Blueberry nectarine pie: from Brooklyn's Ovenly bakery to Vermont, with love

Hello! This is Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga of Ovenly, a bakery based in Brooklyn, New York. We’re excited to be guest blogging here at King Arthur Flour about one of our favorite subjects – PIE. Blueberry Nectarine Pie, specifically.

A few weeks ago we stocked up on our favorite road-trip snacks (sour gummies and pizza-flavored Combos, to be exact) and made the drive from Brooklyn to the King Arthur Flour headquarters in Norwich, VT.

When we arrived we were immediately smitten with the place. From the Baking Education Center (BEC) classrooms stocked with every Bundt pan imaginable to the freshly baked pastries at the café (the hazelnut babka was insanely good), the BEC is every baker’s dream.

Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Our class, Crust and Crumble: Seasonal Fruit Pies with Ovenly, focused on mixing and matching different fillings and toppings. We love to bake with seasonal fresh fruits while summer produce is at its finest, making new combinations by combining the best fruit the farmers’ market has to offer. Once you’ve mastered our simple pâte brisée and crispy crumble topping, you’ll have the tools to get creative with your own version of your favorite fruit pies.

First, make the crust.

For us, a great pie is judged by the quality of its crust, which should be tender, flaky, and buttery. This is our favorite recipe for an all­-butter pâte brisée, which can be found in o​ur cookbook. We were excited to demo the process fully by hand, Agatha’s preferred method.

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 1⁄2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup ice water

How to make Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour
Remember, it’s important to start with very cold ingredients. We like to freeze everything (even the flour, pastry knife, and bowl) before preparing the dough. Once everything is chilled, gather your ingredients. Here we have unsalted butter, flour, sugar, salt, and ice water.

Blueberry Nectarine Pie-3

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt, then add the butter. Rub the butter and flour together between your fingers until the mixture has a cornmeal-like consistency and no large butter pieces remain.

Add the ice water in a slow stream, and mix with a spoon. If the ingredients are difficult to fully incorporate with a spoon, use your hands.

Press the dough together to loosely combine any ragged pieces of dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and using the heel of your hand, press it together, using an outward rubbing motion to incorporate the butter fully. Halve the dough, and form each half into a ball.

Press and shape each half into a 6″ disk about 1″ thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. Refrigerating helps the dough’s gluten relax, and makes the dough more elastic, so that it rolls nicely without breaking.

For this Blueberry Nectarine Pie recipe we’re only using one of the dough disks; the other one can be frozen for up to a month. Just let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Want to make the crust with a touch of whole wheat flour? Try this:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter
1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
2 tablespoons Demerara or brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons ice water

Prepare as directed above.

How to make Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Roll out the crust and put it into a pie pan.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one disk from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12″ circle. To prevent it from sticking to your surface and to ensure uniform thickness, lift and turn the dough a quarter turn as you roll. Always roll from the center of the dough outward.

How to make Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Fold the dough in quarters and gently transfer it to a 9″ pie pan, brushing off any excess flour from the bottom. Press the dough against the sides of the pan. Tuck the overhanging dough under itself, crimping as desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes) before filling.

Next, make the filling.

4 large, ripe nectarines (about 5 cups sliced)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
4 teaspoons sugar

Remove the pits from the nectarines and cut the halves into about 1/4″-thick slices. Mix them with the blueberries in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, and mix them into the fruit.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar and sugar. Add to the fruit mixture, stirring until the fruit is evenly coated. Stir in grated orange peel to taste, if desired. Set the fruit aside.

Can’t find nectarines at the market? Here are two more of our favorite summertime combinations:
•5 cups sliced yellow peaches + 1 cup raspberries
•5 cups sliced plums + 1 cup blackberries + 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

How to make Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Finally, prepare the crumble.

Now on to the crumble! While Erin was experimenting with recipes this spring she created a brilliant hack for crispy crumbles that’s so simple but will forever change how you top fruit desserts: a pre-baked crumble. Which means no more soggy toppings!

We make ours in a food processor, which speeds up the process, but it can also be done by hand.

2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
3⁄4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1⁄4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
grated orange peel, to taste; optional

How to make Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, combine the vanilla sugar with the flour, oats, poppy seeds, and salt. Add the butter, and grated orange peel (if desired); pulse until a loose dough forms.

