Blueberry Rhubarb Slab Pie


 
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb
Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb

Hiiiii from Montauk! Rich and I snuck away for a a little bit to crash Jill's family holiday! It's only a 3 hour train ride from NYC, but feels like a totally different world up here - everything goes at a much more relaxed pace, which is insanely refreshing. The first day we arrived Jill and I did a wee tour of the farm stands up here - we picked herbs at one, and fresh shishito peppers straight off the plant at another. There are some insanely amazing farms up here with incredible missions (Bhumi donates 80% of their food to a NYC food bank and Amber Waves is female run!), so it was so nice to finally see the places I have heard so much about! A few of these places have a pick-your-own CSA section too, which I can only imagine would be a dream to be a part of! We have slowly been making our way through the giant pile of produce that we came back with, supplemented by insanely fresh fish from the docks, the cooking sessions interspersed with lying on beaches and watching the eclipse (!!) 

It was my Birthday on Monday and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than at the beach. I've raved about Jill and her family many times before, but I honestly don't have enough words to explain how grateful I am that we have found an little family extension in this crazy city, and that I was able to spend my birthday with them! As the biggest home body, having something that feels like home and people that feel like family in a big city so far from home just means the world to me.  It's hard to get back to NZ as much as I would like (it's super far away), so being able to join in on some family action every now and then is just the best ever. I had an amazing day Monday - we went to the beach and watched the eclipse, then had an amazing dinner right on the water.

Carrying on from last year's yesterbirthday pie, I figured it was only fair that we make it happen again and it become a birthday tradition! On our expeditions around the farm stands we picked up some blueberries, and I was super excited to find some rhubarb, so a blueberry rhubarb pie was definitely on the cards. I have been meaning to make a slab pie for a long time now - they are pretty quick and easy to throw together, and are perfect for feeding a crowd. We got a little fancy and added a braided edge and some stamped cut-outs, but it would be just as amazing with a simple lattice on the top. We fluffed around in the kitchen making and shooting this yesterday, then ate slices of it, still warm, loaded with vanilla ice-cream. The best. The filling was jammy and not too sweet, and set up perfectly. Deffo making more slab pies. You should too. 

A few wee notes:

  • Apologies for being that guy who posts a rhubarb recipe so late in the summer, but it still seems to be available! If you can't get your hands on any, sub in some extra blueberries. You may have to dial back the sugar content a little.

  • We managed to make this with a 1.5x recipe of my usual double pie crust. It made a base, a braided edge and lots of pastry stamps. However there was a lot of re-rolling scraps, so if you would like to do a lattice top, or not have to worry about scraps, I recommend using the quantities listed here (which is a double of my regular recipe). I like to make it in two batches just to help keep things cold!

  • We made this in a Jelly Roll Pan (10" x 15"), but if you don't have one, a quarter sheet pan (9" x 13") will work too - just adjust the amount of filling slightly! We made the stamped cut-outs with these and these! Pie stamps are one of my fave things - quickest way to add a little fancy to a pie! I find that freezing the rolled out dough for 10-15 mins before you stamp it helps get a nice clean cut.

  • Pie dough is best if made the night before!

  • Top this bad boy however you want - with pie stamps, braids, a lattice, the choice is yours!

 

 

Blueberry Rhubarb Slab Pie

- Makes one 10" x 15" pie (approx 12 servings) -

Pie crust recipe from four and twenty blackbirds

Pie dough
5 cups (620g) All-purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
4 tsp (16g) sugar
4 sticks (450g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
1kg (2.2lbs) Fresh blueberries, washed and sorted
500g (1.1lbs) Fresh Rhubarb, finely diced
1 1/2 cups (300g) raw sugar, plus more to sprinkle
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp (50g) corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Make the Pie dough in two batches. Combine the ice, water, and cider vinegar in a bowl and stir lightly to combine. Place 2 1/2 cups flour, a pinch of salt, and 2 tsp sugar in a large bowl and stir lightly to combine. Cut 2 sticks (226g) 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.

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 a rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. 

Repeat the process again. Place both rectangles of dough in the fridge to rest for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Roll out one rectangle of dough on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 1/8" (3mm) thick. Carefully line a 10" x 15" pan with the dough. Trim excess, leaving approximately 1 inch overhang. Rest in the freezer while you Prepare the filling. 

