Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peach Pie

What a busy summer!! Things have just started to quiet down a bit after a summer of racing around and non-stop visiting with family and friends. Which is somehow what our summers turn into every year. I both love it and hate it at the same time. I love, love, love getting to catch up with everyone who lives far away and who we don't get much chance to see otherwise. But I hate the midweek racing around that being away every weekend leads to. Each year, I strive to hit a bit more balance in the summer, and somehow, I'm still miles away... but I love getting to see everyone and can't say no to an invite anywhere. It's completely self-created chaos and I guess it just part of who I am.

As fall has approached (despite the humid days - or is that just because I'm pregnant??), our weekends are starting to free up and we have more time to just relax at home and breathe (aka cook and bake). With less than 6 weeks until my due date and the likelihood that I will be induced a bit early to prevent a highway birth, the pressure is on these days to get Logan moved into his new room - which means getting it painted and all set up prior. Plus, I guess I should be packing some bags for the hospital one of these days, just in case... I have one more week of work left (can you say yay???) and then intend to entirely devote myself to filling our freezer chock-full of homemade dinners so that I will not have to cook until the baby is at least 6 months old!

In a traditional old-school division of labour, this afternoon, I found myself inside playing Martha Stewart once again and making peach pie.  All the while, Jerome was outside, cutting the mouldings to be put into Logan's new bedroom.  For some reason, as much as I bake and bake and bake, I've never been much of a pie maker. I've made the occasional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and made a delicious apple cream cheese pie a couple of years back. And we've certainly made French pies, which are basically just a crust with the fruit on top (but are delicious).  But I've never really made a true, traditional, North American, double-crust pie. Maybe because they're a bit time intensive?? 

Which means that I've never actually even eaten a wide variety of types of pies. For instance, I've somehow never had a strawberry pie. And I realized at Logan and Maddy's baptism two weeks ago that I'd also never had peach pie. Andrea brought two with her from the Niagara reason (mmm... peaches...) and they were both to die for. Which made me finally get up enough motivation to actually make my own pie. And in the end, it wasn't as time-consuming as I'd anticipated.

After having many the delicious pie made by my mother-in-law or various other members of my husband's French family, I cannot ever bring to buy store-bought crusts. They just don't cut it in this household after having the fabulous-beyond-words flaky pastry of my mother-in-law (which reminds me that I vowed a year ago to learn how to make her crusts and have done nothing to do so... must get on that during my next mat leave!). So I guess the idea of making and rolling two crusts, plus making the filling has led to me never really making a pie. So I will admit that I cheated a bit on the crusts and used a food processor recipe.  This saved me the dreaded kneading that keeps me away from making any real crusts. You can find the recipe I used for the crust here, though this time, I used all-purpose flour instead of whole-wheat. And from there, it was simple.

I got the rest of the pie recipe from the Wives with Knives blog here:

pastry for 9-10 inch double pie crust
3/4 C - 1 C sugar depending on sweetness of the peaches
4 tbsp. flour
dash salt
1 tsp. vanilla
6 C peeled sliced fresh peaches
2 tbsp. butter
egg wash made with 1 egg yolk and 2 tbsp. water
sanding sugar

Moutains of freshly sliced peaches.

1.  Line pie plate with pastry.  Combine sugar, flour, spice and salt.  Add vanilla to peaches, mix lightly.  Stir in spice mixture and mix lightly.

Peaches mixed with flour/sugar/cinnamon mixture.

2.  Fill shell.  Dot with butter.

3.  Add top crust; crimp edges.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar (I didn't have any sanding sugar, so I just sprinkled with regular granulated sugar - it doesn't look quite as nice, but it's not bad).

4.  Bake in a 400 degree Farenheit oven for 45-50 minutes or until juices are bubbling and the crust is nicely browned.

Mmmm... pure delight!

5.  Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I have to say that I'm more than impressed with the appearance of my pie. I wish we were having guests over for dinner tonight. It seems like a waste to cut into such a beautiful creation for just the two of us. 

For a dairy-free option, you can substitute shortening for the butter in the pie crust. Which apparently makes them taste that much better anyhow!

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