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Every other Friday, we'll be sharing dessert projects that demand a little extra time and effort. Because weekends are the sweetest part of the week.
Today: Yossy teaches us to make a beautiful lattice-top pie, filled with the summer's ripest fruits.
Most people associate pie with the winter holidays; but for me, summer is pie season.
The variety and quality of fruit this time of year is unbeatable and, after enjoying it fresh, my very favorite thing to do is to tuck it into a buttery crust with a lattice top. I find that a lattice tops work best for juicy summer fruit because they give the fruit some room to let off steam, which both enhances its flavor and ensures that the finished pie will set nicely and be easy to slice. Plus, it looks super impressive and isn’t too difficult to tackle once you get the hang of it.
For this go-round, I combined luscious summer peaches with blueberries for a perfectly sweet and slightly tart pairing, but you could easily substitute raspberries or blackberries in place of the blues. The crust here is an adaptation of the rye rough puff pastry in Kim Boyce's book Good to the Grain, and I have been using it for all of my summer baking because it is wonderfully flaky and the rye flour’s nutty and slightly milky flavor is the perfect foil for sweet summer fruit.
Lattice-Top Peach and Blueberry Pie with Rye Crust
Serves 8 to 10
For the crust
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups rye flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
16 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
For the filling
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3/4 cup sugar
5 cups peeled peaches, cut into 1/3-inch slices
2 cups blueberries
4 to 5 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg (for topping)
2 tablespoons coarse sugar (for topping)
In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt, and sugar together. Add in the butter and quickly rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers. You want the butter to break up into small pieces ranging in size from peas to lima beans.
Combine the water and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and slowly stream 1/2 cup of liquid into the dough while mixing gently. Mix until the liquid is evenly distributed and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. It may look dry, and that's okay, just as long as it holds together when you squeeze it. If it is too dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time.
After it has chilled, unwrap the dough and place it onto a lightly floured board. Pat the dough into a rough square, then roll it into an 8-inch x 11-inch rectangle. The dough will be a bit rough and crumbly.
With the long side of the dough facing you, gently fold the dough into thirds. Then turn the dough so the seam is at the top and parallel to your body, and roll it out into another 8- by 11-inch rectangle.. Repeat this process 2 more times, then divide the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
When you're ready to make the filling and assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 400º F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick and place it into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of dough into a rough square, about 1/8-inch thick, and place it on a parchment-lined sheet pan in the fridge to chill. Prepare the filling while the dough chills.
To peel the peaches, cut a shallow “x” into the bottom of each peach, then blanch them for one minute in boiling water. Shock the peaches in an ice bath and gently pull the skins off, then slice.
In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds into the sugar, then add the peaches, blueberries, flour, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Toss gently to combine. If the mixture looks extremely juicy, add in the extra tablespoon of flour.
Cut the square of chilled dough into 8 to 10 strips using a pastry cutter, pizza wheel, or long knife. I like strips that are about an inch wide, but you can make them a bit smaller -- and they definitely don’t have to be perfect.
Fill the chilled pie shell with the peach and berry mixture. To make a lattice top, starting from the top left corner of the pie, lay one strip of dough horizontally and one strip vertically, so that the horizontal strip is on the bottom.
Lay a second horizontal strip about 1/2 inch below the top strip so that it overlaps the vertical strip. Fold the top horizontal strip to the left and lay another vertical strip about 1/2 inch to the right of the first one. Next, fold the top horizontal strip back over it. This way, the second vertical strip will go underneath the top horizontal strip and over top of the second horizontal strip.
Fold the first vertical strip up and lay down a third horizontal strip. Fold the vertical strip back down. Next, fold the second horizontal strip to the left and place a third vertical strip. Fold the horizontal strip back over the pie.
Now, fold the middle vertical strip up and lay down the fourth horizontal strip. Fold the top and third horizontal strip to the left and place a fourth vertical strip.
Continue until all strips are used and the top of the pie is covered. Then trim the edges of the dough evenly.
Fold the bottom dough up and over the lattice strips and crimp the edges of the dough. Slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes before you bake it to firm up the crust. When you are ready to bake, carefully and gently brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.
Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of your oven, then lower the oven temperature to 375º F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the juices bubble. Cool the pie completely before serving.
Photos by Yossy Arefi