In honor of Pi Day (3/14) I decided to create a geeked-out recipe.
This pie has:
3 different fruits
1 basic pie crust recipe
4 ingredients in the crumb topping
1 nutty ingredient
5 unique layers (bottom crust, three fruits, crumb topping)
9 added flavors in the fruit layers (3 in each)
2 ingredients in common in all the layers (butter and sugar)
6 (or 7) ingredients in the pie crust recipe, depending on whether you count water as an ingredient, and whether you round up (the next digit is 5.)
Enough math, let's have pie.
Use your favorite pie crust recipe for a single-crust pie, or buy one. I used a variation on the Foolproof Pie Dough from Cook's Illustrated, but among other things, I substituted whole wheat pastry crust for the regular flour. The six ingredients are: flour, sugar, salt, butter, shortening, vodka. And water.
The recipe for the Foolproof Pie Dough recipe is available at the Cook's Illustrated website only if you have a subscription, but Serious Eats also reprinted the recipe.
Have your pie dough chilling and resting while you continue with the rest of the process.
In a small bowl, mix well and set aside:
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Have standing ready:
1 pound bag frozen sliced peaches
1 pound bag frozen blueberries
4-5 large apples
Also have ready the nine additional flavors:
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teapoon powdered lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon Fiori de Siclia
1/4 teaspoon galangal
In three separate saute pans, melt in each pan:
1 tablespoon butter
Peel, core and thinly slice the apples into one of the saute pans. Lightly sprinkle Fruit Fresh over the apples to prevent browning (this also adds a bit of tartness. Lemon juice can be substituted). Saute the apples until they begin to soften.
Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture, mix well and continue cooking until the apples, stirring often are soft and pliable but aren't falling apart, and the juices begin to thicken.
Take off the heat, add the maple extract and cinnamon and set aside.
In the second saute pan, add the peaches and cook until they begin to soften. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture and continue cooking, stirring often, until the juices thicken. Take off the heat, add the Fiori de Siclia, galangal and a few grates of fresh nutmeg.
Add the blueberries to the third saute pan and cook briefly until the begin to soften and give up juice. Add 3 tablespoons of the sugar mixture, stir well, and continue cooking until the mixture boils and the juices begin to thicken. Take off the heat, add the vanilla, dried lemon peel and allspice. Stir well.
There will be a little extra sugar mixture left. Divide it up, among the three bowls and stir it well.
Let the fruit mixtures cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
While the fruit is cooling, get your pie crust ready in the pan, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and make the crumb topping.
For the crumb topping, you'll need:
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, very finely chopped.
Cut the crumb topping ingredients together with a pastry blender, two knives, a fork, or whatever works best for you. You want a crumbly texture with the butter well-incorporated. (Note: If you have left over scraps of pie dough, you can add that to the crumb topping as well, but it messes up the pi digits.)
Assembly and baking:
Spoon the blueberries into the crust, and even them out. Layer the peaches on top of the blueberries. You can make a decorative pattern, or just place them in an even layer. Top the peaches with the apples in a third even layer. Spread the crumb crust over the top.
Bake at 400 degrees on the bottom rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, or until the top crust is nicely browned. Let the pie cool completely before serving for easiest cutting and to keep the layers intact.
Notes on ingredients:
Fiori di Siclia is available from the King Arthur Flour website. It has a citrus-floral-vanilla flavor that reminds me of Dreamscicles. If you can't find it, you could substitute orange extract and vanilla.
Galangal is reminiscent of ginger, but it doesn't have as much bite. I got mine from Penzeys, but if you don't have it you could substitute ground ginger, but maybe a little less. Before I found galangal at Penzeys, I bought some from an ethnic market. It was nearly tasteless and somewhat gritty.