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A slice of the Pie Project

Publish Date: 22 Jul 2016

Authored by: Phoebe Wood & Kirsten Jenkins

To help you beat the chill this winter, we’ve cranked up the oven to create four warming desserts from The Pie Project, matched to local wines.

Nectarine, brown butter & honey pie
Serves 8
70g unsalted butter
500g nectarines (about 3), stones removed and chopped
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g (⅓ cup) honey
1 tsp plain flour
2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry
(total 330g), thawed, and if needed, rolled to a thickness of 2mm
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbs demerara sugar

Melt the butter in a large deep saucepan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until a nutty brown. Pour the butter into a small bowl and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the nectarines, vanilla and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the nectarines are softened and jammy. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the sheets of pastry in half and then press the ends of two of them together, overlapping by about 3cm, to form a 36cm × 15cm rectangle. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Press the remaining two pieces together to form another 36cm × 15cm rectangle. Using a serrated knife, shallowly score the pastry about 8mm apart, leaving a 1cm border the whole way around.

Spread the nectarine mixture over the first rectangle, leaving a 2cm border all the way around the edge. Brush the edges with the beaten egg. Cover with the second rectangle and press the edges to seal, then brush with the egg and scatter with the demerara sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Wine match: 2015 d'Arenberg The Noble Mud Pie Viognier Arneis
Why settle for one pie when you can have two? This nectarine pie pairs superbly with the deliciously opulent d’Arenberg Noble Mud Pie. Enjoy the complementary stone fruits springing from both pies, tempered by the fine, lingering acidity of this noble wine. – Winemaker, Chester Osborn

Plain pastry
200g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
¼ tsp fine sea salt
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tsp apple cider vinegar mixed with 80ml (⅓ cup) cold water and 4 ice cubes

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat. Turn out onto a clean work surface and, using a pastry cutter (or flat-bladed knife), roughly cut the butter into the flour mixture (leave some large chunks of butter as this will help the pastry to become nice and flaky as it cooks).

Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the vinegar water in 3 batches, working it in with your hands to form a rough dough (you may not need all of the water). Shape into a rough disc and wrap in plastic wrap.

Chill for 3 hours.

Tres leches pie with lime
Serves 6
445g frozen Careme sour cream pastry*, thawed, or 1 × quantity of pastry (see page 56), rolled to a thickness of 3mm
395g can sweetened condensed milk
125ml (½ cup) evaporated milk
375ml (1½ cups) pouring (single) cream
Juice of 2 limes
Edible flowers or seasonal fruit, such as berries or summer stone fruit, to serve

Use the pastry to line a 29cm × 14cm × 5cm deep pie dish, leaving about 2cm overhang all the way round. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beads (or uncooked rice or dried beans). Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden colour. Remove the paper and baking beads, then bake for a further 5 minutes or until the base is just dry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C.

Whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream and lime juice in a bowl. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 1 hour until the edge is set but it still has a gentle wobble in the centre. Cool to room temperature, then chill for 2 hours until cold. Serve with edible flowers or fresh fruit.

* Available from gourmet food shops.

Wine match: 2014 Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Noble Sauvignon Blanc
This luscious wine has notes of dried apricots, honey and grapefruit. Balanced by bright citrus acidiy, this wine is the perfect foil for the caramel and lime flavours in this dessert. – Chief Winemaker, Tamra Kelly-Washington

Apple & sour cream crostata
Serves 8
1 x quantity plain pastry (see page 56) or 445g frozen Careme sour cream pastry*
110g unsalted butter, softened
110g caster sugar
60g (¼ cup) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
250g almond meal
2 sharp green apples, e.g. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced into rounds
2 tbs demerara sugar
Icing sugar, to dust
Cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 22cm pie dish with the pastry, leaving a 5cm overhang. Chill in the fridge while you make the frangipane.

For the frangipane, beat the butter and caster sugar using an electric mixer until pale. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla bean paste, then add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold through the almond meal.

Spread the frangipane over the pastry and arrange the apple slices over the top. Scatter with the demerara sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and just set. Cool to room temperature, dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.

* Available from gourmet food shops.

Wine match: 2015 Zonzo Estate Chardonnay
With an intense fruit profile of white nectarine and melon, this elegant wine has a lovely texture and great length, which all shine against this crostata. – Chief Winemakers, Caroline Mooney & Kate Goodman

Nutella pie
Serves 12
1 x quantity plain pastry (see page 56)
400g Nutella
3 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
400ml pouring (single) cream
1 tbs plain flour
30g roasted hazelnuts, some left whole and some roughly crushed, to serve

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 3mm thick. Use the pastry to line the base and side of a 22cm pie dish leaving 3cm overhang. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the overhang to form a fluted edge. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beads (or uncooked rice or dried beans). Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden colour. Remove the paper and baking beads, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the base is just dry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C.

For the filling, whisk together the Nutella, eggs and egg yolks, and the cream in a bowl until smooth. Whisk the flour with 3 tablespoons of the Nutella mixture until smooth, then stir into the rest of the mixture to combine.

Strain into the cooled pastry case and bake for 1 hour or until the edge is set but there is still a gentle wobble in the centre. Cool to room temperature, then serve.

Wine match: McWilliam's Show Reserve Tawny
This rich, nutty, barrel-aged tawny has flavours of raisins, dark chocolate and Christmas cake, which complement the Nutella flavours in this indulgent pie. – Chief Winemaker, Russell Cody

This is an edited extract from The Pie Project by Phoebe Wood and Kirsten Jenkins published by Hardie Grant RRP $29.99 and available in stores nationally.

For more tempting dishes from the book, plus 23,000 tried and tested recipes from top chefs, visit cooked.com.au

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