Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The long awaited Nectarine Blueberry Caramel Pie


Since the start of this blog I've wanted to share my Nectarine Blueberry Caramel Pie recipe. The blueberries came and went (into the freezer that is), as did the peaches. The nectarines though, have just arrived at my market. And so, finally, I'm able to share my completely accidental but relatively new favorite pie recipe.


There's no real secret behind the pie's invention (other than that pesky 'necessity', how cliché). I started to make a nectarine pie but then realized I was short on nectarines. The only other fruit I had in the kitchen was a partially full pint of blueberries. Then I realized I had gotten sugar all over the now softened butter, so I made a caramel out of it and poured it on the fruit mix before baking. Then my husband asked to remarry me...sort of...I think...I'm not sure, everything got hazy after the first bite.


Nectarine Blueberry Caramel Pie
For the Filling
8 ripe nectarines
2 cups blueberries (500 ml UK, 1250 ml AU)
1/3 cup sugar (75 ml)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (15 ml UK, 20 ml AU)
3 tablespoons corn starch (you could use potato starch here if you like) (45 ml UK, 60 ml AU)

For the Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar (250 ml)
6 tablespoons water OR 6 tablespoons butter (let your arteries choose) (90 ml UK, 120 ml AU)
3/4 cup heavy cream (175 ml)
smidge of salt

Pie Crust
Frankly, I haven't found one I am 100% thrilled with yet. I'm pretty picky. But when I do I'll post it here. In the meantime use one you love or store-bought. I'm not judging! No matter which type of pie crust you choose you'll need:
1 egg whisked with some water or milk


If you are making your own pie crust make sure you get it ready and into the fridge to chill, then get started.

Preheat your oven to 400F (204C)

You'll need to peel the nectarines. In the bottom of each slice an x. Blanch the nectarines - pop in a pot of boiling water for 15 or so seconds - the skin will start to peel back. Remove and pop in an ice water. (note: I left the water boiling on the stove in case I needed to pop a nectarine back in. As I peeled the nectarines I put the peels and pits/stones in the water, then added a pomegranate tea bag. By the end I had a very pleasant nectarine pomegranate iced tea and didn't waste any water!)


Slice all the nectarines into a large bowl.


Add blueberries, lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar. Stir thoroughly. Set aside.

This is a good time to remove your pie crust from the refrigerator and set it on the counter to warm up a bit.


Now make the caramel sauce. In a heavy pot combine the sugar and water and bring the heat to medium. No need to stir just keep a close watch and when the caramel starts to turn a golden brown color turn off the heat. If you are using butter you'll need to whisk the butter and sugar frequently to prevent burning. Again, take off the heat once a golden brown color. Once a caramel gets to the golden brown stage it can go very quickly from divine to burnt so keep a close eye on things!

Take the caramel off the burner, now this is important - put the pot at an arms length and pour in the cream - it will bubbly quite fiercely and it would be a shame to be distracted from your pie enjoyment by a burn! Stir this together with a good strong spoon, a wooden one is my favorite and add the salt and vanilla. If the caramel seems runny return it to heat and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Set aside.


Roll out your pie crust and place in your pie dish. I actually prefer a cake pan for the depth as I don't yet have a deep dish pie pan/dish (I know! For shame!).

Fill the crust with your fruits but either use a slotted spoon or drain off the excess juices.


Pour the caramel sauce over the fruit. Stare. Drool. Wonder how you'll ever wait for it to possibly cool.

Place the second crust over top. Cut a few slits in the top and brush with your egg wash. (Then use the rest of the egg for dinner, or, in my case, Eh's dinner). Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350F (177C) and bake for another 45 minutes. If the crust starts to brown too much make a foil ring and cover the edges.

Remove from oven. Now for the hardest instructions: Let cool thoroughly. Meanwhile take the pie outside and try to get a picture with the near darkness approaching. As you place the pie on the deck railing, listen to your husband tell you "I will cry if you...(pause, gasp)"...or maybe that's just in my house.

I've just taken my first delicious bite. Worth the wait. Welcome Friday!

But wait - one more thing! I just realized. I've been making this as a pie but if you don't get it right it can be runny (um, who cares?) - solution? Forget the pie crust - pour everything in ramekins or a pie dish, sprinkle with granola and dots of butter and bake as a crumble! Or throw some biscuits on the top and call it a cobbler - even better. Yet another reason I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to cooking - you never know where the next perfect dish will come from.


P.S. Did you notice the new follow/connect icons up top on the right? I cleaned up a bit. What do you think?

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