In the summer it’s hard to find balance. I love to cook but it’s so hot out it kind of knocks the wind out of my sails but I was inspired to get in the kitchen after reading Teagan newest serial Thistledown. I love the story and Teagan is so brilliant, her readers are part of the the story we were given faery names and oh well you’ll just have to read it, it’s wonderful!!! My characters faery name is Peaches Dragonfly and you might have guessed it yes, Peaches is a cook.
When I buy blackberries what I don’t eat I freeze, adding to the freezer container with each unused portion of berries. I do the same with other fruit, peaches, strawberries etc… There happened to be a rather large bag of blackberries and some peaches that I wanted to use and today the temperature is pleasant, a good day to fire up the oven and bake.
Pies are one of my favorite indulgences, especially fruit pies. They are simple to make, and are such a great dessert both homey and elegant. The combination of blackberries and peaches has always been one of my favorites and put them in a flaky buttery pastry crust and it’s pretty much heaven on earth. I’ve published the pie crust recipe I use probably more than a dozen times. It never fails, is always good and its from Julia Child.
Blackberry Peach Pie
Makes one 9 inch double crust pie
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 oz unsalted cold butter cut into pieces
4 tbs shortening (cold)
1/2 cup ice water
Whisk the flours and salt in large mixing bowl. Add the butter and shortening and using a pastry cutter or your hands break up the fat into the flour until it resembles crumbs. It’s ok to have small pieces of butter I actually prefer it the pastry is extra flaky. Mix together until if forms a cohesive dough. Divide into two disks, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Fruit and assembling the pie
approximately 3 cups blackberries
approximately 2 cups sliced peaches
2/3-1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
3 tbs-1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt and pinch of cinnamon
NOTE: If using frozen fruit use 1/4 cup flour + 1 tbs
Heat oven to 375 degrees
Mix the fruit with the flour and sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Roll out the bottom crust and place in your pie pan, add the fruit dot with some butter and place in the refrigerator while you roll out the top crust. I made a lattice top crust for this pie and all you do is cut strips and basket weave. Roll out the top crust and lay on the pie, crimp the edges however you like, cut a vent or prick with a fork, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and bake for 45-50 minutes.
The first tomatoes of the season are also showing up at the green market and I love buying heirloom tomatoes, they are my favorite, different colors, sizes and shapes and other than enjoying in salad or on their own making a tart is a great way to eat them. This time of year with so much bounty and just me to eat, I end up preserving or freezing much of what I purchase. This year my basil died, not sure why and it was very upsetting so I ended up buying a huge bunch at the farmers market and thought I would make some pesto.
The tomato tart is made using Julia Childs recipe for a galette pastry, it’s very different from a traditional pie crust, you mix flour and corn meal, butter, sour cream or creme fraiche and ice water. It’s a delicious rustic pastry dough and this recipe is one I have been using for many years.
Because tomatoes are so juicy I roast the tomatoes first in the oven until they are soft and a bit drier, I made the mistake once of putting fresh tomato slices on a tart and the crust was soggy, not good.
Makes one 9 inch tart
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbs cold unsalted butter
3 tbs sour cream or creme fraiche
1/3 cup ice water
Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in mixing bowl, cut in the butter until it resembles crumbs. Mix the sour cream and ice water and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until it forms a cohesive dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
Roasting the tomatoes and making the tart
Heat oven to 400 degree’s
Line a sheet pan with parchment, cut your tomatoes into thick slices and place on parchment lined baking sheet, bake for about 25-30 minutes they will just start to caramelize and will dry out a bit. Remove carefully so they stay whole and set aside.
Press the dough into your tart pan or roll it out and place in the pan, put in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes or until partially frozen. Remove from freezer and weight it down by placing a parchment sheet on the pastry and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake on sheet pan for 20 minutes, remove parchment and weights and place back in the oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Spread some pesto on the bottom of the tart crust, sprinkle with some cheese and layer your tomato slices. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.