Hello! You may be wondering where I’ve been for three weeks. Well, I’m still in Texas, and I have this old draft lying around that I never posted. News at the end of the post!
I don’t know about where you are, but here in Texas it’s still summer and peach season. I’ve made four peach pies in the last two weeks because they’re so cheap, so easy, and sooooo yummy. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of peaches (I’m from Minnesota), but when I saw them for 88 cents a pound at the grocery store I remembered all the peach cobbler I’ve had in my travels since going to college. Also I remembered that I still own the Moosewood cookbook, which definitely has an easy recipe for peach pie in it.
Of course, me being me I was unprepared with the number of peaches I had (I bought enough I promise but then we ate some oops), so I threw in some blackberries and strawberries I had lying around for one pie, and some blueberries in another, and the one in the oven right now is just peach.
For fruit pies, it’s nice to let the fruit macerate for a few minutes so that the sugar can suck the juices out. So I make the filling first, then make the crust. Peel and chop peaches, berries, etc. to make about six cups of filling. Each medium-large peach gives a little less than a cup of peach slices, so with four peaches I had to add a dozen strawberries and a handful of blackberries. Sprinkle the fruit with sugar and lemon juice and let sit while you make the crust.
Generally with pies I buy premade frozen pie crusts because I am lazy, but sometimes I’ll do the slightly less lazy mix-and-pat in the pie pan which gives you a nice oil-based slightly salty crust that’s very flaky and tender, or I’ll do the much less lazy butter-based pie crust that I used in this pie. Honestly I prefer pie crusts made with a mix of shortening for texture and butter for flavor, but shortening freaks me out so I don’t have it in my house.
This is the Moosewood pie crust recipe, where you cut together butter with flour and mix in cold liquid until it’s dough. Pretty easy! I used a knife to cut the butter into these small pieces, and a fork to break it into the dough until it looks like coarse crumbs and there’s no butter chunks bigger than a pea.
Then add your liquid and mix it with your fork, then with your hands, and roll it out on a floured surface. I LOVE my French rolling pin the way I love my mortar and pestle- I’m a very tactile person and these things feel good! Roll out the dough to just a bit bigger than the pie tin, and then carefully drape it over the whole thing. Trim the edges and make a pretty design on the crust if you want (I am not a prettyfying person so I just leave it plain).
Now you’re ready to finish the filling! Preheat the oven now, and add the flour and spices to the filling (cinnamon goes with every fruit!) Gently and thoroughly toss, so all the fruit pieces have some sticky flour on them. We add flour so you don’t have soup inside a pie crust- I think adding a little cornstarch mixed with berry juices would also work.
If I’m using a frozen pie crust/don’t have that much time, I just top the pie with the second pie crust, cut some slits in it to vent, and bake it. But I waaaay prefer fruit pies with streusel topping. Since I have a toddler, our house always has Ritz crackers in it. Use a rolling pin to crush a sleeve of Ritz crackers- you can actually do this in the sleeve with little mess if you’re careful, or toss them in a plastic bag and whack away.
Then mix in melted butter, brown sugar, and that ever-present cinnamon. Pour the fruit in the crust, pat on the streusel topping, and toss it in that preheated oven. I like to put pie on a baking pan/cookie sheet in case of overflow (the bottom of my oven is a gross mess from previous drips). Or put the baking sheet on the rack below. Or forget it, like I did in this photo:
Let sit for at least 15 minutes after baking so the inside cools a bit and glops up, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream (yummmm!) We ate it too fast for me to take photos of the finished pie.
Okay, time for NEWS/partial explanation for why I haven’t been posting. I’m having another baby!!! She’s due in March! She’s also making my life a little complicated; I’d forgotten that I spent most of first trimester last time throwing up and lying down. This time I laid down a lot, didn’t throw up a ton, but did have a lot of pain! Now I’m into second trimester and ready to be a person again. And by this time next year, my daughter will be becoming a person too! Also, my son turned two last week, which is cool because those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time were there when I got engaged, married, and had my first baby. Yay!!!
Peachberry pie (adapted from the Moosewood cookbook and allrecipes).
Crust: 1 c flour
4 TB (half a stick) very cold butter
2 TB cold water or milk
Filling: 6 c sliced fruit (6 peaches, or n peaches and enough berries to fill in the rest)
1/4 c sugar
2 TB lemon juice (or squeeze half a lemon)
3 TB flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Topping: 1 c crushed Ritz crackers (about one sleeve)
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 TB (other half of the stick) butter, melted
- Mix the fruit with the sugar and lemon juice, let sit.
- Cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix with the flour for crust, until very small pieces (smaller than a pea) remain. Mix in liquid teaspoon by teaspoon until a dough forms. Roll out to bigger than the pie pan, and carefully place into pie pan. Trim crust.
- Mix the flour and cinnamon for filling, gently mix into the macerated fruit mixture. Pour into prepared crust.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Crush the Ritz crackers, mix with brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter, and mix with the topping mix. Pat filling evenly onto pie.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until bubbly on the edges and golden brown on top and crust. Serve warm with ice cream