Place the Blueberries, rhubarb, sugar, corn starch, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared lined pan. Return to the freezer while you roll out the second rectangle of dough. Cut out your desired topping design - we did four three-strand braids to go around the edges of the pie, then used the rest of the dough to make stamped out shapes. Secure the braids, if using, to the edges of the pan using a little egg wash. Add the stamped out dough to the top of the pie in your desired pattern. Alternatively, top the pie with a lattice decoration of your choice. Trim any overhanging pie dough. Place the pie in the freezer to rest while you preheat the oven.

BAKING

Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle with additional raw sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake for a further 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.

Blueberry and Rhubarb Slab pie - the ideal summer dessert for feeding a crowd! Flaky homemade pie crust is filled with a blueberry rhubarb filling before being topped with fun pie dough decorations then baked to perfection. #blueberry #rhubarb #slabpie #familypie #blueberryrhubarb

Mixed Berry Meringue Stacks with Mascarpone whipped cream


 
Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd
Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd
Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd
Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd
Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd
Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd

We have zero space for a BBQ, which bums me out on the regular, because having people round for a BBQ is one of my FAVE things ever to do. Granted, I'm not that great at the actual BBQ part, but there's something about having people around, cooking outside, and keeping things simple. I grew up in a house which was somewhat of a railway station - there were always a few extras here and there most of the time, so grew up with communal meals happening almost more frequently than just us sitting around the dinner table. Mum and Dad have a swimming pool at their house, so in the summertime our house becomes a hub for our friends and family, and most evenings end with a bbq meal outside. Having a BBQ is one of the things I look forward to when I finally have a house one day of my own, along with grass, and a washing line. 

My favourite thing about having loads of people around all the time when I was younger, was the desserts. Always an opportunity to make something to be shared. I usually just rotated through the few things I knew how to make, sometimes trying something a little different. Sometimes Mum would make a giant pavlova, topped with cream and berries. 

These meringue stacks are a little nod to summer desserts and the BBQ I wish I had. The meringues themselves are super easy to make, and can be made ahead (they are actually best made ahead so that they have time to fully dry out). That way when it comes to serving, all you have to do is set out some berries, quickly whip some cream, and pop it all on the table for people to build their own desserts. It is quick and easy and relatively fuss free, while still being crazy delicious. It's a great way to use up that jar of egg whites in your fridge (maybe that's just me that always has that - I'm sure not everyone tests a custard recipe requiring 6 yolks, four times in a row), and you can tailor them to however you like, or whatever is on hand - they would be amazing with roasted or fresh stone fruit, or some quickly poached rhubarb. 

A few wee notes:

  • Meringues can be kind of finicky - you want to dry them out rather than baking them, so low and slow is the way to go. I like to bake them the night before I need them, and leave them in the oven with the door cracked a little to let them cool overnight. Once they are done, store them in an airtight container because they will get sticky with moisture.

  • The meringue recipe I have used here is super scaleable - It's just 1 part egg whites to 1.5 parts sugar by weight, so to adjust it accordingly if you have a certain amount of egg whites, simply multiply the amount of egg by 1.5 to give you the sugar quantity!

  • This recipe (it's a swiss meringue) is enough to fill 2 baking trays with meringue - I used an Ateco #828 tip to pipe them, but you could use whatever you have on hand - or even just spoon little mounds onto the baking tray. Because you are just drying them out, rather than baking to a certain stage, you can have a range of different sized meringues on the same tray - I made mainly nests, then piped some kisses too to go alongside.

 

 

Mixed Berry Meringue Stacks with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

- Makes about 12 stacks, depending on your piping size -

Meringue
200g egg whites
300g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Mascarpone whipped cream
1 1/2 cups (360ml) whipping cream
4 oz (110g) Mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

To serve
Berries or fresh fruit of your choice
Powdered sugar to dust

- PROCESS -

MERINGUE

Preheat the oven to 225˚f / 110˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer. 

Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with the piping tip of your choice.

Pipe 'nests', or round flat circles onto the baking paper, leaving a small amount of space between each. You can pipe whatever shape you would like here - blobs, nests, kisses etc. My circles were approx 2 1/2 inches wide. 

Place the baking sheets into the oven. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until they feel firm and no longer sticky, and peel cleanly off the paper when you lift them up. Turn off the oven, and leave them in there for at least an additional hour to dry out and crisp up.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

ASSEMBLY

Place cream in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until soft peaks form. Add Mascarpone and vanilla, and whip just until stiff peaks start to form.

