Friday, October 17, 2008

Enjoy the fruits of the season

Peach season is starting to wane, but you can still buy the juicy fruits at roadside stands if you know where to look. This year I bought a half-bushel box of seconds to freeze for smoothies and peach ice cream all winter. We also ate plenty cut up in a bowl with milk. My husband prefers them with evaporated milk and a sprinkle of sugar, but I think they were sweet enough already. And, of course, I couldn't pass up making a fresh peach pie. The recipe is simple enough for even a novice cook.

2 pie crusts, one for each top and bottom
4 cups peeled, slices peaches
3/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp corn starch

Line an 8- or 9-inch pie plate with pie crust, don't forget to perforate the bottom of the pie crust with the tines of a fork. Fill the crust with peaches, then sprinkle the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice evenly across the peaches. Put the top crust on and crimp the edges together. Make sure to slit the top crust to allow steam to release. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Pie crust
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups shortening
1 egg
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp water

Mix flour and salt, then cut in the shortening with a pastry tool, or a pair of forks. Note: you can mix this combination as long as you like and it won't hurt the outcome of your crust at all, so make sure you do it thoroughly. Mix the liquids in a separate bowl. The recipe I have called for a 1/4 cup of water, but I found that was too much, and I always ended up having to add too much flour when I rolled the crust out to make it manageable. Once you add the liquids, you want to handle the dough as little as possible, so mix it just until the liquid is incorporated, then stop--this is the most important thing to a successful pie crust, if you mix too long the dough gets tough instead of flaky.

Roll half the dough out on a lightly floured surface--I prefer to do so between waxed paper, but have found plastic wrap will do in a pinch. Sometimes I still find I have a spot that is sticky, so I dust that spot with flour, making sure to wipe off any excessive amount before placing in the pie pan. This recipe makes two 9-inch crusts.

I make a large batch of the dry ingredients and shortening--about six times this much--and keep in a tightly sealed container for future use. The mixture will stay good for three or four months at room temperature and I've always used it before the date passes. it works as well for chicken pot pie as it does for dessert--and we like both.

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Rachelle said...

Yum, yum, yummy! I love fresh peaches! We also froze a ton last year to use for fruit smoothies all year long and they were delicious all year.
Thanks for the recipe! :)

Tristi Pinkston said...

The very first pie crust I ever made turned out perfect. I've never been able to do it again since.