Friday, July 29, 2011

Whole Foods Friday: It's Time for Dessert!

Whole Foods Friday is what I'm calling my new partnership with the local Whole Foods stores in Boulder County. Whole Foods lets me shop for what I need for any recipe I want to make, and I post the results here. Whole Foods also posts my recipes on their Boulder blog. It's a fun project.

Going to the store is so much more fun these days. Labels in the produce section at Whole Foods are changing from promoting grown-in-the-USA products to naming nearby farms. I know some of those farmers. How cool is that?

Right now, some of my favorite fruits are coming into season. Peaches, plums, pluots, and nectarines. Sigh. It's hard for me to buy those and cook with them. They just, um ... disappear. Yeah, that's my story.

But this time I decided to buy enough so I could bake with them. Yes, bake.

For those of you who don't live nearby and who read this blog and think I'm nuts to bake during the summer - particularly a hot summer like many of us have been seeing - let me assure you that I'm not completely mad. The weather here is usually pretty cooperative.

When the sun goes down the temperature start dropping, and it's common for it to go down 30 degrees or more. So if it's 90 degrees during the day, it can be 60 at night. Perfect for baking.

Sure, sometimes I bake earlier in the day, but it's with the knowledge that in a couple hours the outdoor temperature will drop and I'll turn the fan on and suck the cool air through the house. So maybe a little bit crazy, but not completely bonkers.

This pie I made is the rustic form, sometimes called a crostata. One thing I like about it is that it's self-adjusting to compensate for how much filling you have. More filling, you fold less of the crust over. Less filling, and you fold over more crust. As long as there's enough crust to fold over and contain the filling it's fine. And when the crust tastes this good, it's fine to have a little more crust per bite.

This recipe is actually a two-fer, with the pie and a raspberry sauce.

Plus a bonus beverage.

And speaking of beverages, the second featured ingredient here (besides all that wonderful stone fruit) is wine. Cheap wine.

The Whole Foods liquor store is selling Three Wishes wines for just $2.99 per bottle. It's not the most complex wine, but if you're cooking with it or mixing it with other ingredients, it's perfect.

I also picked up a peach liquor. Wait until you see how I tie all three of these together. Yup, it's just like magic.

Rustic Stone Fruit Pie

for the pastry:
2 cups (9 ounces) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup ice cold water (more, as needed)

for the filling:
1 large peach
1 large plum or pluot (or 2-3 average size)
3 apricots
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

for assembly:
Eggwash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sugar (as needed, about 1 tablespoon)

to make the pastry:
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in your food processor and pulse several times to combine. Add the almond extract and pulse again several times to distribute.

Cut the butter into 8 pieces and put them in the food processor. Pulse several times until the butter is the size of peas.

With the food processor running add the water as fast as the flour can absorb it. If it hasn't come together in a ball by the time you've added the 1/4 cup of water, stop the processor and grab a small amount of the dough and see it if holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. If it holds together, it's done. If it falls apart like wet sand, you need to add more water - maybe another tablespoon - then check again.

Turn the dough out and form it into a flat disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight.

to make the filling:
Peel the fruit, remove the pits, and slice into thin wedges and put them in a medium bowl. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add the sugar mixture to the fruit and stir to combine.

to assemble and bake:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

The easiest way to do this is to work directly on the parchment paper you will bake on. Flour both sides of the dough and put it in the center of the parchment. Roll it out to a circle about 12-13 inches in diameter. It will overhang the parchment, but that's fine.

Pile the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving at least 1 inch (or more, if you prefer) of the dough uncovered all around. For presentation purposes, it's nice to have one of each fruit in the center, so you can see all three colors after the pie is baked. Fold the uncovered dough over the fruit, pleating and pinching as needed to keep it in place.

Transfer the pie, on the parchment, to your baking sheet. Check to make sure there are no breaks in the dough. Brush the pastry with the eggwash and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Move the pie, along with the parchment, to a rack to cool. When the pastry cools a bit slide it off the parchment to cool directly on the rack. Let it cool completely so it slices cleanly.

Serve with a drizzle of the raspberry sauce (recipe follows)

Raspberry Sauce

6 ounces raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Three Wishes Cabernet Sauvignon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer, stirring as needed, until it is thicker and has reduced by half.

Strain through a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Chill until needed.

Pretty-in-Peachy-Pink: A Drink

Measurements are all to taste. You'll be tasting a lot of this one, I'll bet. The raspberry adds a pretty pink color to the drink and the peach liqueur echos the peaches in the dessert.

If you'd like something with a little less alcohol, replace some or all of the wine with sparkling water.

Fill a large glass with ice. Add a tablespoon of the raspberry wine sauce (recipe above).

Add a tablespoon of Stirrings peach liqueur. Fill the glass with Three Wishes Chardonnay.

Stir, taste, adjust, and serve.