After researching and writing my 2014 food trends article, I wanted to try as many things off the list as possible and when I first found out exotic fruit was going to be on the list I knew I had to do something with that. I love all fruit especially mangos and passion fruit but I didn’t want to forget what lovely fruits winter has to offer.
I have used a lot of these fruits in recent recipes but they are so tasty and unfortunately very seasonal so can only be used this time of year. Persimmons, kumquats, physalis, cranberries and I chucked a pear in there as well. Not overly exotic but they are so good at this time of year 😀 Exotic fruit is not necessarily the right term to use because if you live somewhere its all grown then it just become more of a winter fruit pie but delicious none the less!
As I mentioned before in my apple and cranberry pie post I like pastry but I don’t like mounds of it so I decided to make this pie galette style a little less pastry but still enough to hold all this amazing fruit.
For the pastry I used my go-to sweet vanilla pastry, its quick and simple to make. You could always use ready made if you like to save you time.
As with any fruit when you start to cook it down a bit, it has a lot of juice with it. Added to the fact you have to add a little water to get it going in the first place, it can quickly make your pie soggy and uninviting. But I have a solution to this problem… with this pie at least.
The juice from all that fruit is a beautiful pink colour bursting with all the natural sweetness of the fruit. It tasted amazing and I didn’t want it to go to waste.
So instead of adding cream or ice cream with this pie I decided that if I reduced it down a little added a touch of cornflour (cornstarch) to it, it made a wonderfully fruity colourful sauce to accompany it. It helped to intensify the fruit flavour even more 🙂
In theory you could add any fruit you like to this pie but these fruits here compliment each other so well. I shall definitely be trying this again as all the different seasonal fruits become available.
Winter Exotic Fruit Pie
For the pastry
- 250 grams Plain flour (All Purpose, (2 cups))
- 50 grams Icing sugar (Confectioners sugar, (a scant 1/2 cup))
- 125 grams unsalted butter - cold and cubed ((1 stick and 1 tablespoon))
- seeds from one vanilla pod
- 1 large egg - beaten
- 1 splash milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling
- 120 millilitres water ((1/2 cup))
- 2 ripe persimmons (cut into medium sized cubes)
- 1 large pear (cut into medium sized cubes)
- 10 kumquats halved
- 15 physalis halved
- 60 grams fresh cranberries - pricked with a pin ((1/2 cup))
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tablespoon water
Directions for the pastry
- Mix the flour and icing sugar together in a large bowl. Add the cold cubed butter.
- Using your finger tips rub it in as quickly as possible till it resembles breadcrumbs. Or give it a quick blitz in your food processor.
- Add the vanilla seeds and give them a quick mix in.
- And the egg and gently work in, add a dash of milk to bring the whole mix together till a dough forms. Or again give it a quick blitz in your food processor.
- Empty the dough onto a lightly floured surface, give it a gentle pat and wrap it in clingfilm (Saran Wrap) and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling
- While your pastry is chilling in the fridge, it’s best to start getting your fruit ready. Add the water to a medium sized saucepan and place it to one side.
- Cut your persimmons up into medium sized cubes, you don’t want to cut your fruit up too small as you still want it to hold its shape and texture. Add the fruit to your saucepan of water.
- Do the same with your pear, again medium sized cubes. Halve your kumquats and physalis. Add them all to your saucepan.
- Prick the cranberries with a pin and place them into the pan. Sprinkle your sugar over the fruit and place it on a medium heat and gently bring everything to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the fruit for 10 minutes. You will notice there is a lot of lovely pink liquid in the pan. This is fine.
- Mix your cornflour (cornstarch) and water in a small cup. You want it to look like a milky liquid. Add it to the fruit in the pan and give it a gentle stir. You will notice it starts to thicken quite quickly. Take it off the heat and place to one side.
Putting it all together
- When the time is up get your pastry out of the fridge and lightly dust your work surface with a little flour. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and preheat your oven to 200C / 400F / Gas mark 6.
- Roll out your pastry to a round shape aim to make it about 35-40cm in diameter. Using a slotted spoon drain the fruit and place it in the middle of your pastry round leaving a good few inches of space around the edges.
- Carefully fold the edges in towards the centre of the pie pinching them folds to help keep them together. Brush the pastry with a little milk and sprinkle with a course sugar.
- Using a couple of fish slices or even cake slices or very carefully using just your hands slide you pie onto your lined baking tray and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Pop the sauce back on the heat and over a medium heat simmer to reduce a little, this helps to intensify the flavour.
- You are looking for your crust to have a golden hue to it. I found 30 minutes was the right time for me but check on your pie after 25 minutes because different ovens vary a lot.
- Serve either warm or cold, this pie will keep well in the fridge for 3 days.