Thursday, August 30, 2012

The World Needs More Pie

My friend Beth's Howard's book is an inspiration, and every time I read about Beth's Pitchfork Pie Stand on Facebook at the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa, I get to feeling like I need to make a pie. 

I'm not an expert, I usually end up with flour everywhere, and although the whole thing tastes delicious, it never looks like the pie perfection that I aspire to.  When Beth and I had lunch a few years ago, I confessed that I wasn't a great pie baker, that my pies never really looked great, and she said, "it doesn't have to be perfect."  Whoo----that's a relief!!
The bakers of the culinary world are the nerds of the culinary world; and rightly so.  They care about the temperature of the ingredients, the precise measurements, because baking is science.  That said, it's the hottest day of the year here and I have the oven on baking a peach pie because Specialty Produce had some amazing organic peaches when I was there yesterday. 
 I used Beth's recipe for pie crust, and the filling is adapted from Kathleen King of Tate's Bake Shop--this was the recipe of the month that she shared this month.

Just Peachy Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
For the Peaches

8 to 10 large peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg and ground ginger
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, set aside while rolling out the pie crust.  

For the pie crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup cold Crisco
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a large bowl toss together the flour, butter, Crisco and salt, massaging the fat with your fingers to make marble-like pieces.  Toss in a few tablespoons of the water, and toss the mixture together until the pie crust begins to come together to form a ball.  Divide mixture in half and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Beth says not to refrigerate, but in the hot summer, I'm refrigerating! 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.  Set the pie plate on a baking sheet to catch any drips.
Using some additional flour, roll out the bottom crust, and place in the prepared pie plate.  Roll out the top crust and fill the bottom crust with the peach mixture and top with the second crust.  Pinch the edges of the crust together and bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the pie crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. 
At this point, this pie can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.  Use a 2 gallon zipper-top plastic bag.  

Not beautiful, but........


I urge your to try baking pies; and read Beth's book---you won't be sorry.  Have a great weekend everyone!


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