Summer is in full swing and the markets are filled with a bounty of delish fruit and vegetables. We’ve been spotting heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, blueberries, and tons and tons of stone fruit such as cherries, nectarines, and peaches. We were inspired to bake up a wonderful fruit pie. In the Pastry & Baking Arts program at ICE, students make a variety of pies including cherry, blueberry, and more. But this recipe comes from ICE Director of Pastry & Baking, Nick Malgieri’s class on Summer Fruit Pies. He says, “This fragrant almond crumb topped pie is perfect summer baking – it is fast to prepare and makes use of the best seasonal fruit.”
Almond Crumb Topping:
1 cup all-purpose bleached flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Tart dough for one pie
3 pounds firm, ripe yellow-fleshed peaches, about 8 or 9 medium peaches
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose bleached flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 / 8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Makes one nine-inch pie
Prepare & chill the dough
For topping, combine flour, sugar and nutmeg in a mixing bowl; stir well to mix and stir in sliced almonds. Stir in butter evenly. Set aside for 5 minutes, then, using your fingertips, break the mixture into 1/4 – to 1/2-inch crumbs. Set aside again while you prepare the filling.
Set racks at the middle and lowest levels of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Roll out bottom crust and arrange in pan.
To make the filling, peel the peaches by cutting a cross in the blossom end of each and dropping them three at a time into a pan of boiling water. Remove after 20 or 30 seconds with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drop them into a bowl of ice water. If the peaches are ripe, the skin will slip off easily. If it does not, remove skin with a sharp, stainless steel paring knife. (If you have to peel with a knife, use an extra peach to make up for what is peeled away). Hold each peeled peach gently in your left hand over a mixing bowl (if you are left-handed, reverse). With a stainless steel paring knife make a cut through to the pit, from stem to blossom end. Make another cut about 3/4 inch to the right of the first one along the outside of the peach. Angle the knife blade back so the cuts meet against the pit. Twist the knife blade upward slightly and a wedge of peach will fall into the bowl. Continue in the same manner around the peach, cutting it into 8 or 10 wedges. Discard the pit and repeat with remaining peaches. Add the remaining ingredients, except the butter, to the peaches and stir gently with a rubber spatula to combine. Pour filling into the prepared pastry shell and smooth. Dot with the butter and scatter the crumb topping evenly over the filling.
Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and move the pie to the middle rack. Bake another 30 minutes, or until the crust and the crumble are a deep golden and the juices are just beginning to bubble up. Cool the pie on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.