October 8, 2008

Emma Hearts Knightley Pie

Just in case my family doesn't think I spend enough time making and photographing food, I decided to join a new blogging event- "You want pies with that?" Inspired by the movie Waitress, once a month we will make a new pie based on the monthly theme. This month's theme is "Movies" and so I decided to make a pie based on one of my favorites- Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow. I did some searching to see if I could find out anything about what people might have eaten during Jane Austen's time and found a lot of things I wouldn't want to eat! I did remember the picnic in the movie where the picked strawberries, and Harriet's present of walnuts from Mr. Martin (in the book). So that's where Emma Hearts Knightley Pie came from. A nutty shortbread crust, creamy strawberry filling, a sprinkle of nuts, and a generous topping of whipped cream with another sprinkling of nuts on top makes a truly delicious pie. And I hope you guys are proud that I didn't fall back on my old favorite- fruit on top of pastry cream.

And while it might not be exactly what Jane Austen's character ate, it was still a delicious pie to serve my own Mr. Knightley (it's an old picture but I think the feeling is the same as Emma's).

Sweet Tart Dough
from Baking by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup ground nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc- just pulse in food processor with a little powdered sugar)
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, nuts, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.


Strawberry Cream

From Domino
2 Pounds of Strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1 ¼ cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Place 2 pounds strawberries in a blender and blend on high until pureed, about 10 seconds (do in two batches if necessary).

Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and whisk until dissolved. Add the strawberry puree and lemon juice. Cook on high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thick and bubbling (about 7 minutes); remove from heat. Pour into glass bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes.

After filling cools slightly, stir to loosen and spoon into the baked and cooled crust. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and return to refrigerated. Meanwhile, prepare whipped cream.

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Combine all ingredients in mixer and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie and garnish with a strawberry.

30 comments:

  1. Too cute - love the inspiration. It sounds delicious.

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  2. MMM, sounds delish!! Very creative!

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  3. Yum! This looks great. I bet it tasted like a strawberry cloud!

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  4. I understand where you're coming from with another food event! And I really love that movie, too.
    Madam Chow
    http://www.mzkitchen.com

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  5. Never seen the movie, but I really like your idea. It looks so cool and delicious!!

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  6. Superb! It's adorable! And anothe movie that I now need to see.

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  7. Great post and pie!! Looks wonderful!

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  8. SO CUTE!! One of my most absolute favorite movies! I love that you did this!! Great job

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  9. Anything with strawberries sounds fabulous to me! Looks wonderful!

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  10. Perfect marriage of pie and movie! Looks great.

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  11. Beautiful combination and I love that movie! Very nice!

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  12. That sounds amazing.
    I haven't seen the movie but I am love, love, loving the pie that it inspired!

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  13. I love it! that is one of my favourite movies as well!

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  14. Oh, I love that movie! Great idea and the pie looks very Emma-ish too! Great job!

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  15. Although I have the soundtrack, I haven't seen the movie (read the book). The strawberry filling sounds so delicious and easy to make. When berries are back in season, I will have to give it a try.

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  16. What a brilliant idea, and a perfect pie! That pic of y'all is too sweet for words.

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  17. Strawberry cream looks and sounds amazing, and I like the thought you put into tying it into the movie. I'm right there with you on that unappetizing historical research. You just showed a lot better judgement than I did! Libby

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  18. How fun Anne! Your pie looks fabulous and so pretty in pink! Sounds like a fun group of bakers!

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  19. Oh Anne, what a sweet picture of you and your hubby! And a delicious looking pie!!

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  20. Such a beautiful pie! I've haven't seen the movie but your pie looks very sweet and elegant and sounds delish!

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  21. Gorgeous pie. I honestly wanted to name my son Knightly but my husband thought I was insane.

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  22. So lovely! This really matches the movie perfectly.

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  23. Aaaah, how sweet :) Your pie looks DE-lish! Yum, can't go wrong with strawberries.

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  24. Awww...you guys look so great together. Emma's got nothin' on you! :o) The pie looks wonderful. I don't know...I may just end up joining all of you pie makers soon.

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  25. Hey Anne! I couldn't find your email address, but I wanted to let you know that we tied for Pie honors this month. Send me a quick email and I will send you your badge and some details.

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  26. Oh, that's too cute! My sister-in-law's favorite movie EVER is Emma. What a lovely picture of you and your honey.
    ~Cat

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  27. I am such a sucker for Jane Austen. I've read all but one of her novels and have virtually every film adaptation. What an inspired pie... very English countryside...

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  28. What a beautiful pie! And congratulations for winning I just checked the site and found out you won. That is awesome!

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