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Gingered Peach-Blackberry Slab Pie

slab

Fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy undertone to this stone fruit and berry pie, which is ideal for serving a crowd. The rectangular slab pie is baked in a jelly-roll pan, so it serves more people than a traditional round one.

Gingered Peach-Blackberry Slab Pie

For the pie dough:

3 3/4 cups (19 oz./590 g) all-purpose flour

3 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. salt

3 sticks (24 Tbs.) (12 oz./375 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice

6 to 8 Tbs. (3 to 4 fl. oz./90 to 125 ml) very cold water

 

For the filling:

3 lb. (1.5 kg) peaches, peeled and sliced

2 cups (8 oz./250 g) blackberries

1/3 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) honey

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

 

1 egg plus 1 tsp. water, lightly beaten

1 Tbs. sugar

 

To make the dough, in a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

 

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).

 

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 of the dough disks into an 18-by-14-inch (45-by-35-cm) rectangle. Roll the dough around a rolling pin and unroll it into a jelly-roll pan. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang.

 

To make the filling, in a large bowl, toss together the peaches and blackberries. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, lemon juice, cornstarch and ginger. Add to the fruit mixture and toss until well combined. Transfer the filling to the dough-lined pan.

 

Roll out the remaining dough disk into an 18-by-14-inch (45-by-35-cm) rectangle and place over the filling. Fold the top crust underneath the edge of the bottom crust and press together to seal. Flute or decorate the edge of the crust as desired. Using a sharp knife, cut several slits in the top crust. Brush the crust with the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with the sugar.

 

Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hour and 10 minutes, tenting the pie with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent the top from browning too quickly. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the pie cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Serves 12.

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Tiramisu

tiramisu

This Italian classic is made up of delicate ladyfingers soaked in espresso and rum, layered with mascarpone custard and dusted with rich cocoa. Individual portions make a beautiful presentation; to make them, layer the soaked ladyfingers and custard in cups or bowls, cutting the ladyfingers as needed to fit the cups.

Depending on the size of the cups, you may not need as many ladyfingers as this recipe calls for.

Tiramisu

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml.) freshly brewed espresso

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) dark rum

For the filling:

1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) sugar

6 large egg yolks

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) heavy cream

1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g.) mascarpone cheese

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

45 ladyfingers or savoiardi

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) water to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the espresso, and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the rum. Pour the espresso mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and set aside.

To make the filling, select a heatproof bowl that fits snugly in the rim of a saucepan. Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm.) into the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. In the bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Place the bowl over (not touching) the simmering water in the pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the yolk mixture on medium speed until thick and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the heat and set the yolk mixture aside to cool completely, stirring often as it cools.

In another bowl, beat the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

Add the mascarpone and vanilla to the cooled yolk mixture. Beat with the mixer on medium speed just until smooth and well blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream just until combined.

Working in batches, immerse 15 ladyfingers in the espresso mixture, then arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer in the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm.) square cake pan. Using the rubber spatula, evenly spread one-third of the filling over the ladyfingers. Soak another 15 ladyfingers in the espresso mixture, and place them over the filling and evenly spread with half of the remaining filling.

Soak the remaining ladyfingers, place them in the pan, and top with the remaining filling, again spreading evenly. Gently tap the pan against the counter to settle the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Dust the top with cocoa powder and serve. Serves 8-10.

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Blackberry-Apple Pie

cleanup

Prepared in a fry pan rather than a traditional pie dish, this simple pie makes a homey finish to a rustic dinner party. And cleanup is easier than ever since you cook the fruit and serve the pie from the same pan.

 

Blackberry-Apple Pie

4 apples, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) total, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 Tbs. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

5 cups (20 oz./625 g) fresh or frozen and thawed blackberries

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 batch basic pie dough

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

2 tsp. turbinado sugar

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

In a 10-inch (25-cm) sauté pan over medium heat, stir together the apples, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Sauté until the apples until just tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the blackberries and cook until the blackberries soften and begin to release their liquid, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) round about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Carefully roll the pie dough around your rolling pin and unroll it on top of the pan. Trim the edge, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) of overhang, then crimp the edges to seal the dough to the pan.

Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle the top of the pie with the turbinado sugar. Using a small, sharp knife, cut about 5 slits in the crust to allow steam to escape during baking.

Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.  Serves 8.