This is the marriage of summer and winter, the juicy blush of fresh market stand nectarines coupled with leftover mission figs dried and stored in chilly months. I loved the juxtaposition of the two, as the soft fruit lends its juice and rehydrates the fig. I'm a sucker for those crunchy seeds, reminiscent of the Fig Newton of my childhood.
Feel free to use another dried or fresh fruit if you don't like figs, I think dried cherries would be divine. Or let the nectarine stand alone and sing its summer song to your mouth. :)
Farmstand Nectarine & Fig Pie
by Chef Heather Mader
10-12 Fresh Ripe Nectarines
6 cups ice & bowl of water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup dried figs, chopped into pieces
1/2 cup dark organic brown sugar
2-3 tbsp cornstarch (depending on how juicy the pie is)
pinch of sea salt
Raw Pie Dough - Double Crust
(I will post my Black Radish Pie Crust Recipe soon)
lemon juice or heavy cream
Bring a pot of water to the rolling boil on the stove and a large bowl with ice water on the counter. Slice an "X" through the end of the nectarine and plunge into boiling water for 10-15 seconds. Use slotted spoon to retrieve nectarine and plunge into ice water bath. Continue with all nectarines.
Preheat oven to 375.
Peel nectarines - Skins should easily slip off after being blanched and shocked. Cut fruit into pieces off the pit and place in a large bowl with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Toss to coat to keep fruit from browning, then add cornstarch, figs, and brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
Roll out pie crust and lay first crust in bottom of a 3.5 inch high fluted tart pan sprayed with cooking spray. Pile in the nectarine fig mixture and all the juices. Top with other crust, working quickly so crust doesn't get too warm. Pinch to seal edges and create a few slices to vent.
Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 55 minutes, tenting with foil if top is getting too brown. Allow to completely cool.
If using optional garnish, take about 1/2 cup powdered sugar and just enough lemon juice or heavy cream to create a very thick drizzle. Drizzle after pie is completely cooled.
*NOTE: This pie was almost better the next day after all the flavors had melded and it had been refrigerated overnight. The amount of cornstarch you will need will depend on the juicy-ness of your nectarines.