September 8, 2016 By Jenell Parsons and THE U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Apple Pear Caramel Praline Pie
Combining the best of the fall harvest fruits with pure sweetness and a bit of crunch, this recipe comes to us courtesy of Jenell Parsons of The Pie Hole in Vancouver.
- Granny apples (peeled & thinly sliced) – 3
- Gala apples (peeled & thinly sliced) – 2
- Bartlett Pears (Peeled & thinly sliced) – 2
- Unbleached AP flour – 3 tbsp
- Brown Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Vanilla – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg – pinch
- Salt – pinch
- Butter (cubed) – 1/4 cup
- Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
- Unbleached AP flour – 1/2 cup
- Rolled oats – 1/3
- Pecans, coarsely chopped – 1/4 cup
- White sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 1/4 cup
- White corn syrup – 1 tsp
- Heavy cream – 1/2 cup
- Vanilla – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Combine the apples and pears in a bowl with all of the ingredients. Mix very well to evenly coat the slices. Mix until mixture appears a little wet.
- Put apple mixture into prepared pie shell.
- Make the praline layer by combining the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl and using a pastry knife or clean hands mix until you achieve an even crumbly texture.
- Add the oats and pecans and mix throughout.
- Sprinkle a good handful of the praline mixture over the apple/pears in the pie.
- Make the caramel sauce (can be made ahead and stored in a jar). In a large sauce pan add the sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk until sugar has completely dissolved.
- Allow for mixture to boil for 10 minutes or until it turns a beautiful caramel colour. To prevent crystallization try to keep the sauce from going up the sides of the pan.
- Once the sauce is a rich caramel colour reduce heat to low. Slowly add the cream. Stir and add the vanilla and salt.
- Whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It will bubble up . Sauce will thicken as it cooks (1-2 minutes).
- Allow sauce to cool to room temp and then pour 1/4-cup over the praline layer.
- Take the full top crust and gently place over the pie. Seal the edges by pinching and finishing .
- Evenly and completely egg wash the entire top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a little sprinkle of the praline mixture. Pierce with several one-inch vent holes.
- Bake at 350 F until juices thickly begin to bubble out the vent holes. Approximately 45-60 mins. Deep dish pie plates or ceramic/glad plates will require slightly longer cooking times.
- Cool completely and enjoy!
A crostata is a traditional Italian baked tart or pie. And while the domestic blueberry season comes to an end in October, there is always a ready supply of the healthy berries around. And mixing blueberries with ripe nectarines makes for a flavourful dessert on a baked pastry crust. This recipe is courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.
- All-purpose flour – 2-1/4 cups
- Sugar – 1/4 cup
- Ground cardamom – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Unsalted butter – 1-1/2 sticks (about 6 oz)
- Cold water – 3-1/2 to 4 tbsp
- Amaretti Cookie Crumbs – 6 tbsp
- Blueberries – 1 pint
- Ripe nectarines, diced – 2 cups
- Sugar – 3 tbsp
- Cornstarch – 2 tbsp
- Egg (beaten with cream) – 1 yolk
- Heavy cream – 1 tbsp
- Coarse raw sugar – 6 tsp
YIELD: 6 servings
- Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt in a processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add butter and pulse to pea size.
- Sprinkle 3 tbsp water over flour; process three to four seconds until starting to come together (if dough looks very sandy, add water and pulse a few more times until clumping but slightly loose).
- Turn out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Bring wrap up and cover top of dough; press to form seven-inch disk. Chill until cold.
- Divide dough into six equal pieces. Roll out on lightly floured board to form 1/8-inch thick circles approximately 5-inches in diameter.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; transfer circles to sheet. Spoon cookie crumbs into center of circles.
- In a large bowl, gently toss blueberries, nectarines, sugar and cornstarch.
- Mound fruit evenly in center of each circle, leaving a one-inch border around edge. Bring pastry up and over filling just to form a one-inch border. Brush pastry lightly with egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Chill until cold.
- Position oven rack in lower third of oven; heat to 425 F. Bake crostata 35 minutes until center lightly bubbles and crust is deep golden.
- Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with gelato or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
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