It is really uncommon to have either day of the weekend off when you work in a restaurant. Miraculously, I ended up with this Saturday off a week ago! This means I was sharing a day off with Brian – an extremely rare event. We treated it like it was a mini vacation touring about the city. We went to a special bakery for “breakfast”, hit up an obscure coffee shop you enter through an alley, walked through one of the neighborhood farmer markets, had lunch at my favorite whole in the wall Indian restaurant, walked my uncles’ dog, came home and walked our own girls, and then watched a three hour documentary on J.D. Salinger . It was a fun filled and packed day to say the least. Completely, and totally in a vagabond style. I personally think it is the only way I do things, random and then see where you end up. There is always an element of surprise that way. The downside is you end up tired and you don’t feel like you really had a day off! Also, you don’t feel like really cooking or baking anything.
So when Wednesday of this week rolled around and I had another day off I was determined to hang out around the apartment and get a bunch of relaxation in. Relaxing and hanging out indoors was not hard considering that the temperature dropped below 70 degrees and never really saw the sun come through. I had a small flat of raspberries from a local farm in the refrigerator along with really rip nectarines sitting in a bowl on my counter. This was the perfect opportunity to combine the two and make something, like a pie perhaps?!?
Yes, it was time for pie. A Raspberry and Nectarine Pie topped with Almond Streusel. As it baked the lovely smell of the fruit comingled with the almond topping. It really brightens the cool and unsunny day of summer. As I pulled it from the oven it continued to bubble as it cooled, I was mesmerized a bit as I watched it cool. I wanted to stand right over that warm bubbly pie with a spoon and dig in, but with much restraint I held back and waited a few hours for Brian to come home. After dinner we indulged in two slices a piece. They were so vibrantly tasty, like the summer sun worked some magic into the fruit that went into this pie. The sweet and slightly tart fruit filling against the crisply toasted almond topping was scrumptious. We continued eating a slice each night after dinner until there was no more. It is defiantly time for more pie!
Raspberry and Nectarine Pie with Almond Streusel (serves 10 – 12)
¾ cup of AP flour
½ cup of sugar
½ tsp of sea salt
3 oz butter, cold and cubed
½ cup of slivered almonds
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 pints of raspberries, washed and picked over
3 nectarines, pitted and chopped into 1 – ½ inch cubes
½ cup of sugar
2 tbsp of A.P. flour
1/2 recipe of Pate Brise
First, follow the recipe for the pate brise. Once it is mixed and chilled roll out in a circular shape to about ¼ inch thickness. You are looking to fill a 9 – 10 inch pie pan. Gently lay the crust into the pan and gently fold the edges over and crimp it with your finger to flute the edging. Place the whole pan in the freezer and chill for about 30 minutes.
Next, in the bowl of a food processor place all your streusel ingredients and keep pulsing until your almonds are ground finely and your butter in in tiny lumps. Place it half of this mixture in a bowl and place in the refrigerator to keep chilled. The other half wrap tightly and store in the freezer for a later use. You may store it up to three months for another use.
Then, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl place your raspberries, nectarines, sugar, and AP flour. Toss it all together well (it is okay id the berries start to break down). Remove your pie crust from the freezer and place the pie plate on a rimmed sheet pan. Gently pour the fruit filling into the pie crust and evenly distribute. Remove the streusel topping from the refrigerator and evenly place over the top of the fruit filling.
Finally, place in the middle of the oven and bake about 45 min to an hour. Be sure to rotate the pie half way though. Keep an eye on it as the topping may brown too quickly. If this is the case you can drop the oven temperature to 375 degrees for the remaining of the baking. When you crust and topping is evenly golden you should remove from the oven and let cool a few hours before serving.