Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Peach pie

We're back! We were in France and Germany again for a month this year. Then we got back to Texas, almost immediately flew to San Francisco for Jon's brother's wedding, and just got back here on the fourth. We are still settling in and getting re-adjusted to Houston. I started a short summer teaching stint on Tuesday, so we will get a lot of Jon recipes in the next couple weeks. I hope to do a post soon about the good stuff we ate in France, but for now, here's a great American dessert.
When I was a kid, my family had two or three peach trees, two apple trees, and a pear tree that produced copious amounts of fruit in the summer. My mom would put up tons of applesauce and peach jam, but the pies were the best. She made dozens of them every summer and froze them. When a family moved into the neighborhood or a friend had a baby, got sick, or had a death in the family, she would take a pie over. We also ate a lot ourselves throughout the year.

This week, perfect, ripe peaches from Fairfield, Texas were only 0.88/pound, so I decided to make a pie. They had been pretty picked over and a lot of them were bruised or squished, but I knew they would make a great pie. So often, the peaches we get at the store are hard and flavorless, so I'll take a squishy, oozy, delicious one over those any day. I didn't get back from the store with my peaches until 9 pm, but they were so ripe I knew they wouldn't wait, so I whipped up a late-night pie.
The remains of the peaches we used plus some we didn't end up needing.
Peach pie
You can also make this with partially thawed frozen peaches. Let them sit in the sugar-flour mixture a little longer and add about 20 minutes to the baking time.

8 generous cups sliced ripe peaches (about 11 medium peaches), no need to peel unless you're picky or the skin is clearly damaged or undesirable
1/4 cup flour
Scant 1/2 cup sugar
2 pie crusts
1 tbsp almond milk
Sugar and cinnamon for dusting the top

Put sliced peaches into a large bowl. Sprinkle flour and sugar on top and stir together. Let sit while you run to the store because you realize you forgot the flour (or at least 20 minutes). Transfer one crust to the deepest pie dish you have. Spoon peaches into crust. Top with 2nd pie crust. Trim around edges and crimp if you're fancy like that. If you've got extra crust, you can roll it out and cut it into shapes. (I put "E+J" on the top, but I didn't realize how large the E had been when I cut out the J, so I look very egotistical.) Brush the top with almond milk and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Slash some vents in the top to let the hot air out. Here is the pie before baking.
Place pie on a baking sheet to catch any bubbling juices that might otherwise fall to the bottom of your oven and burn. This is very important because it will happen. Put foil around the edges of the pie, leaving a hole in the middle, so the edges won't burn. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 20 more minutes, until crust looks done. We were too tired to eat any pie when it came out, and it looked like there was no danger of it burning, so I turned the oven off and left the pie in it until the morning. It made a great breakfast!

1 comment:

smarthotoldlady said...

Fruit,fresh from the field if not our back yard, is a staple here in New England. In June, Rhode Island strawberries, fresh-picked, aromatic and so juicy they can't be sold in stores, are combined with freshly-picked rhubarb and organic sugar and either baked in a pie with latticed crust top,or my preference, topped with a crumbly topping and baked into a crisp. Like you, I frequently bake it at night and have it for breakfast. I did four rhubarb strawberry crisps in June, but my next crisp will be peach or each and blueberry. When it's apple-picking time, make apple crisps. One difference between a crisp and a pie is that you don't use any thickener at all in the crisp. I also use oatmeal (not cooked) and chopped walnuts in the crisp topping.

In case you think we're pie-deprived, Danny makes wonderful pies with a thin, flaky,literally melt-in-your mouth crust. He learned from my mother who made heavenly pies. I was always too clumsy to handle pie crust, so I focused on cakes, cookies, crisps, brown Betty's and the like. The old Fanny Farmer Cookbook still serves well.