Layer a meringue with berries and cream, followed by a second meringue, more berries, and more cream. Finish with a dust of powdered sugar. 

Keep components separate until ready to serve. 

Meringue stacks with vanilla bean mascarpone whipped cream and fresh berries. The perfect, simple, throw together dessert that can be easily made ahead and is easy to feed a crowd

Thank you to Elsie Green for the beautiful jars!

Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream


 
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat
Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat

I have a wee list in the back of my head that I keep adding to - the list of 'New Zealand things that have the same name, as something American, but are definitely not the same thing'. Scones are the latest thing to land squarely upon this list. When I think of a scone, I think of buttery, flaky layers, and something that isn't too sweet. (I can't use the words 'buttery flaky' together without thinking of this video) 

I was surprised, on arriving in America, that scones here were, in fact, nothing like what I had grown up on. They tend to have a crumbly texture, much less tender than what I would expect, and are often intensely sweet. Similar, but not really. Still yum, but just different. What we refer to as a scone probably draws more similarity to an American 'biscuit' in that the insides are tender and flaky, the result of butter being rubbed into flour until it is just combined, which produces lovely layers when baked. I am actually yet to try an American scone recipe myself (I've been eyeing up some of Rebecca's for a while now), but for now, here's my version. 

Mum makes the best scones. Hands down. They are yet another thing that she can somehow pull out of thin air to feed a crowd. This recipe is based on hers, which is very much a guideline of ingredient quantities. Hers are always super consistent, but I figured for my own sake I would put some numbers next to the ingredients so mine bear a resemblance to the batch before them. 

Seeing as we are smack bang in the middle of stone fruit season, I topped these with some of my favourite things - roasted fruit, and vanilla bean whipped cream. Roasting fruit, particularly when it is at it's peak, brings out the most amazing flavour, and really allows the fruit to shine. I love to do a big batch after a visit to the farmer's market, and use it on lots of things throughout the week - over yoghurt with granola, in smoothies, and straight off the spoon. The roast peaches pair perfectly with the pillowy vanilla bean whipped cream, and stand up perfectly against the fairly savoury scone. This is a perfect morning or afternoon tea treat if you have guests - or if you like, the scones are just as amazing with some butter and good quality jam.

A few wee notes:

  • Roast the peaches slightly ahead of time to give them time to cool.

  • I peel my peaches by cutting a cross in the bottoms, then putting them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transferring to an ice bath - the skins should slip right off! Alternatively you can use a veggie peeler.

  • This recipe makes 8 large scones - feel free to cut them smaller if you would like, just make sure that you adjust the baking time accordingly.

 

 

Roasted Peach Scones with Vanilla Bean Whipped cream
- Makes 8 large scones -

 

Roasted Peaches
6 large peaches, peeled, and cut into segments
1/2 cup (100g) raw sugar (adjust this amount if necessary depending on the sweetness of your peaches)
1 tsp vanilla paste

Scones
4 cups (600g) flour
5 tsp baking powder
2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter, diced into cubes and frozen
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
Cream to brush tops

Vanilla Bean whipped cream
2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

 

- PROCESS -

ROASTED PEACHES

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, toss together the peach segments, sugar, vanilla paste, and salt. Spread evenly on the baking sheet. 

Bake the peaches for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. 

These can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

SCONES

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Rub the frozen butter in using your fingertips until well combined, with a few lumps remaining. Add the milk, and mix with your hands until it forms a cohesive dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat into a rectangle using your hands. Fold the top third of the dough down to two thirds of the way down, and then fold the bottom third on top of it - as if you were folding a letter. Pat the dough out into a rectangle again, turn the dough 90 degrees, and repeat the letter fold again. Repeat one more time, before patting out into a rectangle once more. 

Cut the dough into 8-10 even pieces, dusting the bottom lightly with flour before placing on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little heavy cream.

Bake the scones for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and no longer doughy. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

ASSEMBLY

Place the whipping cream and vanilla bean paste in a bowl. Whip until soft peaks form, either using an electric mixer, or a whisk. 

Slice each scone in half using a bread knife, apply a generous layer of cream, and top with peach slices. Serve immediately. 

Store leftovers separately, and assemble as you are ready to eat.

 

Scones with Roasted Peaches and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - the perfect summer morning or afternoon tea treat