quince apple blueberry pie with chocolate acorn crust
Here's another recipe I've been sitting on for the last couple months. I made this for a dinner we held for some of the supporters of my wife's place, Drift Coffee Club. We collected the acorns, quince and apples during our autumn foraging, but as we had gone through our blueberry stores we ended up purchasing those, which you can probably tell by their larger size in the photo. I'd not used quince much before (made some chutney once) , so was eager to see how it played here. I think what really made this pie extra special though, was the acorn flour crust. Acorns are a terribly underused and underappreciated resource; they have much to offer the forager cook, and I plan to spotlight their use in the kitchen with greater emphasis this year. You can see how we process acorn flour by clicking here.
Let's make the crust first (one 9" pie).
Acorn & Chocolate Pie Crust
- Acorn flour, approx. 2 cups
- All-purpose flour, approx. 1 cup
- Sea salt, ½ tsp
- Brown sugar, 1 heaping tbl
- Butter, unsalted, approx. 1½ sticks, cut into ½" chilled pats
- Water, cold
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips, approx. ¾ cup
1. Mix dry ingredients together well. I used the acorn flour here in the same way you would use all-purpose flour when making a simple pie crust. But you'll find that it does not behave like a regular floured pie crust. Acorn flour does not, by itself, make for a pliable dough as does regular flour. It's more crumbly in nature.
2. Add chilled butter squares and work into the flour mixture until well incorporated. Add cold water, about a tablespoon at a time, until you get a workable ball of dough. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
3. Lightly flour your work surface with either acorn flour or regular flour. Cut the dough into 2 pieces, approximately 2/3 and 1/3 the size of the whole. Place the larger ball of dough onto the work surface and gently roll it out into a circle larger than the pie pan. The dough will be less pliable and will have the urge to break apart, so be gentle when you lift it up and place it into the pie pan. If pieces do break off, no worries, just fill in the spots with more dough where needed. Take a fork and pepper the bottom and sides of the pie pan with holes.
4. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Keep your eye on it while it's in the oven, as it will want to bubble up, and I didn't use the foil and beans method to weight it down. When you see it start to bubble open the oven door and give it a poke with a fork to deflate the bubbles. Be careful to watch the browning too much as well, because it seems to brown more quickly than a regular flour crust...remove it from the oven when it looks good. Set aside to cool.
5. Melt the chocolate chips (microwave or stove-top) and pour into the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Set aside to cool and harden.
note: After you add the filling you'll roll out the smaller dough ball and use as the top crust. I didn't take a photo of the completed pie because we were having such a good time eating and talking that I just forgot about it.
- Quince, 1 or 2 medium sized, peeled, cored, sliced thickly
- Apples, 1 or 2, GrannySmith or similar, peeled, cored, sliced thickly
- Honey, ½ cup
- Water, 1 cup
- Ground cinnamon, ½ tsp
- Ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp
- All-purpose flour, 2-3 tbl
- Sugar, ½ cup
- Salt, just a pinch!
- Blueberries, handful
1. Combine quince, water, honey, salt in large lidded saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 -10 minutes, until fruit softens a bit (but not too soft). If you need to add more water along the way, do so.
2. Spoon out the quince into a separate bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the still-hot cooking liquid and mix well into a thick syrup. Add the apple chunks and stir well. Add the quince back into the pan and stir everything gently but thoroughly. Leave the mixture sit in the pan while you roll out the other dough for the top crust.
3. Once you've got the top crust ready to go, empty the contents of the pan into a colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Then, add 2-3 tbl white flour and gently incorporate the flour into the quince and apples. You don't want things too wet as they goes into the pie crust, and the flour will help absorb some moisture. Preheat the oven to 375°.
4. Pour the apple quince mixture into the chocolate-lined pie crust. Add a handful of blueberries evenly to the top of the filling. Attach the top crust dough (be gentle when pressing the edge, as the lower crust will be a bit harder than the top crust and you don't want to break it...it's not imperative that there be a perfectly complete seal). Score the top crust several times to allow steam to escape. Bake for around 45 minutes, until crust is brown and done, but keep an eye on it - depending on how well you pre-baked the bottom crust and how much the quince and apples softened in the prep stage, the cooking time may vary a bit.
5. Allow to cool. Enjoy!