Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fruit Pie; I'll Never Take What's in Season for Granted Again


1 cup flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

¼ cup COLD butter, chopped up a bit

¼- ½ cup chopped almonds

1 ½- 3 tbl COLD water

- Bring together flour, salt, sugar and butter with a fork until it’s nice and crumbly.

- Work in almonds and then water, adding just enough water for it to stick together nicely.

- Form into a ball, wrap in a small plastic bag, and store in a fridge or cool place for at least a half hour (since I don’t have a fridge, I double bag it, tie it securely and place in a bowl of water to keep it cool) while you prepare the filling.


around ½ kilo or 2 cups chopped apricots, peaches, cherries, etc. or any combination of delightful fruits currently in season

½ cup, more or less, sugar

1 packet vanilla sugar

fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

fresh ground cloves

fresh grated nutmeg

dash black pepper

dash ginger

- Pit fruit, pull apart or chop and bring to a boil in saucepan with water and all other ingredients, add a bit of flour or cornstarch to thicken if desired.

- Allow to grunt and boil 20 minutes or so, tasting periodically to be sure its yummy, and in the meantime prepare the crust and topping.

- Remove the crust from plastic, place on floured surface, sprinkle flour on top and roll out until it’s the right size to line the bottom and sides of your pie pan.

- Carefully place the crust into the pan and bake until it’s just barely crispy. In my flaming Moroccan oven, I generally bake it on top for a bit, and then on the bottom (below the flames) until it’s just barely browned. You don’t actually have to prebake the crust, I just like to have a crispy barrier.

- Checking the crust often, now prepare the topping.

Crumble topping:

½ cup oats

chopped almonds and/or walnuts

1 tbl flour

½ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbl white and/or brown sugar

melted butter

- Mix all ingredients except butter, then add butter just until it’s all coated, shiny and crumbly.

- Pour the pie filling into the pre-baked crust, carefully top with the crumble, place in the oven and bake until the crust is just browned. You can also place the pie on the bottom for the last couple minutes to get it good and crispy. Enjoy with real or imagined vanilla ice cream!

Between burning crust, too many cloves, far too tart fruit, etc., etc, my first few attempts didn’t quite make it, but recently I won the gold. The only thing it was painfully lacking was some good vanilla ice cream. This pie became two great meals when I made it with my good friend Jed and we added too much water to the filling. After the fruit and sugars cooked down for 15o r 20 minutes, I just strained out the gooey fruit with a fork into the crust, and left over in the saucepan was perfect apricot syrup! The next morning, though still full from the night before, I made Swedish pancakes and topped them with this syrup and it was delicious! I should mention the crust recipe comes from David Orr, a great cook featured on the podcast Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living. And the filling was inspired by him, as well as Mollie Katzen, the good ol Peace Corps Morocco cookbook and of course, trial and error. The crumble is similar to the topping for “Sour Cream Coffee Cake” in the PCM cookbook. I swear I’ll add some heartier and healthier recipes soon!

This second picture is of the cherry pie I made a few weeks back. The filling was amazing, but I hadn’t discovered the crust-cooling-in-water trick yet, so that part turned out hard and thick rather than light and flaky. If you want to make a covered pie like this, double the above crust recipe and eliminate the crumble.


  1. mmmm. we have peaches right now-everywhere! I may have to try this!

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