Sunday, August 8, 2010

More Pie Please- Fresh Peach and Apricot Salted Caramel Pie

Time to make another pie. The farmer's market had wonderful looking peaches, and I found some sweet fresh apricots at the grocery store. I have been intrigued by a Salted Caramel Apple Pie I saw on the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Bakery (Brooklyn, NY) website but I wanted to use peaches, so I decided to put together my own pie from a hodgepodge of recipes. Of course, I had a mini disaster.  I partially bake the bottom crust of my fruit pies so  they don't get so soggy from the fruit juices. I didn't pay attention to the recipe and put the pie pan on a baking sheet so while baking pieces of the edge fell off to the bottom of the oven. Then the domino effect - the pieces burned, set off the smoke alarm which made my dog crazy until i could rip it from the ceiling to turn it off and by then the kitchen was about 400 degrees.  But all's well that ends well- the pie is delicious, and the slight tartness of the fruit is offset by the caramel. It turned out to be a very good combination. Now the trick is to give it away before I eat the whole thing.

Peach/Apricot Salted Caramel Pie

Crust: Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 ounces very cold unsalted butter cut into tablespoon size pieces
1/3 cup very cold or frozen vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
About 1/2 cup ice water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to just combine ingredients. Drop in butter and shortening and pulse until they are cut into the flour.  Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 tablespoons of ice water. Add a little water, pulse once, add some more water and pulse again.  Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour.  The dough should stick together when pinched. If not, add a little more water.  Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface. Divide the dough in half, gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out (I recommend at least two hours as dough is a soft dough).
     When rolling out the dough have a buttered 9 inch pie plate near by.  Roll out one half of the dough and chill for about 20 minutes to firm up.  While chilling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Fit the circle of dough into the pie plate, allowing the excess to hang over.  Trim to 1/8-1/4 inch overhang.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust, and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil  and bake about 8 minutes more until the crust is lightly colored.  Remove from
oven.

Filling: adapted from Summer Peach Pie with Vanilla and Cardamon (Bon Appetit, July, 2007
3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and cut into thin slices
6-7 ripe apricots, cut into thin slices
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
Salted Caramel Sauce
     Place sliced peaches and apricots in a bowl. Mix with flour, sugar and spices.  Stir in caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Sauce: adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2-3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
    Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir just to combine. Heat over medium high heat without stirring (if the mixture is coloring unevenly, swirl the pan as needed to blend), until the caramel turns deep amber, 5 to 10 minutes.  As the sugar is caramelizing, wipe down any splatters on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.  Lower the heat, stand back from the saucepan because the caramel with bubble and splatter- and add the cream and butter.  When the splatters are less vehement, stir to smooth.  Add the fleur de sel to taste.  Remove the pan from the heat.

To Complete the Pie:
Stir the caramel sauce into the fruit mixture. You probably will not need to use all the caramel sauce- 1/2 to 3/4 cup should be sufficient.  Pour the filling into the partially baked pie crust.  Roll out the other half of the dough into a large enough circle to fit over the filling. Center to top crust over the filling and press it against the bottom crust. Trim the overhang so it extends about 1/4 inch over the bottom crust.  Tuck the excess top crust under the bottom crust and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge.  Cut out a small circle of dough in the center of the pie to let steam escape.   Brush heavy cream over the top of the crust and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.  Place pie on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool until warm.
Bake 1 hour- 1 hour and 15 minutes at 400 degrees

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