The mango part of the recipe is the result of cold weather. Our TWD group choose for today's recipe the Nectarine Blueberry Pie by contributing baker Leslie Mackie, of Macrina fame.
Since it's winter, nectarines are nowhere to be found, not even bad ones. But I wanted to keep this pie as close as possible to the original; apples and pears were a boring idea, so mango it was. A great alternative because of similarities in texture and color. I liked this recipe, especially the mango berry combination.
But make no mistake, it's not ideal to make a summer fruit pie in winter. It's good but will never be great. You need great fruit for a great fruit pie. Period.
But the colors and the incredibly easy to work with dough made this a nice assignment.
The full recipe can be found at our hosts' sites Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake! and Hilary of Manchego's Kitchen. I want to send a special shout out to the wonderful Lizzy, who has become a blogging friend and with whom I share another group.
I liked trying pie dough using shortening. I never use it, ever. I'm an all butter kind of person.
But the reason I like this group so much is because I have to step out of my comfort zone. With great results many times. I can finally understand that whole flaky pie dough thing. It really is different than butter doughs. The weird thing is that I don't know if I´ll use it again. I don't make traditional pies often, my baking is more about tarts, maybe a lattice, and I usually use pasta frolla or pate sablée.
Also, growing up butter was way more expensive than shortening. So, us kids, we were fed spaghetti with 'butter' and parmesan cheese. Of course it wasn't butter, that was left for the adults who could appreciate it and justify its cost. So shortening is not on my list now that I'm finally the adult!
For the filling half of the fresh fruit is cooked with a bit with sugar, flour and lemon, both zest and juice. I upped the lemon quantities a bit to compensate for the lack of flavor in the mangoes. Then the rest of the fresh fruit is added and the mixture needs to be cooled before spooning it into the crust.
The other half of the dough covers the fruit, the sides get crimped which in my case meant just a fork, and into the fridge goes the whole unbaked pie before finally reaching the oven.
The resulting pie is really nice to look at and feels like a big achievement. Considering how easy it was to put it together, it appears to be a lot of work.
The crust bakes perfectly golden with the sugary crunch on top, courtesy of the egg wash and sprinkle of sugar before baking. It bubbled just a bit which was a disappointment really; I think heavy bubbling and spilling is the sign of juicy fruit. But I guess that doesn't apply to my poor winter fruit.
In the end despite the shortening and winter fruit, the pie turned out great, golden, inviting and really delicious. I had it warm and it was wonderful. Cream would certainly be nice with it.
And you know what? I think I'll give this dough another try with one of those tall and gorgeous double crust apple pies, the kind my grandmother used to make. And maybe some mini jam pies with a double crust also. Or a traditional lemon pie, the way my great grandmother used to make.
See why my to-do list never gets shorter?