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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

happy food: peachberry shortbread pie (recipe)

When my husband and I were dating we'd often join his family at a cottage on Martha's Vineyard. Each morning his mom would send us (a variation of me, L. and his sisters) to The Scottish Bakehouse where we would pick up a raspberry shortbread pie that was so absolutely delicious that the first day we ended up eating it all in the car before we got back to the cottage and yes, we had to turn around and fetch another one. Each morning thereafter we bought two pies. I remember those mornings sitting out on the deck, all of us drinking coffee, savoring raspberry shortbread pie and soaking in the pink morning sunlight on the island.

So, earlier this week when I discovered this video by Chef John on, I knew I had to try to recreate this sweet moment here in Seattle. (You have to watch the video. Chef John really explains things like why you have to freeze the butter first.)

The recipe is for Blueberry Shortbread Bars but because I had succulent (organic 16% sugar!) peaches and marionberries, I used these fruits instead.

When L. tried the shortbread pie tonight for dessert, he closed his eyes and moaned. I guess that makes this dessert a home run.

Here is the recipe inspired by Chef John.


1 stick butter (cut in small cubes)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon cold water
1/2 cup to one cup of fruit (I used marionberries and 1/2 of a large peach cut into 1/2 inch pieces)


1. Place cut butter cubes in freezer for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3. Mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.) Keep extra tablespoon of sugar aside.

4. Remove butter from freezer and using a pastry cutter mix butter into dry ingredients. You can also use two knives to cut the butter and dry ingredients together. The mixture will be very dry. Add the egg yolk, using your pastry cutter, knives or fork to incorporate egg into mixture.  Add the 1/2 teaspoon of cold water and mix thoroughly. 

5. Pour 3/4 of your mixture into an 8X8 glass dish and press firmly into the bottom of the pan, coming up the sides just a little. 

6. Add fruit as seen below. The berries I used were VERY ripe and wet. If you are using very wet fruit, dry them off with a paper towel first so your crust isn't too wet.

7. Top with leftover mixture pressing down lightly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.

8. Bake in oven 30-35 minutes. Wait at least one hour for shortbread to cool before serving.

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