There is just something so comforting about pie. Making it, baking it, eating it. The entire process, start to finish, calms my soul...until one (or three) of the kids starts screaming...but I get as zen as I can. This Nectarine & Blueberry Pie has an all-butter pie crust filled with fresh fruit tossed in brown sugar and spices. Deee-lish.
I'd never had nectarines and blueberries paired in a pie before. I was intrigued both by the combination of fruit and the addition of allspice and cloves. The spices warm the flavor of the pie in a way that hints at autumn, but still keeps you planted firmly in the summer. Pretty perfect for this time of year, I'd say.
The all-butter pie crust is also something I hadn't tried before. I had to chill it often to work with it. Perhaps deciding to make a lattice top with an all-butter dough in the Texas heat was a bad idea. 😉 With the AC on full blast and multiple rests in the refrigerator, I pulled it off. Mostly. My crimping is a little wonky (that's a technical term) and didn't look much like crimping at all after baking, but it is delicious!
I do use a couple specialty tools when making my pie crust. Neither are a necessity, but both make it much easier to make the dough quickly and help you keep aaaaall that butter cold! A pastry blender (link [here]) and a bowl scraper (link [here]) will make pie-making much easier for you!
I decided to make the little rosettes on top by mixing a small amount of blueberry powder into the dough. You can check out the recipe instructions and notes for more on that. This method of coloring the dough looks pretty, but essentially destroys the beautiful specks of butter that you had in the dough. This is fine for a small garnish (since you don't really want flaky rosettes, anyway), but you definitely wouldn't want to use this method for the entire pie crust.
For the blueberry powder, you can either buy freeze-dried blueberries (like these [here]) and grind them into a powder in a food processor, or you can buy already-ground blueberry powder. I prefer to buy the powder, since it is ground quite fine. Any humidity in your kitchen really makes processing the blueberries difficult as well. If you'd like to buy blueberry powder, I get mine from Bow Hill (link [here]).
So, happy baking! I hope that you can find pie-induced zen as soon as possible. This Nectarine & Blueberry Pie did the job for me. I know I'll be there again as soon as I can. 😀
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Recipe adapted from Four & Twenty Blackbirds (link [here]).
Nectarine & Blueberry Pie
All-Butter Pie Crust (Double Crust):
Nectarine & Blueberry Filling:
- 3 cups nectarines, sliced (about 1 lb; from about 4 nectarines)
- 2 to 3 cups blueberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- pinch lemon zest, finely grated
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch salt
- 1 egg
- coarse sugar, for sprinkling
- blueberry powder (optional; see note)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter pieces and stir to coat butter in flour.
- With a pastry blender (see note) or fork, cut in the butter until pieces are pea-sized and smaller. Work quickly so that butter is still cold.
- In a medium bowl, combine water, vinegar, and ice. Add 2 tablespoons of this mixture to the flour/butter mixture. Mix to incorporate with a bowl scraper (see note).
- Continue adding liquid 1-2 tablespoons at a time, incorporating with the bowl scraper until the dough comes together into a ball (there still may be a few dry spots). I used 10 tablespoons liquid total--you may need a little more or less.
- Bring the dough together into a ball, kneading slightly, if necessary. Try to work quickly so as to not melt the butter with your hands. Be sure not to overwork the dough.
- Cut the dough ball in half, and shape each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least one hour (overnight is even better)!
- In a large bowl, combine fruit, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- In a small bowl, combine sugars, cornstarch, allspice, cloves, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit mixture and gently toss to combine.
- Remove half the crust dough from the refrigerator. Allow to set at room temperature for a few minutes if too difficult to work with, but try to keep dough as cold as possible. Return the dough to the refrigerator to chill periodically if it gets too soft.
- Roll dough out to line a 9" pie pan. Once the pan is lined with the crust, fill the crust with the prepared fruit mixture.
- Remove the second half of the crust dough from the refrigerator and roll out to form a full top crust or lattice. Place on top of the pie and crimp the edges as desired. Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill for 15-20 minutes to set the crust.
- If you want to make the small rosettes for the top of the pie, take a small amount of crust dough and work in the blueberry powder until it is the desired color (I used a few tablespoons; see note). Chill dough until it is firm enough to work with, then roll out/cut/shape the dough as desired for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Position one oven rack near the bottom of the oven, and a second in the center. Place a large baking sheet on the bottom rack to preheat along with the oven.
- After the pie has chilled, place the pie on the preheated baking sheet (see note) and bake 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is beginning to brown.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375F and continue baking 30-35 minutes, or until the juices in the pie are bubbling throughout. The crust should be a deep golden brown. If the crust is getting too dark, you can tent the pie with foil to keep it from browning further.
- After the pie is baked, allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 2-3 hours. Pie can be served warm or at room temperature, and is fabulous topped with vanilla ice cream!Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.
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