Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baking with Julia: White Peach Blueberry Pie

The weather is still sultry here in Montreal and I am avoiding the oven/stove as much as possible. However one taste of the filling for this pie made me want to bake a dozen more summer fruit pies, heat be damned. And then eat them all. *blush*

The original recipe (found here and here) calls for nectarines and blueberries, however the nectarines on offer here seemed to all be hard as rocks, and quite honestly I just didn't want to wait around for them to ripen, so I splurged a little on some ripe white peaches. I adore white peaches. Blueberries were no problem, however the ones in the market right now aren't the little wild ones like I'm used to, but rather these freakishly big things (that's a quarter next to it):

That's just... unsettling. Like the second I turned my back, they'd storm the pantry and start beating up the other fruit.

To give the peaches a fighting chance, I reversed the amounts, putting more of the peaches and less of the blueberries in the filling. After reading some of the chatter about the outcome of the recipe, I also bumped up the amount of flour I used to give it a better chance of thickening. The filling came together fine and it was set aside to cool while I made the crust.

I have a tendency of overworking crusts. I'm afraid they won't come together, so knead/roll the living daylights out of them. This time, I was careful... I froze both the butter and shortening so it was as cold as possible, I even froze the blade of my food processor, knowing if I did it by hand, I would work too slowly and too long and the fats would soften too much. So I blitzed it in the processor, stopping when it looked like pebbly sand... perfect! I added the ice water sparingly until it just came together... excellent! Then I tried to roll it on a room temperature counter in the middle of a hot and humid day. Not so good. It came together fine but by the end the fats were clearly melting into the dough and the top crust had a large crack in it that I ended up covering with some fancy decoration:

Hey, nothing a flower and some huge leaves can't fix, right? ;) It baked up with no drama and I marshalled all my self-control to leave it untouched on the counter for many hours until dinner time. It was B's birthday today, and we were invited to his parents' for dinner, so I said I would be bringing the pie for dessert. I made sure it was out of the oven early enough in the afternoon to cool completely and hopefully result in a nice, cohesive filling when I cut into it.... here's what I got:

Alright, so extra flour in the filling and hours of cooling time didn't do the trick, I still got the same 'fruit soup' that many other bakers seemed to have gotten. Oh well! It was still damn tasty, and despite the less than ideal conditions, the crust was nice as well. I found it a little on the bland side in terms of taste, but the texture was great, being both crisp and flakey, with a little softness where the filling juices had soaked in a bit. Maybe a bit more butter instead of shortening or a smidge more salt/sugar would help? Except for the gooshy-ness, it was a lovely summer pie and reminded me that I really should be making more of these while the summer months are here! Already looking forward to next month's recipes and the galette we'll be doing, I think this one might have to be tweaked a little to include some fresh figs!


  1. Glad you really enjoyed it - gooshyness and all!
    When I dumped my filling into the pie crust, I tried not to include much of the juice that had accumulated in the bowl. That seemed to do the trick for me. Less gooshy (I love that word). Unfortunately, I had issues with the crust. :(

  2. Great looking pie. Your crust is so golden.

  3. You turned up a great pie, with the perfect crack-covering decoration! It looks golden and yummy!

  4. Figs would be a nice addition. We added a little cinnamon and nutmeg to ours and it really brought out the flavour. Another baker used cardamom and vanilla paste - I think there's a lot of potential for this pie. Love the decoration you used to disguise the crack - very elegant.

  5. Your pie looks great and I love the flower decoration!

  6. Hey - no one needs to know what's under that lovely flower :-)
    Beautiful pie.