Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Old-fashioned peach pie

Peach season is a little late here because of the cold spring. To celebrate the arrival of the big peach crop (finally!) I'm going to post my favorite peach recipes this week.

You know I love you if I make you a two-crust pie. They're kind of labor-intensive and I don't get it right every time. However, this is the recipe for my favorite old-fashioned, two-crust peach pie.

My mom makes a great pie crust that I have never mastered. No matter how many times she talks me through it, it comes out horrible. This crust recipe has never failed me and it's really easy if you have a food-processor.

CRUST (makes two 9-inch crusts)...
2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp citrus zest (fruit pies only)
1 1/2 sticks butter, frozen
1 egg, separated
3-6 tbsp ice water

In a food processor with the blade attachment, add the flour, sugar, salt and zest. Pulse together. Cut the frozen butter into chunks and add, pulse until butter is broken up and crumbly (only 30 seconds or so). Add egg yolk and water, pulsing once or twice in between tablespoons of water. When the dough begins to climb the sides of the bowl and kind of fall in on itself, pinch a bit between your fingers. It should look crumbly but pinch together and hold. Wrap up in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. All together this should only take you about 5 minutes. If you pulse the dough too long it will get overworked, form gluten and your crust will be tough.

5 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
2 tbsp butter

I estimate that 2 peaches equals a cup. Toss peach slices in lemon juice. Add sugar, flour and spices, toss to coat peaches evenly.
Preheat oven to 450.
Roll out bottom crust and place in pie pan, letting edges hang over. Let your toddler poke the crust with a fork. Add filling. Dot with the 2 tbsp butter. Add top crust. Pinch edges together to seal. Make a few small slits in pie crust to vent steam. Brush the crust with the reserved egg white and sprinkle some sugar on top to make it all shiny. Place in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Without opening door, reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is starting to bubble. Let cool and enjoy with vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream or all by itself.

I love Paula Deen and one time on her show she showed how to freeze the filling by itself to use later. She lined the pie plate with plastic wrap, poured in the filling and then covered it with more plastic wrap. She froze the filling right in the pie plate, then removed it, wrapped it in freezer wrap and stored it. Then when you want fresh peach pie in the middle of winter, make your crust, unwrap the filling, place in the unbaked pie shell, dot with butter and seal top crust. Cover the crust edges with aluminum foil. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 18 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 40 minutes or until done. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes if the edges aren't getting as brown as you want.

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