Waitress: Cherry Apricot Pie with Ginger-Almond Crunch
Have you seen the movie Waitress? It came out in 2007, but I never forget a movie in which pie takes a starring role. Keri Russell plays Jenna, a small-town diner waitress with a problem – she’s pregnant. And unhappy. She doesn’t love the baby’s father – her husband Earl – but does love her obstetrician, with whom she’s having an affair. She’s also a gifted pie baker, and since the town’s citizens swear by their daily slices, at least she’s got her job.
We see Jenna make dozens of pies, from banana cream to blackberry chocolate, and she names each pie to match her mood, names like “I Can’t Have No Affair Because It’s Wrong And I Don’t Want Earl To Kill Me Pie (vanilla custard with banana, hold the banana)” and “Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie (lumpy oatmeal with fruitcake mashed in).” Waitress is funny, intelligent, delicious and, best of all, features an elderly Andy Griffith as Old Joe, a sly, pie-loving philosopher. See it and you won’t be sorry. Possibly hungry, but not sorry.
In other news, I baked a pie – made for the wonderful cross-blog food event Summer Fest. I’m contributing to this week’s topic, Stone Fruits, and next week’s topic, Tomatoes. Summer Fest 2010 features more wonderful food bloggers than ever (I had a swell time last year, too), listed at the end of this post. Be sure to visit them all today to check out their marvelous recipes, tips and ideas – and share some of your own.
What did I call my pie? Well, I wasn’t sure, at least not until late afternoon. Despite the presence of good pie, one never does know where the day will lead. Let’s take a look.
“Dopey Marilyn Doesn’t Have a Pitter, So Pal Melanie Helped Her Pit Cherries With A Knife Pie,” also known as “Melanie Was Real Mad At Her Landlord And Took It Out On The Bloody Cherries Pie.”
“Calls From Auto Insurance, Volleyball Coach, Dentist, Piano Teacher and Mom Tryin’ To Keep Me From Rolling Dough Pie.”
“Why Does Melanie Back Away Slow When I Start Cutting Dough Leaves? Pie”
“The Dog’s Breath Smells Like Ginger ‘Cause Half The Crunch Hit The Floor Pie”
CHERRY APRICOT PIE with GINGER-ALMOND CRUNCH
1. Make pie dough. Roll crust into pie plate as directed, and chill in refrigerator until ready to fill.
2. Make Ginger-Almond Crunch. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Make Cherry Apricot filling. Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Finish and bake as directed, using one of the options below.
If you’ve prepared a fluted pie crust: sprinkle Ginger-Almond Crunch evenly over pie filling, covering fruit. Place pie on a foil-lined baking sheet (wide enough to catch all drips) and set in lower third of preheated 400° oven. Bake approximately 30 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350° and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and juices are thickened and bubbling. If crust and crunch topping brown too quickly, tent pie loosely with foil and bake until done. Cool completely before slicing. Delicious warm, but expect broken, cobbler-like pieces. Which are also good.
If you’ve prepared for a leaf cutout crust: Remove leaf cutouts from refrigerator. Fill a small bowl with water. Using fingers, moisten the back of one leaf cutout and press it gently but firmly to pie dough rim, adhering to folded edge. Add remaining leaves in an overlapping pattern, moistening and pressing each one to form a natural “wreath” along the rim.
When leaf edge is complete, sprinkle Ginger-Almond Crunch evenly over pie filling, covering fruit. Place pie on a foil-lined baking sheet (wide enough to catch all drips) and set in lower third of preheated 400° oven. Bake approximately 30 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350° and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and juices are thickened and bubbling. If crust and crunch topping brown too quickly, tent pie loosely with foil and bake until done. Cool completely before slicing. Delicious warm, but expect broken, cobbler-like pieces. Which are also good.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
3 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water
Food processor method: Place flour and salt in processor bowl. Cut butter and shortening in pieces, and sprinkle over flour mixture. Pulse machine on/off to cut butter/shortening into flour, forming coarse crumbs and a few remaining chunks. Trickle ice water over mixture, pulsing until it just comes together as a rough, unformed dough, about 20-30 seconds. Wrap and chill, at least 1 hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, divide pie dough in half, patting each half into a flattened round. (Reserve one half to roll decorative leaf or other cutouts, if desired, or wrap and chill for another use.) Roll first half of dough into a round approximately 1/8″ thick, turning as you roll to prevent sticking. Round size should be slightly larger than your 9″ or 10″ deep-dish pie plate. Transfer round to pie plate, lightly pressing dough to fit, and patching small cracks or tears if necessary. Trim excess dough, leaving about 1″ of overhang.
