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And the "rustic" part of this pie is… not making it with either a traditional single crust, or classic double crust, but with a hybrid. One large crust envelops most of the filling, but leaves a bit exposed: a gorgeous, ruby-red crown on this bubbling fruit pie.
There are various fruits you can use here, depending on personal taste. We like a combination of raspberries and peaches; but a mixture of various berries; or all berries, or all peaches would work equally well.
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) granulated sugar
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) milk
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Instant ClearJel®, cornstarch, or quick-cooking (Minute) tapioca (2 ounces)
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
6 cups total (about 21 ounces) fruit: a combination of raspberries* and diced peeled peaches is tasty
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping
*Frozen raspberries are fine; they’re much less expensive than fresh.
To make the pastry: Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter–using your fingers, a pastry blender, or a mixer–until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; some pea-sized pieces of butter should remain intact.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Drizzle it over the flour mixture, mixing till the dough becomes cohesive. Squeeze it together, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a flattened disk about 1" thick, rolling the edges of the disks on a floured surface to smooth them out. The two disks should end up looking like a couple of oversized hockey pucks. You’ll use one piece of pastry for this pie; the other can be saved for a future pie. Or make two pies at once. Either way, wrap both pieces of pastry in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take both out of the fridge. If you’re not going to use one of the pieces right away, wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
Place the pastry disk on a well-floured surface; a silicone rolling mat is a real plus here. Roll the pastry into a 14" round. Center the pastry in a 9" pie pan; its edges will hang over the edge of the pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the filling: Stir together the sugar and thickener in a large bowl. Add the fruit, vanilla, and spice, stirring to combine. Spoon the filling into the crust. Carefully bring the edges of the crust up over the filling. They won’t meet in the center; you’ll leave about 4" of filling exposed. Brush the crust with milk or cream, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
Bake the pie for 1 hour, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is brown. Remove the pie from the oven, and allow it to cool completely before serving. (If you cut it while it’s hot, you run the risk of filling "lava-flowing" into the center.)
Yield: 8 servings.