Scrape the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, forming small and large clumps of dough with your hands. Bake the crumble topping until cooked through but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer it to a rack to cool completely.

Increase the oven temperature to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

How to make Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Assemble and bake the pie.

Once the crust is thoroughly chilled and the topping cooled, fill the crust with the fruit mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the crumble topping. Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove it from the oven, and let the pie cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving. And there you have it: Blueberry Nectarine Pie, a tasty salute to summer.

Want to try something different? Make a free-form rustic tart.

You won’t need the topping for this tart, but the remainder of the ingredients are the same.

Roll the crust into a 12″ circle. Fold the dough in half and gently transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Mound the filling in the center of the crust, and fold the outer edges of the dough over the filling all the way around the tart in an accordion pattern. The crust will overlap on itself; it won’t cover the filling completely, leaving about a 3½” to 4″ opening in the center of the tart.

Brush the top of the crust evenly with 1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake the tart for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Blueberry Nectarine Pie via @kingarthurflour

Photo: Winona Barton-Ballentine

Remove it from the oven, and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

That’s it! Now it’s time to enjoy a slice. Thank you King Arthur for having us! We can’t wait to be back to Vermont soon!

Please bake, rate, and review Ovenly’s recipe for Nectarine, Blueberry & Vanilla Bean Pie with Poppy Seed Crumble.

Print just the recipe.

Discover additional tempting recipes in Erin and Agatha’s book, Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakery.

Our special thanks to King Arthur Flour’s Lee Clark, who took most of the photos for this blog post.

comments

  1. AnneCD

    In the post assembled pie picture, there appears to be more pats of butter mixed in with the crumble topping. Is this necessary? Do you suggest using old fashion oats or instant oats for the crumble topping? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The crumble topping calls for a total of 6 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks, to be blended with the other ingredients briefly in the food processor. The key is to pulse just a few times so that the resulting dough still contains visible chunks of butter. The pats of butter you are seeing in the photo are the ones that remained in tact after the pulsing. No need to add extra butter after this step–just be quick with the food processing. Chunks of butter means pockets of deliciousness! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Deb

      I get where you’re coming from, Anne. Since the instructions have you bake the crumble before assembling the pie, extra butter must have been added (or the crumble not baked). I’m guessing that the person who made the pie for the photo is in the habit of “dotting with butter” before laying on the top crust. Optional anyway (for flavor), but not usually done with a crumble topping. This pie and its variations all sound so good! Thanks Agatha, Erin, and KA.

  2. Kalisa

    Mmm, looks good! I would never have thought to add poppy seeds to a crumble topping but they look good. Such a pretty pie, it practically sings of summer.

    Reply
  3. Paul from Ohio

    Congrats ladies, really nice blog. Will try the poppy seed crumble for sure. Best of luck with your aptly named, Ovenly!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      AHJ, if you follow the link to the recipe page, which is highlighted below the title picture, this will bring you to a page which offers a “printable version.” Simply click on those words and then you can select type size and whether you would like the recipe to appear in cups, ounces or grams. Here is the link to the recipe page, just to give you a head start. Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pat, this recipe calls for all purpose flour in three different applications–in the crust, the filling, and also the topping. I would recommend following this Gluten-Free Pie Crust recipe for the crust. For the thickener you could substitute a gluten-free thickener. Check out our Pie Thickener Chart for some suggestions for other thickeners you could use. For the topping it would probably work fine to substitute a gluten-free flour for the regular flour. Barb@KAF

  4. charlotte shuck

    I recently moved to Hawaii does any one have recipes using tropical fruits like papaya, lilikoi etc.
    The fruits from the mainland are too expensive here.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Feel free to fill this pie with whatever fresh fruits are available to you, Charlotte! Just be sure to use between 5-6 cups of fresh fruit and adjust the sugar according to your personal taste buds. The sky is the limit! For a pie that stands up, adjust the thickener based on how juicy your fruit is–we have a pie thickener chart on our website, and while it doesn’t list any exotic fruits, it can give you a starting point for how much thickener to use in your fruit fillings. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  5. colleen

    I’ve used your crust recipe before with lemon meringue pie, and it was fabulous. I’ll try this one, as well . Thanks for great instruction.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kris, I would recommend following our recipe for Gluten-Free Pie Crust. You will also need to substitute a gluten-free thickener for the pie filling and a gluten-free topping. For more help converting this recipe you may want to call our Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-BAKE(2253). Barb@KAF

