Friday, December 31, 2010

Deep-Dish Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb #50

Okay, so I think this pie has a lot of potential, but it’s not perfect just yet. There was too much fruit for the filling. Most pies call for one cup of sugar, but because of the sugary topping, I thought that maybe the half cup would be sufficient; however, I would say that it wasn’t sweet enough. Also, there was A LOT of filling. I would use only two pears and two apples (or maybe three each, but definitely not four).

That’s no small thing since that basically has everything to do with the filling, but the mixture of pears, apples, cranberries, and figs were great. I love figs and I liked the texture and taste that they added. Also, the pie was a bit runny, but again, all of that might be solved by just using less pears and apples, but use these adjustments, I really think it will be a winner.
Deep-Dish Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb
(Adapted from: Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckels, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More)

Pie Pastry
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Walnut Crumb Topping
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed (5 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 cup (3 ounces) raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

Fruit Filling
1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) dried figs
4 small apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (12 ounces prepped)
4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (1 1/4 pounds prepped)
1 cup (4 ounces) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:
To make the pie pastry, put the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, stir to combine, then put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Add the butter to the flour mixture and toss to evenly coat. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a food processor, an electric mixer, or your hands, just until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Stir the water and lemon juice together, then pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured work surface and press it into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll the chilled dough into a 14-inch disk, then line a 9 or 10 by 3-inch springform pan with the rolled-out dough. Patch any holes and trim off any dough that hangs over the edges of the pan. Chill for an additional 30 minutes while you prepare the crumb topping and the fruit filling.

To make the walnut crumb topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the butter, then work it in with your hands until the texture of crumbs. Put the topping in the refrigerator while you make the fruit filling.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

To make the fruit filling, remove the stem from each fig, then boil the figs in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Slice each fig into 4 to 5 pieces, put them in a large bowl, and add the apples, pears, and cranberries. Separately, rub the sugar and cornstarch together, then add to the fruit and gently toss until evenly coated.

Transfer the filling to the pie shell and top with the walnut crumb. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the crumb is golden, the fruit juices are bubbling thickly around the edges, and the fruit is tender when pierced with a wooden skewer. If the crumb is getting too dark, cover it with foil.

Storage: Covered with a tea towel, the pie will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Spooned into a bowl and drizzled with chilled cream, it makes a wonderful breakfast.

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