8/25/2009

#11 White Nectarine Lime Pie

Posted by Chrisi

Every Saturday morning my husband and I meander through our local farmer’s market and let serendipity dictate the “pie of the week.” One cannot bake a bad pie when following Mother Nature’s lead. Unfortunately, this past week my internal clock was somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between eastern Australia and Southern California. We didn’t make it to the farmer’s market because I slept until (gasp) 11 am—something I haven’t done since my adolescent days. By the time I downed enough joe to get going, the Farmer’s Market was closed. We headed to Whole Foods instead and, as usual, let serendipity lead us to the perfect pie. As we circled the fruit, we heard the produce guy say to another customer, “These white nectarines are the sweetest fruit out right now.” My husband and I looked at each other… BINGO… white nectarine pie it is!

As it turns out, nectarine lime pie is one of my favorites. I made the first one early in the summer, before I started Naughty Pies, so it was the perfect opportunity to re-do and document. I made a double-batch (two pies)—one went to a Slow Food OC planning meeting (Slow Food potlucks are the BEST) and the other went to a friend who kept asking my husband, “Where’s my naughty pie?”
 
The White Nectarine Lime Pie with a Grated Top Crust is a slightly modified version of “No Peel Nectarine-Lime Pie” from The Pie Bible (see resources). The original recipe calls for a streusel topping, which, in my opinion, is too sweet. So I replaced the streusel with a grated top crust. A pie with a grated top crust is made just like a 9” double crust except the dough for the top crust is formed into a brick, wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for ~1-2 hours. Once the dough is chilled (but not frozen solid) the dough is grated with a box grater using the largest grate. The grated dough is then placed on top of the pie and sprinkled with turbinado sugar. The sugar gives the top crust a “crunch” like a streusel but it is not as sweet. Plus, the grated crust makes a very attractive (dare we say sexy) pie.

Pie Filling:
  • 5-6 cups of washed, unpeeled organic white nectarines, sliced 
  • 0.5 cups of raw cane sugar
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of lime zest (extra for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons of tapioca
  • Pinch of nutmeg

    Crust: Double 9" pie crust made of 50:50 Spectrum Shortening-Plugra (butter)

    Turbinado sugar to sprinkle over the top
     
    Directions:
    Prepare a 9” double pie crust (see recipe under “pie crusts”). Divide the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. The larger ball will be the bottom crust. Form the smaller ball, or top crust, into a rectangle, wrap in plastic and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours until thoroughly chilled but not frozen.  

  • Mix the pie filling ingredients and let juice for a minimum of 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile prepare the bottom crust with a standing edge. Perforate the dough with a fork (10-15 times) and pre-bake at 400⁰F for 10 minutes.

    Once the top crust dough has chilled, the fruit juiced and the bottom crust pre-baked, the pie is ready to assemble. Place the pie filling in the bottom crust. Then use the largest grate of a box grater to grate the partially frozen dough. I have found that rotating the dough as you grate produces long strips and curlicues. If the dough is too cold, you will (1) grate the skin off your knuckles (I’m speaking from experience) and (2) end up with small, unattractive shards of dough. If this happens, no worries, allow the dough to warm up a bit and try again. Spread the grated dough evenly over the fruit. Sprinkle turbinado sugar and lime zest over the top. Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 400⁰F, then rotate the pie 180⁰ degrees and bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until the pie is bubbly. If the pie crust begins to brown too much, protect it with an aluminum foil collar. Allow the pie to cool and set before slicing.


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