Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Peanut Butter Jelly Time!"

This past weekend, I entered my newly conceived "Lunch Box" pie into the Stone Barns Harvest Fest Annual Pie Contest. Check out the amazing winners! While I went home a big fat loser, the event (and weather) couldn't have been more perfect. This pie was created as an ode to the last days of concord grapes being in season, and the official start to lunch box season (back to school). The name of the pie came naturally when I realized just how much this grape pie with flaky peanut butter crust and peanut crumble tasted like a PB&J. Here is the recipe...enjoy!

Lunch Box Pie
All-purpose flour, for work surface 
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chilled butter, cubed
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup ice water
1 large egg 

1 cup flour
1/4 cup chilled butter, cubed
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

6 cups Concord grapes, removed from vine and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, salt and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal and butter is at small pea sized chunks. Add peanut butter and pulse 5 more times. Sprinkle with ice water, and pulse until just incorporated. Add more water and pulse again until mixture holds together when squeezed. Be careful not to overwork. Turn mixture out onto a sheet of wax paper and form into a rounded disk. Fold up wax paper tight and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Rinse out food processor bowl to re-use for crumble.

2. To make the crumble: Combine flour, light brown sugar, salt, butter and chunky peanut butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chunks are the size of large peas. Do not over-mix, or crumble will be too loose. Set aside while preparing the filling. 

3. To make the filling: Pinch the ends of each grape, removing the skins. Reserve both the pulp and skins in separate bowls and discard any accumulated liquid. 

4. Place the skinless grapes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until the seeds separate from the pulp and the grapes lose their shape, about 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into the bowl with the reserved skins and throw away the seeds. Let cool to room temperature and then chill for 1 hour. 

5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll chilled piecrust dough into a 15-inch round. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing it into the edges. Trim to a 1-inch overhang all around. Crimp edge as desired. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Roll out extra dough and cut out a shape of a sandwich with a sharp knife. Using a grape leaf cookie cutter, cut out 3 leaves from dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill. (Note: Be creative with your decorations! If you don’t have a grape leaf cutter, cut out circles to make a bunch of grapes)

6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove grape mixture from refrigerator. Stir in sugars, lemon zest and cornstarch. Pour into prepared pie shell. Beat egg with 1 tsp. water. Brush edge of pie shell with egg mixture, reserving the remaining mixture. Sprinkle crumble on top of filling, making sure to evenly cover the entire filling. Place decorative elements on top of the crumble and carefully brush with remaining egg wash. Transfer pie to oven; bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking until the crumble and crust turn a dark golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool overnight. Enjoy!

Oh, and just in case the title of this post means nothing to you, this is the incredible origin.

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