First let me apologize for being an absentee writer. We moved and it has been hectic to say the LEAST. But, more of that to come in blogs to follow. I need to catch you up on our life!
Since time has passed, many things have come and gone, one of which is the both hated and loved event of the Academy Awards. If you were here in Colorado, you will remember that the day before Sunday, February 22nd, we received about 10 inches of snow. As always, James and I had planned an Oscar party, because being a theatre major, I am very VERY passionate about the Oscars. Our dear friends, who also share my love for all things theatre, Paul and Christa, were coming down to where we had been staying. We had planned an extensive menu of heavy hors d’oeurves and champagne, Paul and Christa had hired a babysitter, and Christa and I had been cooking for two days.
What was on the menu? I thought you would never ask!
1. Roasted Brussel Sprouts Dip with Bacon
2. Grilled Brie with Thyme, Honey, and Figs
3. Sourdough Panini with Basil, Chocolate, and Brie
4. Garlic Butter Sweet Potato Fries with a Creamy Feta Dip
5. Lemon Thyme Bars
6. Nectarine Basil and Rose Hand Pies
Well, Sunday morning came and it was still snowing. The afternoon came, and it was STILL SNOWING, HARD. By 3pm the party was off, an official Winter Storm Warning had been released and Paul and Christa were home with their two girls and James and I were home with all this food. We invited my brother and sister-in-law over, who live just down the street, so we were still able to celebrate, but the RL’s were greatly missed.
Despite the turnout of the Oscars (I was very disappointed by some of the winners and nominees), we were stuffed to the brim and I was very proud of the Nectarine Basil and Rose Hand Pies. They are incredibly delicious! The crust is perfectly flaky, and they have the perfect essence of rose. They are effervescent and remind you of spring with every bite. The basil adds the perfect taste of savory while calming the tang of the nectarine. I would serve these for a Garden Party, a Tea, or as the perfect light dessert.
Nectarine Basil and Rose Hand Pies
One batch of Thomas Keller’s Buttery Pastry Crust or your favorite pie dough
2 cups diced ripe nectarines (about 2 nectarines)
2 Tbsp packed roughly chopped basil
1 tsp rosewater (or to taste starting at 1/4 tsp)
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup of honey (more if you’d like it sweeter)
squeeze of a lemon wedge
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 egg, lightly beaten for wash
Sugar for sprinkling
Heat oven to 425° F.
Mix all of the ingredients except the cornstarch in a bowl. Adjust taste to your liking. Let sit 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Pour off about a tablspoon of the liquid in the bottom and mix with the cornstarch. Stir this back into the peaches.
Generously flour your work surface. Place chilled, unwrapped dough on the flour and flour the top of the dough. Gently roll your dough out from the center until about 1/8 inch thick. Re-flour your surface as needed, continually lifting and rotating your dough to make sure no parts are sticking. If the dough becomes difficult to work with at any point, chill for a few minutes in the freezer on a baking sheet before continuing. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut an even number of circles in desired size using a floured biscuit cutter or the base of a small bowl. (I made 4″ pies using a scalloped biscuit cutter.) Lay circles on parchment lined baking sheet. Chill dough if getting too soft for a few minutes in the fridge or freezer before continuing.
Fill a small bowl with cold water and keep it near by. Top half the circles with a small amount of filling, about 1 Tbsp. Using your finger, lightly wet the bottom half with the water, top with another round, and seal edges by pressing gently but firmly to seal. You can also use a fork to seal them. Brush top with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar, and cut to vent.
When completed place in the refrigerator to chill and repeat with other disc of dough and remaining filling. Bake for 5 minutes at 425° F and then reduce the temperature to 350° F and bake 10-15 more minutes until pies are golden brown.