Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Stone Fruit Pie

Three types of fresh fruit, a new de-pitting method, and a botany lesson that results in pie?

My 55th pie was an interesting (and delicious) one!

So, quick botany lesson… “stone fruit” is a category of fruit (like berries or melons), and the more scientific term for the category is “drupe.” Peaches, plums, and cherries are all examples of fruits that have a “stone” inside them, and the seed is inside the hard stone.

Inside this pie were nectarines, cherries, and apricots! Yum!

Since I did end up using all fresh fruit (no frozen this time), I knew the de-pitting and chopping would take awhile.

I don’t have a cherry de-pitter, but a quick internet search helped me find this effective method – simply unbend a paper clip, insert near the stem, and scoop out the pit!

It takes a little bit of practice, and not all cherries looked perfect afterward, but at least I didn’t have to cut them in half.

Also, be warned that cherry juice does squirt and stain. An absorbent paper towel on the counter worked wonders.

68 cherries later… (although I only ended up using 50 in the pie)

Then it was on to chopping, which was considerably faster. The nectarines were a little difficult to pry away from their stones in the middle, but the apricots were very easy and fun to chop.

Making the pie filling is pretty simple after all the fruit is de-pitted and cut – just add in all the dry ingredients to thicken and flavor it – sugar, flour, cornstarch, and cinnamon.

Because I wasn’t able to find tart cherries, I reduced the amount of sugar. For regular Washington cherries like these, just stir in ⅓ cup instead of ⅔ cup sugar.

I used my go-to pie crust recipe for the pastry, which was very similar to the crust in this original recipe.

Then I topped the pie filling with a lattice crust because I wanted to be able to see the beautiful fruit through the top!

I also brushed the crust with milk and sprinkled turbinado sugar on top before baking, which always adds to the looks and the taste.

I could definitely taste the nectarines and cherries in the pie, but the apricots were more subtle.

Overall, it was a delicious pie, but it does require some prep time with all the cutting. Or just get a buddy to make it go faster!

Stone Fruit Pie (recipe adapted from Taste of Home)

2-3 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries
3 medium nectarines, chopped
3 apricots, sliced
⅔ cup sugar*
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. cinnamon

  1. Combine all fruit in a small bowl and top with sugar, cornstarch, flour, and cinnamon.
  2. Prepare pie pastry and fill pan, then top with lattice crust. Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack at least one hour before serving.

*Note: If using regular (not tart) cherries, reduce sugar to ⅓ cup.

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