Yayayay! It is finally stone fruit season after several months of wait! I simply love all the stone fruits and cannot get enough of these gorgeous fruits! The color, the natural sweetness, the juiciness and all the gorgeous summer desserts that I can delve in, drives me absolutely bananas! And the beautiful jams that I can make with these stone fruits – gets me super excited! I almost feel like a kid in a candy store when I go to the farmer’s market, to get my share of stone fruits every week.
I simply love making pies! I love the crust and how flaky it can be with all that butter in it. I love the natural fruit juices that come through in the pie filling. I love how we can enhance the flavor of the fruit by adding herbs or spices. I love how little sugar it requires for the pie filling cause the fruit is so sweet! What’s not to like about a pie! And Pie Ala Mode! Now that is taking it one step further with the creaminess of the ice cream hitting the juiciness of the fruit along with the flaky crust! It is the perfect summer dessert, along with its cousin the Galette!
There is so much pie crust inspiration out there on FeedFeed, feed edited by Judy Kim of thejudylab.com, who has the most beautiful pie crust decorations ever! My recent inspirations have been Kayley of thekitchenmccabe.com and Jo Harrington who have such wonderful creations!
I had these 4 inch mini pans that I had bought from Amazon, comes in a set of 4. I decided to showcase 4 different flavors of pies with 4 different stone fruits – apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries.
The crust has been adapted from the Pie Book – Four and Twenty Blackbirds. I used part spelt flour to make the pie crust and the result was definitely wonderful! I was quite happy with how rustic the pie crust turned out. For the pie filling, I flavored with black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg powder, and then added a different additional ingredient to each individual pie.
The different combinations of the pies are:
Apricot and Fresh Ginger
Yellow Peaches and Spanish Saffron
Yellow Nectarines and fresh Sage
Cherries and Balsamic Glaze
I love these individual pie portions and I had so much fun making them! If you do use the recipe to make pies, I would love to see your creation and it would be great if you could tag them with #thejamlab on Instagram, and/or put a comment in this blog post.
1 teaspoon balsamic glaze(I got mine from Trader Joes)
1 egg for egg wash( in a small bowl, put one egg, with a splash of water and whisk with a fork)
1/4 cup demerara sugar
4 mini pie pans
For the pie crust:
Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain.
Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture. Use about 12 tablespoons of the water - vinegar mixture for binding the dough.
Shape the dough into two flat discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.
Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
For the pie fillings:
In a medium bowl, add in all the dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate.
Take four medium bowls, each with one stone fruit chopped/diced. Add about 2 1/2 heapful tablespoons of the dry mixture into each bowl.
Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice into each bowl.
Add about 2 dashes of bitters into each bowl.
Add freshly grated ginger into the apricot bowl, add the chopped sage into the nectarine bowl, add the saffron into the peach bowl, and add the balsamic glaze into the cherry bowl. Mix it well, to incorporate all the flavor. Let sit for half hour.
Remove one disc of the pie dough 15 minutes before working with it. Roll it out thin about 1/4 inch thickness. Use a 7 1/2 inch round tin to carve out 4 pie crusts. If you are not able to carve out more than 3, take the scraps, gather into a ball and roll it out again to carve out the fourth crust.
Butter each pan nicely for the dough not to stick to the pan. Layer each mini pan with the rolled dough. Keep it in the fridge for atleast 15 minutes for the layers to settle and harden a bit.
In the meanwhile, remove the second disc of dough and you can get creative, and start rolling out any kind of design that you like from the dough, to cover the pie with!
Remove the pans, add each pie filling(excluding the juices) into each mini pie pan, and decorate the mini pies with your decorations!
Put the mini pans again in the fridge for another 15 minutes. In the meanwhile pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees.
After 15 minutes, put all the mini pie pans on a baking sheet and brush all the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle demerara sugar on the top.
Put it in the middle rack of the oven, for about 30-35 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Let it cool for atleast 30 minutes before you dig into the pie! Enjoy! 🙂