According to the calendar, summer has had its time in the sun, and handed over the seasonal reigns to Autumn.
Apparently, it forgot to sign out with the Bureau of Meteorology, but we’ll leave them to sort out the paperwork on that.
Produce, however, is a little less flexible in its schedule, and so we start to say goodbye to my beloved summer fruit. Soon, there will be no more peaches, with their rolling juices and slightly fuzzy skin. No more nectarines, confusing me in the supermarket because they look far too similar to peaches. Lychees gorged on by the bowlful late at night. Blueberries that get absent-mindedly devoured mid afternoon at my desk.
Somehow, while our days remain ungodly warm, winter clothes have slipped into the windows of stores. Air conditioning is no longer the deciding factor on whether or not you sleep tonight (though still essential, Mr Barnett). And rather sneakily, I feel the need for slow stewed meats, filling soups and warm desserts. Damn you. Did not see this coming.
Taking the last of my favourite summer fruits, and baking them into a winter pie seemed the only answer.
Take the challenge of making the pastry yourself. It terrified me the first time I tried too, but it’s so much easier than you think!
Peach, Blueberry and Crème Fraîche Pie
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 recipe All-Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough or 2 sheets of puff pastry
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 to 6 tablespoons plain flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 or 5 medium yellow peaches, pitted and quartered
2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons crème fraîche
1. Roll out pastry to about 1/2cm thick and fit into a regular pie dish. Trim edge to 1cm; fold under and crimp however you like. Prick base of pie all over with a fork. Leave it in the freezer for a half hour. Preheat the oven to 200*c while base chills.
If you’re using puff pastry, lay one over the other (making a star shape), and trim any excess.
2. In a small bowl, mix icing sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, baking powder and salt. Throw in the bits of chopped cold butter, and with your fingers or a fork, work the mixture until it looks crumbly. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if it needs it. Set aside (leave in the fridge if you have a hot kitchen so the butter doesn’t melt and ruin your awesome crumbling skillz).
3. Cover the pie pastry in foil, and cover the base with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, carefully remove weights and foil and then return to the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°c.
4. Sprinkle the peaches and blueberries with salt and sugar. Toss to coat evenly.
Spread two tablespoons crème fraîche on the bottom of the pie shell, then sprinkle with a third of the crumble. Place fruit on top (now is your chance to practice your CWA decorating skills!). Drizzle what’s left of the crème fraîche over the fruit, and top with crumble.
5. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the crème fraîche starts to bubble and the crumble is golden. If the edges of the pie brown too quickly, cover them with foil.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes, or keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
P.S. This weekend. The Araluen Fremantle Chilli Festival. Do it.