This pie is great for three reasons: the obvious, it tastes delightful. In addition, it’s a show-stopper due to its beautifully scalloped crust that appears intricately designed and unique. But the best reason – it’s even easier to make than your typical pie crust even though it looks harder and so you definitely want to make this one for company. Definitely. Did I forget to mention the cardamom that’s added? Yeah, make that four reasons.
As if the pie isn’t good enough as is, when you add this ice cream to it it becomes a magical dessert that I could probably eat every day. I tell ya, when I had crème fraîche ice cream in Napa, I was gulping it up as if I’d never eaten a thing and when it was gone I was sad. I could never make another ice cream (well, maybe basil...) and I’d be happy. And sure, it sounds weird because crème fraîche by tranlation is “fresh cream” but by definition is a soured cream. It’s not quite as sour as sour cream but it’s definitely thicker. But weird tasting, it is not. Just ask the other 5 people who scarfed it down with the pie.
Love pie? Want more? Try these:
Strawberry-Mascarpone Tart w/ Balsamic-Thyme Glaze
Classic Key Lime Pie
Andouille & Sweet Potato Pie
Top-Crust Nectarine & Cardamom Pie*
Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2009; Serves 8
I think the topping is so cutesy on this pie. If you want though, you could use this same dough for a regular pie crust. Just par-bake it prior to baking the whole pie to prevent soggy bottoms (poke holes in bottom, line with parchment paper and weights and bake at 350 F until slightly brown, then remove weights and paper and bake a few minutes more). You could even double the recipe and make another top crust. Next time, I might do a top crust like this one but also add a bottom crust.
1 1/4 c unbleached AP flour
1 1/2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 c (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 T + ice water
2 1/2 – 3 lbs firm, ripe nectarines; peeled and sliced ~ 1/2 inch thick
1/3 c sugar
2 T cornstarch or arrowroot
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 t ground cardamom
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)
1 1/2 T raw or regular sugar
Blend flour, sugar, salt in food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 T water; pulse until moist clumps form, adding more water if necessary (I added about 4 T). Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly just until dough comes together, about 4-5 turns. Flatten into disk and chill at least an hour (or overnight if doing this in sections like I did).
Line baking sheet or other flat surface w/ parchment paper. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to sheet and chill 20 minutes. Using your cookie cutter of choice, cut out shapes, spacing close together. If needed, remove scraps and reroll to have about 20 pieces. Keep dough as chilled as possible.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 F. Place peach slices in medium bowl. Add sugar, cornstarch/arrowroot, lemon juice, cardamom and toss to coat. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Carefully arrange cutouts atop filling in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting at edge and working inward to cover filling completely. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie on rimmed baking sheet (or else your filling will spill into your oven and smell icky!!). Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling at edges, about 45 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool at least 30 minutes.
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream*
Adapted from multiple sources
2/3 c sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups crème fraîche
1 1/2 c low-fat milk
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t lemon zest
pinch of salt
Place eggs and sugar in bowl and whisk together to blend. In large saucepan, combine crème fraîche, milk, lemon juice and zest. Stir over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Gradually pour mixture into bowl of egg yolk/sugar mixture to slowly warm but not cook the eggs. Return all to saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat. It’s ready when an instant-read thermometer reads 170 F or when custard coats the back of a spoon and stays separate if you run your finger through the middle. You can strain here, but I usually don’t cause I’ve never had any chunks in the mixture, but if you do (from eggs partially cooking) you should strain. Pour into bowl and set over another large bowl filled with ice water to cool. Cover and chill.
Transfer to ice cream maker and process according to instructions. Move to ice cream container and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.
*Pie is not gluten-free; ice cream is gluten-free