Pie Therapy

Recipes and ruminations on pie.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Peach Perfect

Ever since peaches started arriving at our local market, my husband has been asking for a peach pie. This week I finally made one. I have to say I wasn't too excited about the idea of peach pie. Our peaches have been so perfect that I truthfully didn't want to ruin them by putting them in pie. And we were eating them so fast that I never really had enough to make a pie.

Last week though I bought 6lbs of yellow and white peaches and nectarines with the intent of pie. And, I like that my hubby is into the pies, so I definitely wanted to try it. I consulted my trusty 1965 Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook (a very well considered present from my sis) and James Beard's American Cooking. Hubby wanted a simple peach pie, so I went with this one:

Old Fashioned Peach Pie

  • Pastry for a 2-crust pie
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 T flour
  • 1/4 t cinammon or nutmeg
  • 1/8 t of salt
  • 5 c sliced fresh peaches
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/8 t almond extract
  • 2 T butter
Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to peaches. (I blanched and peeled them). Sprinkle on the lemon juice and almond extract. Pour into pastry-lined 9" pie pan. Dot with butter.

Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) 40-45 minutes or until peaches are tender and crust is browned.

I added a bit extra lemon and almond extract. And I used all yellow peaches, and one white because I ran out.

I made it for a dinner with friends; it was very well received. The flavor was really wonderfully peachy. A good peach does make a good pie. Hubby loved it, it was exactly what he was hoping for. "It was the perfect American peach pie."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Strawberry Daquiri Party Pie

A good friend was having a birthday party and serving Thai food. I offered to bring a pie. I wanted to make something fun, festive, fruity and frozen. Strawberry Daquiri Pie seemed to fit the bill.

The August issue of Gourmet actually features pie (or truthfully crumble) on the cover, there is a whole article on pies and more.

Ruth Reichl waxes poetic about making a pie; in her Letter from the Editor she does three paragraphs of pie as sex: "feel the butter as it slips, tiny hesitation of the flour, gently coaxing, final massage" and so forth. She goes on to say that it is truly the ultimate test of the cook.

The magazine provide seven recipes that really miss the point of pie. They are too complicated, as is the way of new millennium cooking, and many aren't even pies - crumble tart, chiffon pie, mini pies, deep dish, galette and hand pies. C'mon Ruth, pie is a simple crust with a focus on a simple filling. The beauty of it, is its simple elegance that lets the flavors of the season shine. (Ruth would probably agree with me here)

All of that being said, they had a cool recipe for a Strawberry Margarita Pie which I adapted to my party pie, Strawberry Daquiri Pie.

  • 1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs (basically one pack from a box)
  • 5 T butter melted
  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 1 T finely grated fresh lime zest
  • 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 T rum
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled cream
Mix the graham crackers and the butter. I crush the crackers with the rolling pin in a plastic ziploc bag. Then press the crust in the pie placte and cook it for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Puree the strawberries, zest, lime juice, condensed milk and rum in a blender. Beat cream until it has stiff peaks. Fold one third of the cream into the strawberry mixture. Then fold in the remainder in 2 batches.

Pour filling into crust, mounding it slightly and freeze until firm, overnight. Remove from freezer and left soften in refrigerator, about 40 minutes before serving.

The pie was perfect for a summer party. And it was SUPER simple to make.