Friday, August 03, 2007
Nectarine Pie with Almond Topping
The other day Brett brought home several homegrown nectarines that a woman from church had given him. They were a little worse for wear after being carted around all day, so Brett suggested we make a pie to use them up quickly. I had never heard of Nectarine Pie before, but homemade fresh peach pie is one of my favorites. I figured it wouldn't be too different. So, I checked the internet for a recipe and came across one that sounded great -- it has an almond struedel topping. Despite the hot day, I went ahead and made one...and boy was it good! Usually, Brett is the big pie eater in the family but I confess that I ate a vast majority of the pie all by myself! We had it warm the first night with vanilla ice cream, and then put the leftovers in the fridge. I thought it tasted even better COLD the next morning for breakfast. It is a refreshing pie and a great way to use any homegrown nectarines that you might come across!
Dough for 1 single-crust pie crust OR premade frozen crust
6 cups pitted and sliced ripe nectarines, unpeeled
Scant ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Almond Crumb Topping Ingredients:
¾ cup whole or slivered almonds
½ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1) Put the pie crust in the pie tin and chill for 15 minutes in the freezer OR use a frozen ready-made pie crust. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2) In a large bowl, combine the nectarines, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set aside for 10 minutes to juice. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir the mixture into the fruit. Stir in the almond extract. Scrape the filling in to the chilled pie shell, smoothing the fruit with a spoon. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, make the topping. Combine the almonds and the sugar in a food processor, pulsing in short bursts to chop the almonds well. Add the flour and the salt and pulse briefly to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Dump the crumbs into a large bowl and rub between your fingers to make large, buttery crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4) Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375F. Place the pie on a large baking sheet to catch any spills. Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie, spreading them evenly and tamping them lightly with your hands. Return the pie on the baking sheet to the oven, placing it so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Continue to bake until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, 30 to 40 minutes.
5) Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
NOTE: If you don't have unsalted butter for the topping, just use regular salted butter and then omit the salt.