When I started posting the things that I eat on the internet, I never imagined that I would develop a crazy web of like-minded friends. This blog and my instagram started as somewhat of a sanity project - I was (and still am) running the business with Rich full time, and needed an outlet of creativity that was mine. Our business is design related, and while I love it, i'm just not a designer. In fact, i'm a geologist. I graduated in New Zealand and worked for a year on the oil rigs before dropping it all to come over here and chase the crazy dream that they call love. The business started kind of all at once, and it's the best sort of busy. However I was struggling a little with having something that was mine. Rich has design, which is amazing, and the best way for him to express himself, but I was feeling trapped in the sense that there was no way for me to have something that involved my creative thought processes.
And man, am I glad that I found the corner of the internet where all of the foodies live. I've 'met' (and also met IRL) some INCREDIBLE people, who I am so, so lucky to call my friends. Friends who make working from home and hanging out by yourself a lot 100% better. Although I spend a lot of the day by myself, I am never really 'alone' - the constant interaction that I have totally keeps me sane.
And today is a wee collab with some of these said internet friends! Nate, Kelsey, Kate and I are all sharing pie recipes involving berries. #piesquadgoals strong. Head over to their blogs to check out their recipes, or check out #piesquadparty on Instagram!
I am bringing strawberry and nectarine streusel pie to this pie party! I have wanted to add streusel to a pie ever since I saw the beautiful one that Thalia made a while back. I seem to be on a bit of a streusel kick lately - I sat down to edit recently and realised that it has been added to the last four recipes that I have made. Whoops! I'm not mad about it though - everyone needs more streusel in their lives.
I started with my favourite pie crust, which is flaky and tender. The pie is filled with nectarines and strawberries, tossed in a little flour and elevated with a tiny bit of sugar. A simple lattice and a generous sprinkling of streusel later, and we are ready for a pie party! I used the crumb / streusel recipe from the rhubarb and peach cake that Kate and I made recently, and the brown butter and salt in it add a lovely crunch and depth of flavour to the pie. The flavours blend perfectly into something that is the epitome of spring and summer. I can't wait to make more pie!
A few wee notes:
- The dough is best if you make it the day before you need it, and allow it to rest. If you are in a pinch, resting for 2-3 hours will work too.
- The recipe for the streusel will make a little more than you need - I have left the quantities as is, because I have found that browning a small amount of butter can be tricky. It is perfect used as a crumble for fruit, or added to muffins! Or just with a spoon. I'm not judging.
Strawberry and nectarine streusel pie
- Makes one 9" pie -
Pie crust recipe from four and twenty blackbirds
2 1/2 cups (310g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp (8g) sugar
2 sticks (226g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp (75g) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup (50g) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (100g) all-purpose flour
450g (1 lb) Strawberries, hulled and quartered
450g (1 lb) ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into quarters
1/2 cup (100g) raw sugar, plus more to sprinkle
1/4 c (35g) all-purpose flour
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- PROCESS -
Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
Add the diced butter to a small saucepan or skillet set over medium heat. Stir with a whisk or swirl the pan occasionally to ensure the butter is melting evenly. Once melted, the butter will sizzle, foam, and eventually start forming little golden bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring regularly until the butter has taken on an amber color and nutty aroma. Take care not to burn the butter. Remove the pan from heat and pour the brown butter into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the flour and fold until large crumble clumps form and the flour is well incorporated. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the pie.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.
Roll out the second disc of dough into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter (I used a fluted one) to cut enough strips to use for a lattice - I made mine approx 3/4 inch wide.
In a large bowl, toss the strawberries and nectarines together with the sugar and flour, until everything is well coated. Pour into the prepared pie dish. Top with the pastry strips, weaving into a lattice. Make sure to use the longer strips in the middle of the pie, and the shorter strips (I often cut a few strips in half) toward the edges. You want the lattice to overlap the edges of the pie pan slightly.
Trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish. Carefully roll the edge of the pie dough back on itself slightly slightly, and crimp with your fingers.
Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven.
Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl. Brush the surface of the pie with the egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with turbinado / raw sugar. Take care not to get filling on the pastry. Sprinkle the streusel generously on the pie, concentrating it on the outer edges.
Place the pie on the baking tray in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has begun to go golden brown. Move the pie and baking tray to the middle of the oven, and decrease the temperature to 375˚f / 190˚c. Bake the pie for a further 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling.
Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.