Presenting my masterpiece of pie to my Dad
I bet you didn't think you'd see me on this blog again! Yes, the JAM blog has been missing its bookends J and M, and has basically become Ariel's blog. She has a great passion for cooking and writing and I applaud her frequent blog posts and the style she imparts on them. I think this A can stand up just fine on its own, but I did bake a pie last night that I had made for the first time with Ariel and I needed to honor her with a blog entry. Oh...and maybe now she will get off my case about blogging (just kidding, love you Ariel!).
I embarked on a pie making mission last night in honor of my Dad who loves pie just about as much as I do (I absolutely cannot think of Thanksgiving without apple pie and I think he would agree). I missed Father's Day last weekend while I was visiting Ariel in California (so much fun!) and I decided I needed to get back into his good graces by bringing a pie to dinner with my parents tonight. When deciding what pie to make, I immediately thought of the winning peach and raspberry pie Ariel and I made for family members a summer or two ago. This pie got so many compliments, I knew I had to make it again. Realizing I didn't have my baking partner in crime with me this time around I was a little worried about how it would turn out.
Heart shaped peach raspberry pie
I did have a couple mishaps along the way...is anyone surprised? The first problem arose with my filling. The peaches I bought at a local grocery store were awful! I mean not even 1 of my 5 peaches was completely usable and 2 of them were utterly inedible with mushy, mealy flesh. I think I need to start frequenting the farmer's markets because the quality of supermarket produce is apalling. Ariel has an abundance of farmer's markets at her fingertips-- those lucky Californians! Luckily I bought two pints of raspberries and was able to splice out chunks of useable fruit from each peach and I added one nectarine I originally had in mind for a snack. Thankfully the filling came together pretty easily...altho it was a little soupy from the sugar macerating the fruit, as well as the added grapefruit juice. The crust was what I had been most scared about making, but it came together beautifully. I think it was because the butter was cold, but not too firm so it was much more manageable to knead into the flour mixture.
The second mishap was in not having a pie plate. I have no idea where mine went, but I ended up using a heart shaped cake pan. It was a blessing in disguise because this makes the cutest heart shaped pie. Once I put the lattice crust together, I glazed the top with a warm preserves and water mixture and then sprinkled it with sugar. I think this made the crust more susceptible to burning, so after about 10-15 minutes in the oven I covered the top loosely with aluminum foil. I thought everything was smooth sailing until I smelled a faint smoky smell about 30 minutes into the cooking time and realized the juices from the pie were overflowing into the bottom of the oven, creating a burnt caramelized blob that was bubbling and smoking. I cracked the oven open and placed another pan underneath the oven rack the pie was resting on to catch any more of the overflow. After about an hour and ten minutes the pie was saying "take me out!" with its bubbly filing and nicely golden crust (I forgot to right down the baking time from the recipe I used so it was a guestimate).
The verdict at dinner was unanimous -- a winner once again! My Dad told me it would have made the professional bakers on his family's side proud. What a compliment! This recipe will definitely be making many more appearances in the future.
Peach and Raspberry Pie w. Lattice Crust
(adapted from various pie recipes)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (JAM note: I used a mix of 1/2c brown sugar and 1/2 c white sugar)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 peaches, skinned and sliced (JAM note: I probably used roughly 3 small peaches and 1 nectarine)
1 pint raspberries (JAM note: I used 2 pints)
juice from 1/2 orange (JAM note: I used a couple tablespoons of grapefruit juice I had on hand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg ( JAM note: I mixed about a tablespoon of raspberry preserves and equal parts water and heated in microwave for a couple seconds to glaze the pie crust and then sprinkled with sugar)Vanilla ice cream (optional...fresh whipped cream would be great too)
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (JAM note: I only refrigerated for 10 minutes...I'm impatient what can I say?) Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in peaches, raspberries, orange juice (JAM note: I used grapefruit juice), and vanilla; set aside.Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter (JAM note: I skipped the butter). Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Bake for 1 hr and 10 minutes (JAM note: I estimated since I had forgotten to write down the time when I transcribed the recipe)