Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cherry Lime Pie (Party)

Cherry Lime Pie

I’m a sloppy cook and a risky baker. I like to follow the Creativity Trail, even if that means straying rather far from a recipe’s sure path. There’s a unique thrill to bringing ingredients together in new ways or methods. Or simply tasting something I’ve never before tasted.

Call it Kitchen Cliff-Jumping.

When I heard about Gluten-free Girl’s #pieparty, I knew I’d soon be standing in the kitchen with some grand idea, hoping it would turn out delicious. Fortunately, pies are forgiving.

Most cooks and bakers will caution you against using the pith—that white part just beneath the zest—of citrus. However, a recent recipe post to Food52.com got me thinking about its possibilities. I love pie, but so many recipes pile on sweetness and ignore the fruit within. I wanted a way to kick the cherry flavor of my pie up a notch without disguising it in sugar. The blended whole limes in this recipe give the pie a lovely tartness that buoys up the cherries. It’s almost savory, if you use two limes as I did.

I admit the tartness here is a bit much for some people. I love it, as did a number of my friends; however, not everyone was quite as enthused. If you like your pies very sweet, use one lime. If you’re adventurous, kick the flavor up a notch with two. You’ll find the pie at the bottom of the cliff is delicious.

For this pie, I used Gluten-free Girl’s recipe for pie crust. I highly recommend it.

Cherry Lime Pie
Makes 1 pie

175g Aherns’ all-purpose flour mix (see my version below)
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick vegan butter
1/4 cup ice water, more as needed

2 cups (320g/12oz) pitted and chopped Rainier cherries
1 nectarine, chopped
1-2 limes (100g-200g), depending on how tart you like it
1 cup (220g) white sugar
1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch salt

1/2 cup (60g) gluten-free oats
1/4 cup (30g) Aherns’ all-purpose flour
3 Tbls (40g) vegan butter
1/3 cup (50g) brown sugar

If your oven takes a half hour to heat up like mine does, start it preheating now to 425F.

Sift flour and salt into food processor. Pulse twice to aerate. Cut very cold butter into small cubes. Add butter to the food processor and pulse 10 times. Add ice water and pulse 5 times. Add more ice water as needed to make the texture somewhat like cottage cheese (with large lumps of butter still throughout the dough). Form quickly into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes while you make the filling. For Gluten-free Girl’s full instructions, see the link here.

Chop whole lime(s), removing tops and any seeds, and whirl in blender or food processor about 2 minutes, or until it blends like a smoothie. In a large bowl, toss chopped and pitted cherries, nectarine, and lime pulp together. Add sugars, cornstarch, spices, and salt, and mix well. Set aside.

Roll out pie crust on a piece of parchment paper dusted with sweet rice flour. When it's the proper size for your pie dish, slide a cookie sheet beneath it, place your pie dish upside down on top, then flip in one smooth motion. Settle crust into pie dish, repairing as needed. Flute edges as desired. Store in fridge until ready to fill.

For the topping, mix together all ingredients and cut in cold butter until it's nice and crumbly.

Pour filling into crust, then top with crumble topping. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F, then lower heat to 375F. Bake for another 45-60 minutes, or until crust's edges are browned and pie has set. (It's okay if it's still a bit wiggly.) Cool at least 1 hour before serving so pie enough time to fully set up.

My version of Aherns’ all-purpose flour mix:
150g brown rice flour
100g sorghum flour
50g potato flour
250g sweet rice flour
50g amaranth flour
50g millet flour
150g potato starch
55g cornstarch
145g tapioca starch

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