Somebody please remind my kids that someday they will be longing for food like mom used to make.

onsdag 25 juli 2012

Impulse-buy Peach Pie

There is nothing that beats a perfectly ripe peach. The best peach I ever had was in Italy. It was June, I was 16 going on 17, and in the beautiful town of Portofino. Feeling a bit hungry, I bought a handful of cherries and a peach at the farmers' market, and carried them off to be consumed in a brown paper bag. I have never in my life, before or after that point, tasted such delicious fruit. I don't know if it was the fruit, the excitement of travel abroad, or the gorgeous scenery. Whatever it was, it ruined peaches for me. You didn't see that coming did you? Well, since that point, every peach I have ever had is a letdown. That doesn't keep me from trying, however. I had a sudden impulse while driving home from work today, and just had to buy some peaches. To make a pie. Yes, I am sure that is your first thought after a full workday as well. If just plain peaches aren't going to live up to the Portofino peach, I might as well try pie instead.

Pie dough in the food processor

A peach-colored rose from my garden



Peeled peaches

Stirring together the filling


A disc of chilled dough

Rolling out the dough, and thankful that pastry is forgiving

Brushing the top with milk

A sprinkle of sugar on top

Voilá! It leaked a bit, but that is what pie tends to do.
A fabulous slice of pie

The oats worked wonderfully - not a drip in sight

Of course it must be á la mode.

Pie for two grown-ups and a toddler who loved it as well.

Moist and juicy without a hint of runniness

Pate Brisee

Enough for two single-crust pies or a double-crust pie. Freezes well!

2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
1 c. (225 grams) butter, very cold
1/2 c. cold water with ice in it

Put the flour in your food processor (or do it by hand if your are an overachiever). Cube the butter and place it on top, add sugar and salt. Then pulse it until the butter and flour are slightly combined. Trickle the water around, not the ice, then pulse a bit more. Add water and pulse a couple of times alternately until the mealy mass just barely starts to become dough-like. Then dump it out on a prepared surface and divide in two, squishing it into 2 discs. The less you work with it, the better. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and chill.
After about a half hour, or whenever you are ready, take one disc out at a time. Roll it out on a floured surface and use.

Peach Pie filling

9 small peaches, sliced (about 3 1/2 lbs)
1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar (use 1/4 of each if peaches are quite sweet)
1 T orange juice
a dash of salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/16 tsp. nutmeg
4 T quick-cooking oats

Stir together in a large bowl and fill prepared pie shell. 

For garnish: 
1 T milk
1 T white sugar

After adding top crust, flute edge, add some slits for venting, and brush with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. 
Bake at 425F/220C for 20 minutes. Then lower heat to 365F/180C and bake another 30-40 minutes until golden and filling is cooked through. Let cool at room temperature so juices can thicken.

I neither had the magical tapioca that makes pies non-runny, nor the traditional cornstarch. I was counting on that cornstarch to be in the pantry like it always is, but when I went to find it, it had disappeared. I have a recipe for Sloppy Joes that uses oats as a thickener, so I figured, why not? Instead of 3 T cornstarch, I tried 4 T oats. I will get back to you on the result once the pie cools and can be eaten.

ETA: The pie turned out perfectly. It was the perfect consistency - not a runny drip in sight, and perfectly moist filling, paired with a soft, but flaky crust. This pie just redeemed peaches for me. The toddler and hubby loved it too, and big girl was not home to express her skepticism about peaches. She has never actually eaten one, but is certain she does not like them. I usually use the "You can't eat this, it has too much sugar" trick, often with success. 

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