  6. Beverly

    Nothing to thicken the filling? I would think that with nectarines or especially ripe peaches that there should be some pie filling enhancer added to thicken so the pie isn’t runny.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Beverly, flour is the thickener used in this recipe, but you could substitute pie filling enhancer if you prefer. Barb@KAF

  7. Lora

    I like the combo of fruit but am concerned how much free liquid is sitting in the pie pan after the first slice is cut and removed – see your photo. Does it set up completely once cooled?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, the pie does set up some after it rests for several hours. If you are concerned about a pie that is too juicy, feel free to increase the thickener (flour) by another 2-3 T. What a great way to use some of those fresh peaches and blueberries! Elisabeth@KAF

  8. mgac

    Looks great & easy to make! I think I will try all the fruit combos as well!

    For Charlotte in Hawaii, I would try a mango-papaya combo and substitute shredded coconut for the poppyseeds in the crumble topping.

    Why is there an orange shown with the ingredients for the crumble along with a microplane? Is orange rind used in the recipe?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi all,
      We’ve checked in regarding the orange, and yes, you can use some zest in the topping if you like. Try about a teaspoon to start with, and then adjust to your liking. ~ MJ

  9. Denise

    1. The photo of crumble ingredients includes an orange and zester. Is the recipe missing this ingredient?
    2. Another image shows the finished pie wit a lot of juice in the bottom of the pan. Should the crust be pre-baked a short time to eliminate a soggy bottom crust?

    Thanks, looks delicious.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      There is orange zest in the crumble. It is an optional ingredient but if it were me, I would be sure to include it! Par-baking the crust is not necessary. When the pie is fresh out of the oven it can be quite juicy. Allowing the pie to rest for several hours or even until the next day those juices solidify some. Store at room temperature. Happy baking! Elisabeth@KAF

  10. brendajohnson

    I see an orange and a zester in the picture. Looks like you intended to have some in the topping, but I don’t see it in the ingredient list.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Brenda,
      Yes, you can add some zest to the topping, to taste. Try about a teaspoon to start. Enjoy!~ MJ

  11. Frans

    Great job ladies! Your pie looks amazing. I think nectarines are so much sweeter and juicier than peaches and I like that you leave the peels on. Why not throw the crumb topping on the free form pie as well? I have always used crisco in my crust but I think I will try this recipe. Thanks.

    Reply
  12. Thom Schoettle

    I usually use cornstarch in my fruit pies could I substitute that for the flour? Do you think it’s better with flour?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      You can certainly use your preferred thickener Thom, as long as you are happy with the results. No food police here. 🙂 ~ MJ

  13. Douglas Mayol

    Anyone know when all of the sometimes extreme, multi-stepped ‘keep everything cold’ crust recipes started? I look at recipes in older cookbooks and the most they go for is ice water. Just curious is all….our grandmas and great grandmas turned out some mighty fine pies. I am expecting to soon be required to install a walk-in cooler for a pie crust making room….so even the cook is cold!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I referenced The Gourmet Cookbook Volume 1 (revised edition 1965) and found they were suggesting chilled bowls even then. If anyone wants to check Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I have a sneaking suspicion she may have used this technique as well. Most likely, it predates that and would be compatible with the development of the ice box in the home. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Elizabeth,
      You can absolutely leave the poppy seeds out, or substitute your favorite crumble topping. ~ MJ

  14. Rebecca

    I am preparing to make this in a couple of days. Baking at 425 for 40-50 minutes seems like a bit much. Has anyone done this? Usually with pies I lower the temp after putting it in the oven.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can bake pies hotter and still have fine results. If it browns too much, tent with foil until the pie is done, or lower the temperature. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  15. Shelley

    Fantastic! I live in Europe and am not as used to the the super sweetness that Americans tend to enjoy, so I cut the sugar in half. Other than that, I followed the recipe (both crust and filling) exactly for the “tart” version. I opted for wild blueberries, which tend to be healthier and a little less sweet than cultured blueberries. The pie was a huge success. I’m pretty picky about what passes muster in my kitchen; I’ll be making this again. Thank you!

    Reply

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