Ever wondered why the saying goes "easy as pie"? I wondered this myself this past Memorial Day weekend, when every foodie Instagram account I follow featured their take on the all-American dessert and shamed me for not making a pie of my own. I have actually never made a pie in my whole life, ever. Because I am intimidated. Because it actually never seemed easy to make, despite the saying. Somehow I wouldn't allow myself any cheating, either, like (gasp!) buying a pre-made frozen crust. And every time I even think about making a pie, I always come back to this recipe from Ina Garten. No, it is not pie, it is not even a half a pie, it is a crumble. It hits all the right points (flaky crust, oozy filling, etc.) but takes very little time and effort to make. Here are the ingredients:
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 sticks of butter, diced
1-2 lbs of stone fruit, pitted and sliced
Heat the oven to 400 c.
Mix all the ingredients by hand or a mixer, making sure not to cream the butter. This is perhaps the only tricky part of this recipe. It is best to keep the butter as cold as possible during this step and not let it get to room temperature. I prefer to mix by hand, gently breaking up the chunks of butter, and gently tossing the mixture together. The mixture should be "crumbly", not uniform.
Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumble mixture onto a 9-inch pie dish or a springform pan in an even layer, pushing the mixture up the sides of the pan. I use a flat-bottom glass for this step.
Arrange the sliced fruit in a circular pattern, skin side down. Sprinkle the remainder of the mixture over the fruit.
Bake 40-50 minutes, or until the juices start bubbling up and the tart starts looking deep golden brown.
Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!