This lovely American-style pie is from my first cookbook "The Cook's Garden". It's easy to assemble because the pastry is very pliable and you don't have to worry about fitting and fluting pastry lids. Fabulous served warm or at room temperature with good quality thick cream.
- Prep Time : 25-30 minutes
- Cook Time : 35-40 minutes
- Yield : 8 -10
- Cream Cheese Pastry
- cream cheese - 200g, cut into cubes
- unsalted butter - 250g, cut into small dice
- plain flour - 3 cups, sifted
- stone fruit (mix of peaches, plums, nectarines) - 1.25kg
- caster sugar - 1/2 cup (125ml)
- egg yolk - 1, lightly beaten
- fine semolina - 2 tablespoons
- egg white - 1, lightly beaten
- demerara or raw sugar - 2 tablespoons
Make the pastry: cream together the cream cheese and butter, add the flour and mix until just incorporated - use the warmth of your hands to bring it together if it's crumbly (You can also make it in the food processor, processing until the dough wraps around the blades). Roll into a ball, wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 200degC.
Prepare the filling: remove skins from peaches and nectarines. Do this by plunging in hot water for a 10 - 15 seconds, then plunging into cold water. The skins should just slip off. This step is not essential - this is a rustic tart and leaving the skins on is fine. Halve all the fruits, remove stones, then cut into slices.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench or board and free-form it onto a large baking tray. Give it quarter turns so that it ends up as a large circle of at least 35cm diameter. This is a very pliable pastry and it should be easy to handle and shape. Don't worry about ragged edges.
Brush the bottom with beaten egg, then sprinkle over the semolina - doing this will prevent the pastry getting soggy.
Pile the prepared fruits in the centre - they should cover a diameter of about 26cm. Sprinkle the fruit with caster sugar as you go. Turn up the edges of the pastry, patching up any breaks. Brush outer edges of pastry with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn down heat to 180degC and bake for a further 20 minutes. Remove from oven. You can brush the exposed fruit with warm, sieved apricot jam for a dazzling effect.