Friday, August 14, 2009

Fresh Peach Pie

Peaches are in season (the fruit, not her ).
(Some fine intellect on display at that Twitter feed though, yes indeed).

Anyhoo, I wanted to make a pie that made use of peaches without disguising the fruit in a bunch of cream or cornstarch. I think this is a fine pie. I would use a bit less flour were i to make it again, and I would certainly dot it generously with butter before putting on the top crust, but really I can't find much else to fault-really, the quibbles are quite minor.

The recipe is adapted from the New York Times Heritage Cookbook, (aka "Big Blue"). The recipe comes from Georgia (the state in the US, not the former Soviet Republic) and is really simple to assemble. I used my new, standard pie crust, but feel free to use any you like.

You Will Need:

For the crust:

3 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 egg
1/4-1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Sift together the flour and salt. Cut in butter and shortening until fine crumbs. Beat together egg, water and vinegar starting with 1/4 cup of water. Add slowly to flour until you have a good mixture. Add more water if needed. Let stand a few minutes before rolling out. Once rolled, let it chill in the fridge or freezer while you make the filling.

For the filling:

3 cups peeled, sliced peaches tossed with juice of half a lemon to prevent discolouration.
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (I upped this to 1/4)
1 tablespoon of butter (I would use at least two next time)
Cream for brushing
Vanilla sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line pie pan with bottom crust and fill with fruit and dry ingredients-just toss them lightly together. I try to pile it in the centre, but it almost never works well for me so as my dear old granny used to say:
"Eh, to hell with it."

Dot with butter and place the top layer on. Crimp closed, vent as you like and then brush generously with heavy cream and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

The cookbook suggested thirty minutes, but mine took close to an hour-so keep an eye on it. As always, place the pie dish atop a baking sheet because you know the one time you fail to do so it will leak all over your oven.

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