fold excess edges over to reinforce the top crust edge — do not let crust extend beyond the rim of the pan.  Decorate edges as desired (press with a fork, crimp into a fancy fluted border, or just make the edge even for a rustic look).
Pour coated fruit into prepared crust, and arrange fruit into a semi-even layer, making sure there are no large voids within the fruit layer.  Top fruit with the butter pieces.  Place your crust shapes in an artsy-fartsy arrangement over the fruit, leaving enough fruit peeking through to tell the world what type of pie you’ve made.  Make sure crust shapes are touching each other so that the top-crust will stay semi-intact when slicing.  Use a pastry brush to place the glaze over the crust shapes and crust border.
Bake at 400 degrees, with a cookie sheet underneath in case your pie runneth over whilst baking, for 20 minutes.  Decrease oven temp to 375 degress, and bake an additional 40 minutes, keeping an eye on your crust to make sure it’s not getting too brown — you want a nice golden color on the edges, but no darker than that!  Remove from oven, and let cool at room temp, for 3-4 hours before serving.  Serve topped with ice cream (obviously…I actually recommend blueberry frozen yogurt, but you can’t go wrong with plain old vanilla).  Store in fridge, covered with waxed paper and a tight swaddling of plastic wrap.

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