Free-Form Fruit and Nut Pies

These rustic free-form pies are ideal for clumsier cooks!

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium
75g pine nuts, plus 2 tablespoons more for topping
50g granulated sugar
105g plain flour
1 tbsp stone-ground polenta (yellow or white)
Pinch fine salt
45g cold unsalted butter, sliced
1 large egg
325g fruit jam or preserves
1 large egg yolk
Serving suggestion: Ice cream, whipped cream or yoghurt
Serving suggestion: Ice cream, whipped cream or yoghurt

1) Toast all the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until evenly brown and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Cool.

2) Pulse the cool pine nuts and sugar in a food processor until finely ground, about 15 times. Add the flour, polenta, salt, and butter and pulse until combined, about 10 more times. Add the egg and pulse until mixture comes together in a soft dough, about 5 times.

3) Lay out an 20 by 28-cm sheet of greaseproof or parchment paper. Divide dough equally into 6 balls and place on the paper, leaving at least 10cm between each. Press down lightly to make even disks, and cover with another sheet of paper. With a rolling pin lightly roll over the entire sheet to make rounds about 13-cm in diameter. Slide paper onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

4) Remove top sheet of paper and cut the parchment into 6 squares (around the dough circles). Place 2 heaping tablespoons of jam on each circle and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon over the crust, leaving a 4-cm border around the edges. Fold and loosely pleat the dough over the edge of the jam, to make a rustic free-form pie. (Use the edge of the parchment or a bench scraper to lift the edges of dough over; it's easier that way. See photo.) Repeat with the remaining disks.

5) Whisk the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and brush over the edges of the crusts with it. Sprinkle remaining pine nuts onto the egg wash. Refrigerate pies for 30 minutes.

6) Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Bake pies until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes before transferring with the paper onto a rack to cool.

7) Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream, whipped cream or yoghurt, if desired.

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