Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bourbon Peach Tart with Perfectly Purple Blueberry Crust

Bourbon Peach Tart with Perfectly Purple Blueberry Crust
I have always found it so interesting in how the way food plays such a big part of our memories. Many of my biggest milestones revolve around what was served or made in order to celebrate. Buttermilk Pie, made by my mother, is a must at Thanksgiving, so much so that a riot will ensue if another dessert tries to sneak into its' place at the dinner table. Spicy-yet-hearty chili always reminds me of mini frito pies that we ate out of potato chip bags while tailgating on the Quad at the University of Alabama. Fried chicken is the only thing I will eat on my birthday, no if's and's or but's. And just the smell of smoke + BBQ evokes images of the 4th of July and the block parties to celebrate it (a la The Sandlot... best movie ever). And to be honest, I think that is why I truly love food, and more specifically, cooking because it helps me remember all those childhood days that I would be so devastated to forget. These recipes I make + create are like a little scrapbook that I can look back on and remember the joyful day we enjoyed while eating it. In Georgia, peaches are king. We're called the "peach state" and every street is named Peachtree, just with a different ending... drive, street, avenue, place, road, etc. So any peach dessert, like peach pie or peach cobbler, smells like home to me. For any of y'all that don't live in the South, one of the most favorite combinations is peach + blueberry together. We always had peach + blueberry cobbler because it was one of my mom's favorites. But, for the life of me, I can't create a successful fruit pie, it's one of my many weaknesses. No matter how much effort I put in or how much cornstarch/flour/tapioca I add into the filling... I always, always, always getting a runny pie that in turn make my supposed-to-be-flaky pie crust, super soggy. I hate that. I really do. I lose nights of sleep over it, ha well sorta. For the longest time, I wanted to make a peach + blueberry pie, but couldn't muster up the confidence to do so. Naturally I reasoned that if I did a little twist of the classic combination, I would most likely be successful.... AND I WAS. Instead of a labor intensive lattice-topped pie, I decided to make a free form tart or crostata. I couldn't just throw blueberries into the peach filling, no no no no NO. Not going to fly y'all. And then it struck me, make a blueberry pie crust!! I am in love with the texture, flavor and color of this pastry dough.
just whipped up the blueberry pie crust :)
juicy, ripe georgia peaches
Isn't that crust just to-die-for?? It is. But, I know what all of y'all are thinking... how can this chick add blueberries to a pastry dough without it getting all gummy & flabby with the moisture from the fruit. Wanna know the trick? Of course you do... dehydrated blueberries. I have featured dehydrated fruit before, like in this recipe, and I fell in love with their diversity. They are great for cookies, scones, ice cream, and apparently pie crust. All you have to do is lightly pulse them into the dough (like cubes of butter) until the entire thing turns purple. Then wrap that sucker up and let it firm up in the fridge before serving. After you roll it out, strategically place the peach slices around the crust to form a pretty pattern or you can just dump it all in for all I care. Finally you just tuck the dough up over the edges of the peaches, so that'll hold together while baking. My peach filling is spiked with bourbon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Simple, yet classically perfect. This tart was the perfect summer dessert and will automatically fill that void of sunny day memories. Now, I'm going to lie to you about one thing because I don't do that around here, but the pie crust will not be as pretty as it looks pre-baked as it does baked. Naturally, anything in the color scheme of blue or purple captures a brownish tone when they are baked, that can be less than appealing. So there are two options for you... One, you can leave it as is and it will still taste delicious and packed with blueberry flavor OR two, you can dilute a little purple food coloring with water and use a small paint brush to lightly color the crust back to its original gleeful color. I wanted mine to look pretty in pictures, so I painted mine just ever-so-slightly during the cooling process, and it worked fabulously! The choice will really be up to you. I honestly can't wait to make many more flavored fruit pie crusts in the future... I'm thinking strawberry-rhubarb!! Enjoy :)

For the Flaky Blueberry Crust:
1 ½C AP Flour
1 Stick + 1T Unsalted Butter, Cold & Cut into Cubes
1T Cornstarch
1T Sugar
¼t Salt
1 Egg
1t White Vinegar
2-3T Cold Water
1C Dehydrated Blueberries
Diluted Purple Food Coloring, For Brushing (optional for better color)

For the Bourbon Peach Pie:
1 ½T Bourbon
2T Brown Sugar
1T Fresh Lemon Juice
½t Fresh Lemon Zest
Heavy Pinch of Cinnamon
1T Cornstarch
2 Large Peaches, Cut into Slices
1T Heavy Cream    
Raw Sugar, For Sprinkling

1. For the Flaky Blueberry Crust: Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Cut the cold butter into rough ½inch cubes. Scatter on top of the flour, along with ½C of the dehydrated blueberries, and pulse just a couple of times to evenly disperse the butter. In a small bowl, stir together the egg, vinegar, 1T water, and the remaining ½C of the dehydrated blueberries. While streaming the liquids in pulse the machine. The dough will appear very crumbly. Once the liquid has been incorporated squeeze the mixture in your hands and if it holds together you are set. If not, sprinkle with a little more water and pulse a couple more times. Dump out the dough and form into a rough disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 385 degrees. You want to start with a nice hot oven to make sure your butter in the dough, quickly comes to a boil creating steam that puffs up the dough… this is the magic of flakes. Hot oven plus cold butter equals beautiful flakes.
3. For the Bourbon Peach Pie: Combine the bourbon, lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Slice the peaches about ¼inch thin. In a medium bowl add the peaches and the juice/cornstarch mixture. Using your hands, toss to combine. Once the dough has chilled roll out to your desired size. Don’t worry about being neat because in my opinion, pies are best when they are rustic and rough. Roll out the dough to ¼” thickness. Place the dough on a parchment lined sheet tray so you don’t have to transfer the pie once assembled (can you tell I’m speaking from experience here?) Arrange the peaches or simply dump them in the center of your dough (just make sure to leave the excess juice in the bowl or it will be very soggy). Leave 1 ½ inches surrounding the peaches and fold this up on top of them pleating as you fold so that it securely encases the fruit. Drizzle some of the remaining juice on top of the peaches for extra flavor. Brush the top of the crust with cream and sprinkle the sugar over the crust and the fruit. Scatter the zest on top of that. Chill the pie in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
4. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the crust starts to color too quickly before the juices have begun to boil then simply turn the oven down to 350*. You will be able to tell your pie is done with the crust is a deep golden color and the juices have bubbled and look thicker than boiling water and more like bubbling jam.
5. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least two hours before enjoying with a big scoop of ice cream!

1 comment:

  1. This is SO cool! Never even thought of infusing a crust before, such a great idea.