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Strawberry Drupe Pie


It sounds weird, I know. Strangely close to "droop," which may be one of my least favorite verbs of all time: lazy, dragging, slow... "drupe" is not to be confused with "droop." If you've never heard the word, it's simply another name for stone fruit. And I thought it was a little more fun than "Strawberry Stone Fruit Pie," because that's a lot to swallow. So it's Strawberry Drupe. I like it.

I winged this recipe -- which hardly ever happens -- since I originally planned on a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, but the store was out of rhubarb. So I picked up a pound of strawberries, a pound of plums and a pound of nectarines, and this Strawberry Drupe Pie was born. There's no special ingredient here except for a generous handful of graham cracker crumbs layered onto the unbaked pie crust before the filling. I usually do this on all pies, but for pies that are especially juicy - strawberries in particular - I'm a little more generous with this layer. Some people swear by egg whites, but I haven't had much luck with that method. Happy summer and happy baking, friends!

INGREDIENTS

1 All-Butter Pie Crust, chilled (or your favorite double-crust recipe)

1 lb strawberries, halved if small and quartered if large

1 lb plums, pitted and chopped

1 lb nectarines, pitted and chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 egg lightly whisked with 1 tablespoon milk or cream, for brushing top of crust

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine sugars with fruits and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. In the meantime, take one disc of pie crust out of the fridge after chilling for at least an hour. Roll the bottom crust out to a circle slightly larger than your pie plate, gently roll onto rolling pin, and unroll onto pie plate. Trim edges and place in the fridge while you make the filling.

After the fruits have macerated, add cornstarch, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest and stir gently to combine. Place in the fridge while you roll out your top crust.

Take the chilled top crust out of the fridge and roll to a large circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Spoon the chilled filling into the chilled bottom crust with graham cracker crumbs. Now be creative with your top crust: make a lattice, cut out shapes, do some braids -- or simply unfold onto the filling, brush with the egg and cream mixture, cut vents and sprinkle with sugar. If you're doing a design, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the pie in the middle rack of the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, until the crust is dry and golden. Be sure to put a baking sheet in the lower rack to catch any juices as the pie bakes (do not skip this step or you will have a very, very smoky oven)! Turn down the heat to 375 F and bake the pie for an additional 30 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling in the middle.


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