Monday, August 22, 2011

Peach Pie

My dad's birthday was last week, and given the choice between peach pie and his favorite cake (a chocolate mayonnaise cake - don't knock it until you try it), he'll usually choose peach pie. How appropriate, then, that peaches in the Northeast hit their peak right around his birthday! While I'm still dabbling in perfecting my peach pie recipe, here's the recipe I'm currently using (if you have a great recipe or some tips, please share them in the comments! I'd love to hear). It's a great way to wrap up this week's Peach-Palooza.

Peach Pie
Makes one 9" pie

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
8-10 tablespoons ice water

1. Combine flour and salt. Add shortening and cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal or small peas.

2. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is able to form and hold a ball.

3. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll onto a well-floured surface. Makes enough for a double-crust pie.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups thinly-sliced, peeled peaches (fresh or frozen - do not thaw frozen peaches)
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon milk or cream

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add peaches and stir to cover the peaches with the sugar mixture. Let stand for 20 minutes.

2. On a well-floured surface, roll out one-half of the pie crust dough to form an 11" circle. Transfer the dough to a 9" pie plate (either by gently rolling it back on to a rolling pin or by folding into quarters). Mold the dough to fit the pie plate and leave an overhang of dough. Prick a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Brush the bottom of the crust with the egg white. Roll out the second half of the dough (in the same manner as the first) and have it ready to cover the filling.

3. Once the filling is ready, add it all at once to the prepared pie plate. Cover the filling with the second half of the pie dough. Crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together. Cut three or four small slits in the  top crust to allow steam to escape.

4. Mix together the egg yolk and milk. Brush over the top of the pie, and sprinkle with sugar (optional). Cover the edges of the pie crust with strips of aluminum foil. Place pie on a baking sheet.

5. Place pie in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil from pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until pie filling bubbles and the crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (an essential for every kitchen).


PS- I'm thinking of doing a entire series of pie tutorials. Is that something you would be interested in reading? Let me know in the comments, and in the meantime, here are a few pictures of my Dad :-)

Camping this year at Belvedere Lake

Last fall

My favorite picture of my dad and I

Blowing out his birthday pie candle with help from Edie


Fabiana ~ Ciao Newport Beach said...

You have a cute blog. The peach pie looks divine! I grew up near Albany, and I love seeing all your pictures. Reminds me of childhood. I'm following...

stop by and follow too, if you'd like!


PoetessWug said...

Tapioca, huh?! Hmmm....I'm from Georgia. Peaches are my life! But I've never seen Tapioca used!

Daniel B. said...

I am not a baker, and I don't make pie crust. But that doesn't stop me from making suggestions to someone looking to improve their pies.

Two things:

One. Have you ever tried leaf lard instead of shortening? I've heard simply marvelous things about it.

Two. If memory serves correctly, Cooks Illustrated suggested using a combination of shortening and butter in the crust, to achieve both a crisp tender texture (shortening) and good flavor (butter).

That's all I've got. I leave the pie making to the experts. I'm content to simply do the pie eating (and evaluating).

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

@Fabiana thanks so much for reading along! I hope you'll continue to find familiarity on my blog. I'll come visit yours soon!

@PoetessWug Maybe it's a regional thing? Lots of piemakers I know swear by the quick-cooking tapioca (regular tapioca doesn't dissolve) because it gels up nice and doesn't have the floury taste that cornstarch and flour can. What do you typically use?

@Daniel B Leaf lard! I will try it. I've also just used regular pork lard and it was DELICIOUS! I've done the butter/shortening mix, as well, and it does really well for the upper crust but sometimes is soggy for the bottom crust (unless you blind-bake the bottom crust first). I think I'm going to just have a crazy pie weekend and test all possibilities out, then report back here. Thanks for the feedback!

becky @ The Mixing Bowl Diary said...

your peach pie looks amazing. love the crust and the cut out on top!! beautiful!!

melle-belle said...

YES! Pies, pies, pies, more pies. They are my favorite - so much better than cake! And I'll take a birthday pie year after year

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

@Becky Thanks so much! Everything you make looks beautiful. So glad you are on FSC now!

@melle-belle Maybe we should start a birthday pie club? Make is something ultra-chic and trendy and have hoards of bloggers credit us for it? What say you? Thanks for stopping in, btw :-)