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Today: A late-summer dessert that's equal parts pie and crumble -- and all parts delicious.
Summer is pie season and in my kitchen, fruit pies reign supreme. In early summer I reach for berries, cherries, and rhubarb for my pies, but now that we are approaching the end of the season, I love tucking stone fruit into a buttery crust.
Peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots are all fair marks in this pie game, but some fruits -- like apricots -- are just made to be baked. Sure, I like a fresh apricot every now and then, but I think they really shine after being cooked. They slump over and release their heady perfume of honeyed sweetness and their tart skins soften pleasantly. Here, I balance their tartness with straight-up-sweet peaches, skins and all, because it’s summertime and I’m keeping it real easy. If you don’t like peach skins, feel free to remove them, but don’t you dare peel the apricots. Their skins give this pie a nice amount of tartness to balance the sweet fruit.
More: Get down and dirty with peaches, plums, and apricots.
Normally I like to bake my pies at 400° F or even 425° F, but I like to bake crumb topped pies at a slightly cooler temperature to avoid burning the crumbs, so this one bakes at 375° F.
Makes one 9-inch pie
For the crust and filling:
1 recipe of your favorite single crust pie dough (like this one)
1 pound peaches, about 3 medium
1 pound apricots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest and juice from one lemon
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Roll out the pie dough to a roughly 13-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and trim any uneven edges. Tuck the overhanging dough under and crimp the edges with your fingers or gently press onto the rim of the pie plate with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate the dough-lined plate while you prepare the filling and crumb.
In a large bowl, use your fingers to rub the lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds into the sugar. Stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Rub the peaches gently with a damp paper towel to remove a bit of their fuzz, slice them into 1/4-inch slices, and add them to the bowl. Gently tear the apricots in half, remove their pits, and place the halves into the bowl, too. Squeeze the lemon over the fruit, then toss everything gently to combine.
For the crumb topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft but cool
In another bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt together until they are well combined and no lumps remain in the sugar. Add the butter and use your fingers to smush it into the dry ingredients until everything is well combined and large crumbs form.
Remove the pie shell from the fridge and pour in the filling -- don't forget to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to get all of those delicious juices. Evenly spread the crumbs on top of the fruit. You may need to use your fingers to break up the crumbs a bit. If the crust has gotten soft or warm, put the whole pie into the freezer until the crust is firm and cold.
More: Beat the heat with these tips on working with cold dough in a hot kitchen.
When you are ready to bake the pie, transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake it until the crust and crumbs are golden and the fruit juices are bubbling, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or créme fraîche.
More: No créme fraîche on hand? Make it from scratch with nothing more than heavy cream and buttermilk.
Photos by Yossy Arefi