Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peach picking and Peach Pie

A couple weekends ago, one of Chris' co-workers came to the office bearing stories of delicious pick-your-own peaches for 75 cents a pound. Being a stone fruit loving family, who hate the $4/lb pricing at whole foods and even at some farmers markets, we couldn't pass up this opportunity to explore. We packed up Elisha, and headed out for an adventure. We drove 45 minutes, and even though Elisha kept asking if every store we passed was the farm we had promised her, we finally arrived at an honest to goodness farm. Well it was more of a peach and plum orchard, no animals to be seen, but we convinced her it was a farm. We had a grand time. They supplied wagons for the peaches (or your toddler)

We picked to our hearts' and wallets' desire-- 28 pounds later we were all set. We bought gorgeous peaches, plum, and some heirloom tomatoes in several colors that were extraordinarily beautiful and juicy.

The tomatoes were so gorgeous I just served them sliced with some chopped basil and good olive oil and grey salt. With those kinds of ingredients, I just try to get out of the way.

We ate plenty of fruit right out of the fruit bowl, but we bought so much, I needed to think of some creative uses for the fruit. I made a peach tart with an almond crust that got a mixed review, as it was pretty but wasn't enough peaches to the crust. But this peach pie got strong reviews all around. I made the crust and attempted my first lattice top and it came out pretty well.

It rises a bit, and gets crispy bits, almost like a puff pastry.

I got the recipe and inspiration from Bake at 350,

The inside filling was delicious but a little runny, as the recipe called for just a few tablespoons of flour as a binder. I think next time I might use some tapioca pearls or a bit of cornstarch. But I loved the seasoning of the filling, with a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon, and a hint of lemon, it was just right.

Pie Crust
(modified from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion)

2 & 1/2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. cold shortening (Crisco)
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 c. ice water

Reserve a few tablespoons of flour, set aside. Whisk together remaining flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until it is crumbly.

Place the reserved flour on work surface and coat butter in it. Use a rolling pin or your hand to flatten the butter until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Break the flour-coated butter into 1 inch pieces and mix into the dough until it is evenly distributed.

Sprinkle water over the dough while tossing with a fork just until it is easily squeezed into a ball. Flatten into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll each disk into a 12 x 9" rectangle (approx). Fold into thirds, like a letter, then fold again in thirds to form a square. Wrap both pieces again and refrigerate 30 more minutes.

After 30 minutes, let rest at room temperature for 5 minutes, then roll out to the size needed.

Peach Pie
(modified from who modified a Williams-Sonoma recipe)

pie pastry for a double crust pie
6 cups peeled, pitted and sliced peaches
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 pinches cinnamon
2 TBSP unsalted butter
beaten egg
sparkling sugar (i used demerera sugar)

Preheat oven to 425. Roll out dough for bottom crust and line a 9" pie pan. (Optional: brush bottom crust with lightly beaten egg works to prevent a soggy crust!) Roll out dough and cut into strips for a lattice top and set aside.

Place peaches in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to coat. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to the peaches and stir gently to combine.

Pile the fruit into the dough-lined pan. Dot with bits of butter.

Use the strips to make a lattice top. Brush beaten egg on top of lattice and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes, the reduce heat to 350 and bake about 25 minutes longer, until bubbly and top is browned. You may need to cover the edges during baking...though I didn't.


Blogger Jerilyn said...

I add tapioca pearls straight from the red box to every fruit pie and it thickens it up perfectly. A little almond extract is nice with peaches too.

The photo of E in the wagon is priceless. And those tomatoes look heaven-sent. Wish we were there for dinner that weekend!

You left out one important piece of information. How much did 28 pounds of peaches cost?!

20 August, 2009 16:38  
Blogger Julie said...

Great suggestion, I'm definitely going to try that with my next pie.

The peaches and plums really were 75 cents a pound so it was $21 all in, and it was an incredible amount--enough to give to my sister, parents, and keep us more than overflowing with peaches for a week. Everything was such good value-- the tomatoes were $1.50 a lb. We are definitely doing you pick again! Check out to see if there are some places near you that do it!

20 August, 2009 23:29  
Blogger Jerilyn said...

Holy gadzooks that is cheap!

21 August, 2009 11:01  
Blogger Kaoru said...

The picture of E is really cute! And the pie looks divine.

We went picking recently too, at a u-pick farm 20 mins away from our home ... berries galore (marionberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) @ $1.75/lb. We gave some to friends & neighbors, froze a bunch and made a small batch of blackberry jam (which I'm afraid lacked enough pectin so is more like sauce vs. jam).

As well, we picked some peaches & broccoli. There was an area where you could even cut your own flowers @ $0.50/stem, but we were too busy with the fruit to care! Next time.

24 August, 2009 22:05  

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