For fluted rim pie crust: Gently fold overhang up and over pie plate rim, pressing dough with thumb and forefinger as you work around whole plate to form a decorative indented rim. Chill unbaked crust in refrigerator until ready to fill.
For leaf cutout pie crust: Trim overhang to 1/2″, then fold up and over pie plate, pressing into a flat rim all around. Roll second half of dough to 1/8″ thick. Cut leaf shapes 1) with a leaf-shaped cookie cutter or 2) cutting freehand with a paring knife. Cut slightly pointed ovals (irregular is fine!) then use tip of paring knife to lightly score “leaf veining” marks on each one. Leaves will be added to edge after pie is filled, so chill cutouts in refrigerator until ready to use.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/2 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/4 cup crystallized ginger chunks
Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat, shaking until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes, OR toast in 350° oven on an ungreased baking sheet, about 10 minutes. Cool almonds completely before using.
Place toasted almonds and crystallized ginger in food processor bowl. Pulse machine on/off until you get small, coarse pieces. Add butter, flour, and brown sugar to bowl. Using on/off pulse again, process together into even, large crumbs. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cherry Apricot Filling
1 1/2 pounds firm ripe apricots, pitted and quartered, about 4 cups
1 1/2 pound cherries, pitted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
In large bowl, gently toss cut apricots and pitted cherries together with lemon juice. In small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle mixture over apricots and cherries, turning to coat, then add vanilla and almond extracts, lightly tossing until just mixed. Follow directions above for filling and baking pie.
Summer Fest is an annual online celebration of good food and great ideas, featuring food and garden bloggers from around the globe. Every week we highlight a different seasonal ingredient – corn, stone fruit, tomatoes – and our guest bloggers share wonderful recipes, stories and tips. You can participate by visiting these terrific blogs and leaving links or comments – and if you’re feeling particularly inspired, you can contribute a post of your own. Drop by A Way to Garden for details on how join the party.
THIS WEEK’S LINKS: STONE FRUIT
Sara at Cooking Channel: Savory Stone Fruit recipes.
Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple: Riesling Poached Pluots.
Margaret at A Way to Garden: What is stone fruit, anyhow? Plus: Clafoutis batter revisited.
Caroline at The Wright Recipes: Ginger and Vanilla Poached Peaches.
The FN Dish: Paula’s Perfect Peach Cobbler.
Alison at Food2: Peachy Party Foods.
Kelly at Just a Taste: Peaches & Cream Cupcakes.
Liz on Healthy Eats: Puttin’ Up Peach Pickles, Compote and More.
Food Network UK: How to Poach a Peach.
Judy of Divina Cucina: Chocolate Amaretti Baked Apricots.
The Gilded Fork: dossier & recipes featuring peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, cherries, almonds, coconuts.
Cate at Sweetnicks: Blueberry Peach Smoothies.
Tara at Tea & Cookies: Making Peach Jam.
Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: Stone fruit slump.
Caron of San Diego Foodstuff: grilled peach parfait and coconut peach gazpacho.
Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: gluten-free peach-blueberry buckle.
Paige at The Sister Project: A Summer Fruit Whatchamacallit (not a pie, not a crisp, but delicious).
Marilyn at Simmer Till Done: Cherry Apricot Pie with Ginger-Almond Crunch.
Tigress in a Jam: nectarine preserve with summer savory and white pepper.