Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh My, Peach Pie


     I stopped by the Lansdowne Farmers Market on Saturday to get something, whatever looked good. In the back of my mind I wanted to make a pie, a peach pie. Just my luck the peaches were outrageously peachy. Huge, ripe, sweet- everything I was looking for. I grabbed a quart, that's how they are sold, and  a free sample. That made 7 peaches, the perfect number for a pie.
     I do love making and eating pie. Just the word is comforting to me. Pie. Say it with me, pie. See don't you feel better already? And I find making pie to be comforting as well. Something about the dough and the anticipation.


     About the dough- there are as many recipes for pie dough are there are bakers making pie. Everyone has their own favorite and I'm sure it changes with the season, the temperature, the humidity and your mood. This recipe is made with whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour and butter; it was a dream to roll out and tender and flaky when baked. I blind baked the bottom crust and it held up to a very juicy pie without getting soggy.


     I skinned the peaches by the blanching method, you get a lot more peach this way than  by just peeling them. If you're not familiar here're some good directions.




     This pie is really all about the peaches. It's not at all sweet (I was planning to have it a la mode anyway) and I went easy on the cornstarch so it was, as I mentioned, juicy.


     My mom was always making pies, apple and banana cream mostly. And, as you may know, she never threw anything away when it came to food, so she would make these little jam filled baker's treats with the pie dough scraps! Something to tied you over while the pie is baking and cooling. My interpretation below were filled with raspberry preserves and cinnamon sugar.



Oh My, Peach Pie

crust

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (plus some for rolling, I used AP flour for this)
1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
1 Tablespoon sugar (raw cane sugar if you got it)
ice water (3-4 Tablespoons, enough to form the dough)

I always use my hands, but feel free to do this in a food processor. Mix the flours  and sugar together, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a course meal. Add the water, just enough for the dough to form. Knead it lightly until smooth, wrap and chill for about an hour. Cut off 3/4 of the dough (chill remaining piece) and roll it on a floured surface about 1/4 of an inch thick and large enough to fit into your pie pan. Trim the edges if need be so you have a uniform 1/2 inch overhang. Roll the edge and crimp to secure. Chill for 1/2 hour. Prick the bottom with a fork to vent and blind bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown. You can use parchment paper and pie weights or beans although I found I didn't have to. It did puff up when baking but I just pricked it again as it came out of the oven and it went right down.

filling

7 large or 8 medium ripe peaches
1/2 cup raw cane sugar plus some to sprinkle on top
3 Tablespoons cornstarch 
1 egg
French vanilla ice cream (optional) 

Peel peaches and slice into 3/7 inch slices. Add sugar and cornstarch and gently toss to combine. Transfer peaches into pre-baked pie shell and place on a baking sheet. Roll out remaining dough large enough to cover the top of the peaches and the edge of the bottom shell. Brush the bottom edge with beaten egg and press the top crust into the edge along the crimps. Vent the pie top either by making a hole in the center (I used a decorating tip) or making 1 inch slits with a knife, or both. Brush remaining egg over top of pie and sprinkle with sugar. 
Bake at 375 degrees (preheated) for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. If the crust is getting too brown cover pie with a piece of tin foil. Cool completely before enjoying with French vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 mouth watering servings.
 


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