Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Fruit Heaven

Having made Pear Croustade last year from Cousin J-Yah's recipe, I wanted to try one this summer using white nectarines and cherries. Somehow, that combination sounded like near nirvana to me, so this week, I made one.

This time, I used the recipe for pate brisee* that came in my Cuisinart instruction manual thirty years ago, then just loaded the pitted, sliced fruit into the crust, dotted it with butter and sprinkled a single tablespoon of turbinado sugar over the crust and already-sweet fruit before turning up the crust around the fruit and baking it in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.

Initially, I was a little apprehensive when it came out of the oven as it wasn't bubbling and shiny like most fruit pies, but the first bite dispelled any concerns. It retained the essence of the two kinds of fruit, except where the mingled juices made a juicy, sexy marriage of flavors. Served with just a dollop of creme fraiche on top, it made a lovely summer dessert, as close to transcendance as I have found on earth.

*Pate Brisee (Basic Pastry Dough) from the Cuisinart instruction manual, 1978.

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold butter, cut into 1" pieces (I use frozen)
1-1/2 tsp. salt (original recipe calls for 2 tsps. but I find that unpleasantly salty)
1/2 cup minus 1 Tbs. ice water
1 egg yolk

With metal blade in place, add flour, butter, egg yolk and salt to the work bowl. Process for 8-10 seconds, or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. With processor running, pour ice water through feed tube in a steady stream. Stop processing as soon as dough begins to form a ball. Turn out onto waxed paper and shape into two smooth, flattened disks (for a two-crust pie - if making a crousade, keep it all together). Use immediately or wrap in plastic and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

When ready to roll chilled dough, let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Allow frozen dough thaw for 10 to 15 minutes. Roll on lightly floured board to 1/8 inch thickness. Fit into pan or pans and chill again before baking to prevent shrinkage.

Makes enough pastry for a double-crust 10-inch pie, or one large croustade.

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4 Comments:

Blogger namastenancy said...

This sounds like food for the gods!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, it should look pretty familiar to you... :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Blogger namastenancy said...

It does - so, I should have written: Food for the goddesses and one god. Plus, there is drooling over here. Lots of drooling.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

It was pretty drool-worthy, wasn't it?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008  

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