Peachy Keen: Peach, Blueberry and Raspberry Pie

It is Summer.

Not for much longer though.

So why not preserve what we have left of the beautiful Summer stone fruit and berries and turn them into a delicious pie!

This pie features on the cover of Cuisine Magazine. Not this pie of course! But the recipe. It looked rather delicious and the picture of it inside the pages looked wonderful and rustic! My kind of pie.

I am liking things that are not perfect. I like a bit if imperfection. It looks like more love has gone into it and isn't the result of mass production.

I am saying this before I make my pie. I have never made my own pastry before so before I started I had to accept that the crust would not be even and that the lattice would not be latticed! I even accepted that this pie could taste absolutely terrible! But it was all about the learning process and making my first pie. Because we must all start somewhere.

Recently I have become fixated with the idea of food processors. We have this horrible big clunky thing that we never use because Mum can't be bothered taking it out of the drawer (and all the crash bang and clanging that goes along with it!). My 21st birthday is coming up and on my wish list (it is a very short list due to the nature of the items) are a cream coloured Kitchenaid artisan stand mixer and its matching food processor. I don't know if I will be lucky enough to get the processor but I am still preparing my skill set for when I do get one! So in my processor obsession my eyes locked onto this recipe in Cuisine. It never occurred to me to make my own, I usually opened a packet from the freezer. Golly gee whizz have I been missing out all these years!

The walnut pastry was the easiest thing to whip up! and so quick as well! I highly recommend giving it a go.

Where pastry and I stop seeing eye to eye is in the rolling and lining of the tart tin.

You use cold butter when making the pastry. You refrigerate the pastry. You handle it as little as you can. This is so the butter doesn't melt into the flour and sugar but instead forms small solid particulates which then melt when baked creating a beautiful crisp pastry!

Unfortunately it gets rather hot in our kitchen and so the last golden rule was broken. The pastry kept sticking to my rolling pin and the baking paper I was rolling it out onto. I kept having to regroup and re roll. This made the dough all soft, squidgy and sticky. If this is the case you should probably chuck the lined tin in the freezer for half an hour or so to re-harden before filling with the fruit before finally throwing in the oven.

I used 2 peaches and 3 nectarines for this. Nectarines are just peaches without the fur and are called nectarines purely for marketing purposes. I also find using the Hunny nectarines makes it a whole lot sweeter and you get that glorious golden yellow colour.

The original recipe said to use blackberries. It also said you could substitute them for blueberries or raspberries. Why not both?

When we went to Onemana on the Coromandel last weekend we found that my auntie's house had a blueberry tree. We may or may not have totally stripped said tree of all blue fruit! This gave us about a cup and a half of delicious and free (!!!) fruit! Needing to use this fruit I decided to pop it in this pie!

The walnut pastry turned out beautifully in the end. The walnuts lent a lovely nutty brown colour to it making it slightly less garish than the usual sweet crust pastry. Oh and lets not forget that it tastes excellent as well!

Oh and since tomorrow is Valentines Day why not put some wee hearts on the top?

(Ugh Valentines Day. I have a hot hot date!  . . . with my cousin Hannah!!!! :) )

Right lets do this shall we?

Peach, Blueberry and Raspberry Walnut pie
Adapted from Cuisine Magazine issue 156, January 2013
Makes 25cm diameter pie

For the pastry:
100g icing sugar
300g plain flour
75g walnut crumbs (walnuts that have been blasted in the food processor)
pinch of salt
200g chilled butter, cubed
2 eggs, beaten

For the filling:
5 peaches/nectarines, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cup berries (fresh or thawed), can be made up of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries.
2 tablespoons orange liqueur or brandy
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour

In a food processor, whizz together the flour, salt, sugar and walnut crumbs together to evenly distribute everything. Drop the butter in whilst still whizzing) cube at a time until the mixture takes on a sandy consistency. Add the eggs and pulse until the dough just comes together.

Tip the dough onto a floured bench, bring into a ball then divide the mixture in half. Form discs out of each half, wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven and baking tray to 200 degrees bake.

Roll one disc out on a large sheet of baking paper until it is about half a centimetre in thickness (and large enough to line a tart tin - diameter + height + height).

Drape the pastry over the tin and gently press into place. Patch up any holes with scrap pastry. Use a Flat edged knife to trim the edges nice and flat.

Leave the other disc in the fridge until it is time to lattice the top.

Place the lined tin in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling, in a large bowl, mix together the sugar, orange liqueur and caster sugar. Add the fruit and gently toss until everything is coated.

Remove the tin from the freezer. Scatter the fruit evenly into the pastry case.

Take the second disc, roll it out until 5mm thickness then cut thin strips. Completely cover the pie in parallel strips. Then cover with a second layer of strips perpendicular to the first layer. Cut out hearts if you wish.

Bake for 30 minutes on top of the baking tray (this crisps up the bottom). Then turn down the temp to 180 degrees for another 25 to 30 minutes. If the pastry gets too brown place some tin foil over the top for the remainder of the time left.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for half an hour or so before removing from the tin. You want the pastry to be cool enough so that it doesn't break.

Cut into nice big slices and serve with whipped cream or a really good vanilla bean ice cream!