I’m feeling a bit depressed today. I’m just not ready for summer to be over. These past few months in particular have been really amazing and I’m not ready to move forward yet. Temperatures have been mild and the produce has been plentiful. Freelance work opportunities have been off the charts. I got to the beach three times. I got the European vacation I’d been anticipating for years. I’ve been so incredibly spoiled. I don’t want it to end. I’m being selfish.
Usually I get excited for fall. I know when it gets here I’ll be all about boots and apples and cool weather. I just wish it would wait a little bit longer. I can’t help dreading the shorter days; I thrive on sunlight. I don’t want to lose it.
I don’t want to lose the stone fruit. The sweet, juicy peaches, plums and nectarines I’ve been obsessed with for months. I already miss them. I already miss the beach.
I think what I’m really dreading isn’t actually the loss of summer, though it feels that way. I’m panicking about a major project I’m about to embark on, one I’ll be sharing with you all soon. It’s going to be a lot of work. A LOT of work. I feel like if I can just hang on to summer a little bit longer, I can put off the project for a little bit longer. My desperate clinging to summer is really just a desperate desire to procrastinate. I’ll get it all done. I just have to get past this mental block.
This nectarine pie might be my last chance to celebrate stone fruit for awhile. I don’t know, maybe I’ll squeeze something else in. But you should really make this before nectarines have vanished for the year. Each bite of this sweet, decadent pie tastes like summer. A beautiful, mild, adventurous summer that I’ll never forget.
- 12 ounces (2½ cups) all purpose flour
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 3½ pounds ripe nectarines (approximately 6-7)
- 1½ tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- 1 tablespoon raw turbinado sugar (granulated sugar may be substituted)
- To prepare the dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse the dry ingredients several times to mix.
- Add the butter and pulse the machine until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal (a few larger pieces of butter are fine).
- With the machine running, add the water and mix until the dough just begins to come together. It will still be very crumbly but should form dough when pressed together.
- Divide the dough into ⅓ and ⅔ portions, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into round discs. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 48 hours).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a separate large bowl with ice water. On the bottom of each nectarine, slice a 1-inch X shape (the goal is to cut the skin, not the fruit). Using a slotted spoon, carefully add a few of the nectarines to the boiling water. After 30 seconds to 1 minute you should see the skin separating slightly from the fruit. Use the slotted spoon to move the nectarines into the ice water bath. Repeat with the remaining nectarines.
- Peel the skin from the nectarines (discard the skins). If any of the skins are stubborn, use a small paring knife to assist in the peeling. Slice the fruit in half and remove the pits. Place the nectarines flat side down and cut into thin slices. Place the sliced nectarines in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch. Add to the nectarines, stirring to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- On a generously floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough to about 12-13 inches in diameter (flour the top of the dough as well). Carefully place in a 9½ inch pie pan. There should be a slight overhang. Add the nectarine filling.
- Re-flour the surface and roll out the smaller portion of dough to approximately 10 inches in diameter. Use a pizza slicer to cut 8 even strips. Layer the strips in a decorative lattice pattern. Cut off any excess overhang from the strips and then fold the bottom overhang over the strips. Use a fork to gently crimp the edge of the crust all around.
- Brush the milk or cream evenly over the dough and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar (this will add a nice crunch).
- Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.
- Allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing (the filling will thicken as it cools).