Toaster Oven Pie

It was a Saturday morning and Nick was coming up to The Red House with his uncle and my brother Jack.  While I had provisions for grilling (steak, hot dogs, ribs) and I had picked up some vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookies thinking if I was really ambitious I would make ice cream sandwiches (I wasn’t), I didn’t really have anything yummy for dessert.

I did have a watermelon that a new neighbor had given me a few days ago as a housewarming present (thank you Sue!) but the reality is I wanted something zaftig.  Looking in the fridge I found lots of overripe fruit – blueberries, nearly a pound of cherries and a couple of peaches. Could I whip up some sort of fruit pie with these leftovers?  Without a stove to bake them in?

Earlier in the week I had gone to an “antique” (mostly junk) store in the area to see what kinds of things they were selling.  I ended up buying a funky tray with pictures of the Chateaux of the Loire Valley ($2), a pretty yellow creamer ($2) and a set of four dark green gratin dishes ($5).  Since I had made a zucchini and tomato gratin for dinner one night, I knew at least one dish would fit in the toaster oven.  Could I do a pie in a gratin dish?

I realized I hadn’t made crust by hand in a long time.  Usually I put the flour, butter and ice water in a food processor or my KitchenAid mixer.  Up at The Red House I had access to neither.  I needed to make the crust the old school way so I put flour and half a stick of butter in a bowl and using two knives cut the butter up into the flour until it was crumbly.


Adding a bit of ice water to the mixture, soon I had the dough for the pies.  It was a little looser than I was used to so I wrapped the dough in wax paper and stuck it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.


In the meantime, I cut up the peaches and tossed them with the blueberries and a couple of tablespoons of sugar.  I washed the cherries, took out the pits and tossed them with some sugar, too.


By then I retrieved the dough from the fridge, cut it in half and rolled out each half into an oval shape.  I spooned each of the fruit mixtures into two of the gratin dishes, then placed the dough on top of each dish.  Using the tines of a fork, I flattened the dough around the dish and made a decorative edge.

Since the toaster oven was small, I could only bake one “pie” at a time.  Even at a 400 degree setting (or so the dial on the toaster oven said) this took about 35-40 minutes a piece.  I kept checking the crust to make sure it wasn’t burning and when I thought it was done and lightly brown I took out the first pie and popped in the second.

And how were they?  I thought they were pretty damn good.  And the ice cream I bought?  It was perfect as an à la mode topping.


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