Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pie Part II

"What's inside?" That is an apt question and I realized when the lovely and talented Anuhea (check out her blog to see the meal of a lifetime!) asked this question that I probably should have included the recipe for what I put inside my pie crust. It's a recipe that I cut out of a magazine so it's shaped like a mirror image of Idaho and it's alternately stored in a drawer or a folder. (Do you ever cut out magazine recipes and have great plans for transferring them to the computer or printing them out and putting them into a 3 ring binder? I have those same plans. If you're someone who actually does it, I don't need to hear about it.)

The recipe is for Make-Ahead Fruit Pie Filling. Last year there was a bumper crop of beautiful peaches and I wanted to be able to savor the flavor in the winter so I made one pie to eat and one pie filling to freeze. It works quite well, but it's a little puzzling to see a UFO made out of aluminum foil in the freezer. Every time I'd open the freezer I'd have to go through the same mental routine - "What's that? Oh, it's the pie filling. I really should learn to make crust so I can bake that into a delicious peach pie." The Abbot and Costello of the kitchen I am not.

Also, you need to extend the cooking time to make sure the filling gets cooked all the way and you don't end up with limp crust. A wonderful baker told me that she likes to use glass pie plates so she can see how the pie is doing on the bottom as it bakes. A sound idea but I happen to love my pottery ones and I don't currently have x-ray vision, so it's a bit of trial and error for me.

Make-Ahead Fruit Pie Filling for one 9-inch pie

3 pounds firm-ripe apriccots, peaches or plums
About 1/2 cup sugar
About 1/4 cup al-purpose flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or mace
1/4 tsp salt

1. Cut each of the apricots lengthwise into quarters (sixths if they're very large), discarding pits. (If using peaches, peel them and cut into thin wedges. If using plums, cut fruit into 1/2-inch slices.) You should have about 8 cups fruit total. If you don't have that much of any one fruit I think a mixture of them would be delightful.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix fruit, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour (see notes), lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Taste fruit and add more sugar if desired (up to 3/4 cup total.)

3. Line a 9-inch pie pan with a 20-inch long sheet of foil )there should be about 5 inches of overhang on each side of the pan). Line the foil with a 20-inch-long piece of plastic wrap. Pour fruit into plastic wrap; pull edges together and fold over to seal, then repeat to seal foil over plastic. Freeze up to 3 months (although mine was probably more like 5 or 6 months), removing from pie pan, if desired, after filling is hard, in about 8 hours.

To bake the pie, unwrap frozen filling and place in a 9-inch pie pan lined with an unbaked crust; cover with top crust, crimp edges to seal, and cut small slits in top to vent. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake pie in a 375 deg. regular or convection oven until top crust is browned and filling is bubbling in the center, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. (If crust gets too brown before filling is bubbling, cover eges loosely with foil.)

If baking a fresh pie, after mixing filling in step 2, pour directly into unbaked pastry, cover, crimp, and slit. Bake for about 1 hour.

*Notes* To thicken this fhe filling, use a basic ratio of 1 Tbsp of flour for every 2 cups of apricots. Peaches and plums may be juicier; for very juicy fruit, increase flour to up to 1 Tbsp per cup of fruit.


evan said...

hi there, you've got a really lovely blog =)

Amarisse said...

I have been busy and had to catch up with your blog and oh boy, you sure do have a lot of recipes I need to file away for later. Especially that turtle cheesecake, my favorite!

My friends and I were talking about hum bow the other day, sounds like we might have to try out yours.

Anuhea said...

oooh plums??? Have you ever made a plum pie? That used to be one of my favorite fruits as a kid and I have never had (nor heard) of a plum pie! OOH! Will have to try it! (And thanks for the mention)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, I'm glad you posted the recipe for the filling, too - I've been dreaming about this pie! :)

And you're so right - ice cream makes our lives better. :)