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Peach Pie
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I always turn to The Fannie Farmer Cookbook when it comes to basic recipes and baked goods. I've been making pies from there for years and I always get good reviews. I had a pile of peaches from the Edgewood Park Farmers Market and a dinner to attend, where I wanted to bring something, so peach pie it was. To get the peels off the peaches, start at the bottom (not where the stem is) and cut an X all the way to the stem (so, four lines down the peach), not cutting too deep into the flesh. Then throw them into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, until the peel begins to curl. Shock them in ice water and it should be fairly easy to peel them.

DO NOT skimp on peaches, because they will cook down. And although I use prepared pie crust from the grocery store (I used to make the crust, but it's very time consuming), I've included Fannie's pie crust recipe, in case you are ambitious, or, like I was years ago, stubborn when it comes to making absolutely EVERYTHING from scratch. Also, this is a little edited, in that I combined Fannie's deep dish and regular peach pie. It may seem like a lot of peaches for a pie, but you really think it's too much, make pancakes the next morning and top with peaches.

Peach Pie
1 recipe (bottom and top) of Basic Pastry Dough for 9-inch pie shell (see below)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
6 cups peeled, pitted, sliced peaches (about 8 slices per peach)
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (that's Fahrenheit). Prepare the pastry dough and set it aside.
2. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the peaches in a large bowl.
3. Mix 1 1/4 cups sugar with the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and flour, then add to the peaches and toss until they are evenly coated.
4. Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough (rolled out to 1/4 inch thickness). Pour in the peaches (be generous!) and dot with the butter (this makes it taste very, very good, but you don't have to use four tablespoons, if you think it's overkill).
5. Top with the rest of the dough, rolled out. Pinch and flute the edges. Cut at least three vents (I like to do five, resembling a star). Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes to an hour, or when the crust is yummy golden brown.

Pie Crust
2 1/1 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
6-7 tablespoons water

1. Mix flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives.
2. Combine shortening and dry ingredients lightly, until the mixture resembles coarse meal or very tiny peas. Basically, you want a mix of bits and pieces.
3. Sprinkle water over the flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a ball. Use only enough water to achieve this state.
4. Divide the ball into two and roll out one ball two inches larger than your pie pan--this will be the bottom. The top can be rolled out or turned into lattice strips. Always vent your pies!

Fannie's tips:
Don't handle this pastry dough any more than necessary or it will be tough: treat it firmly, not timidly, but don't fuss with it. The flour and shortening should not be blended too well: it is the bits of shortening left in the dough that puff and expand during baking and give the pastry its flaky identity. For that reason, the dough cannot be mixed as successfully in a food processor.

posted by Rose @ 6:50 AM  
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