this month, good things come in threes, as in three things made using the book “baking with julia” for the tuesdays with dorie challenge. this week, we made blueberry-nectarine pie and the event was hosted by hillary of manchego’s kitchen and liz of that skinny chick can bake . be sure to visit either of their websites to see the recipe or buy the book!
first step was to mix the pie dough. the recipe gives three methods for mixing the dough; by hand, by mixer or by food processor. i chose to mix mine in the food processor.
the recipe is pretty simple but it does something most recipes do not, it calls for a combination of real butter and shortening. most importantly, it calls for chilling the shortening and cutting it into neat little cubes. it also requires a somewhat lengthy chilling time(several hours) for the dough and a short chill time for the completed pie prior to baking. i didn’t adhere to the chilling times and can honestly say, the soft dough was easy to work with and the baked pie looked fine. perhaps i should also mention that making and baking pies is a large part of my job and maybe this is easy for me since i am accustomed to working with pie dough. maybe, but it could also be that this time, i was lucky.
so there i was shopping in trader joe’s with the husband as i picked up two baskets of blueberries, selected half a dozen white nectarines all the while hoping that there would be extra fruit for me…
white nectarines are very delicate in flavor, kind of like a washed out peach but they are still tasty.
the recipe calls for cooking the filling prior to making the pie. knowing how much the blueberries would color the filling, i doubled up the amount of flour, actually i think i may have added more than double, and just gently tossed the filling and then scraped it into the pie shell. i wanted to preserve the color combination that you see above; pale slices of nectarines swimming in a purple blueberry pool.
i remember reading the recipe and the author states to use only 2 teaspoons of lemon juice so that the pie isn’t tart. this perplexed me. two teaspoons surely wouldn’t have the power to do that. and no, it didn’t. to add more flavor, i also included some cardamom and vanilla bean paste.
when the pie was finished in the oven, it was obvious that it was a blueberry pie. despite my efforts, the nectarines lost their battle with the blueberries since it dominated both the color and the flavor profile of the pie. next time, i would reverse the proportions and use 2 cups blueberries with 3 cups nectarines or better still, 3 cups peaches (or apricots, just throwing that out there).