Monday, August 8, 2011
Peach pie is definitely not something I grew up with... in our house it was usually apple, cherry or pumpkin with the occasional raisin pie (gross!) for my dad. A few years ago I tried my hand at making peach pie and was very disappointed. I love peaches, but the pie was very bland.
It's peach season right now, so Ray and I've been buying the 3-litre containers each week. We've grilled peaches, had them in salads and have been enjoying them as a bedtime snack. There are tons of desserts that I could've made with peaches, but the chance to redeem my previous blah peach pie was too tempting.
So what did I think this time around? Well, let's start with the positives:
- The crust recipe below is one that I've adapted from the Joy of Cooking and has never let me down. It's easy, I can make it in my KitchenAid mixer, and I don't have to refrigerate it before rolling (I make sure all of the ingredients are cold... yes, even the flour and salt!)
- The filling itself was alright. Instead of using ground nutmeg I grated a tiny bit of fresh in with the peaches. If you do decide to use fresh nutmeg, a little goes a loooong way - trust me. Don't go too crazy or your pie will be inedible. The cinnamon and brown sugar were my adaptations and I think they worked well.
And the negative... well, I should've used juicier peaches. In order to get 5 cups worth I used some that weren't as ripe as the others and this resulted in crunchier and less flavourful bites throughout.
Overall, I thought it was.... meh. Would I make it again? I want to say no... but I still feel like I've missed something! Maybe someone has a better recipe for the filling they would share?
Peach Pie (adapted from Joy of Cooking)
Crust (makes a 9" double-crust pie)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chilled shortening, cut into small pieces
2 tbsps. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons ice water
1. Sift flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Cut half of the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or work it in lightly with the tips of your fingers until it has the consistency of cornmeal.
2. Cut the remaining shortening and butter into the flour mixture until the dough is coarse and pea-sized.
3. Sprinkle the dough with ice water and blend lightly with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread.
4. If needed to hold the ingredients together, slowly add 1 tsp. - 1 tbsp. of ice water.
5. When the dough can be gathered into a ball, stop handling.
6. Divide dough into 2 balls, and roll each ball out with a rolling pin, until it is about 1" wider than the pie plate.
7. Press one of the dough disks into the bottom of the pie plate.
5 cups peeled, sliced peaches
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Place the peeled and sliced peaches in a large bowl.
3. Combine sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg together, and sprinkle over the peaches.
4. Stir the peaches gently until they are well coated, and pour into the unbaked pie shell.
5. Cover the peaches with the remaining dough disk, and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut several slits in the top of the crust to allow the steam to escape. (Alternatively, you can make a lattice crust, as I did).
6. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350 F and bake the pie for 35 - 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
7. Once cooked, allow to cool for at least 2 hours to allow everything to set.
(I also sprinkled a mixture of 3 tsps. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon on top of the crust for added flavour right before baking).