I had today off from work, so I decided to devote this afternoon to a project. I wanted to make something that may involve a few steps, a fair amount of patience, and generous portions of sweet, gooey reward. I had a full pint of buttermilk waiting to be used, a half-empty jar of raspberry jam, and a few small, juicy lemons on their way out, so I decided to make a pie- I’ve been practicing crust for the past few months, but I hadn’t attained flaky perfection yet. No time like the present- a cold, sunny February day in Boston, an empty afternoon, and a few items begging to be transformed from kitchen refuse into baked bliss.
This pie is both light, rich, ethereal, and crumby all at the same time. Custard rich with buttermilk, drizzled in raspberry jam, and topped with big, toasty crumbs in a flaky, buttery crust– it even made a pie-lover out of my pie-abstaining roommate, who went for promptly went for seconds, and declared it superior to any thanksgiving finale she had ever had.
(From The New York Times All-Butter Piecrust (November, 2006))
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2-5 tablespoons ice water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
(adapted from Melissa Clark)
*recipe will yield far more than you need- freeze the rest and use for later, or cut in half
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, room-temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam
- Pulse salt and flour together in a food processor. Add butter, and pulse for 3-5 second intervals until large crumbs form. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture just holds together. Form a small disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- On a floured surface, roll out disk into an 11-inch round and fit into a 9 -inch pie plate. Fold the overhang under and crimp, using one hand to pinch and the other to make the indent (Deb from smitten kitchen has this technique down)
- Prick crust with a fork, and place in freezer for another 30 minutes to 1 hour. In the meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove crust from freezer, line with parchment paper, and fill with dried beans, pennies, or pie weights. Place in oven on middle rack for 10 minutes. Remove, carefully remove paper and beans and let cool completely. Keep oven on.
For the crumble topping and pie:
- Stir together all crumb ingredients with a fork. Place in refrigerator (will keep topping firm and crumb-y when baking).
- Beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy. Beat in 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons flour.
- Stir in 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Pour into cooled crust and place in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, whisk raspberry jam until pourable, and make a ring out of aluminum foil to cover pie crust (you will need this to prevent burning crust).
- Remove pie from the oven, drizzle jam onto the custard with fork, and gently smooth over an entire surface with an offset spatula. Remove crumb topping from fridge, and squeezing topping with your hands to make big crumbs, sprinkle gently over surface.
- Fit aluminum foil-ring around the crust and return to oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center is firm (it will jiggle, but shouldn’t seen runny). Place pie on rack to cool for at least 2 hours.