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LJWorld.com weblogs Wined & Dined

Fresh-fruit pies (and daiquiris?) a summertime must

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This weekend's peach pie, just out of the oven.

This weekend's peach pie, just out of the oven. by Sara Shepherd

While reporting today’s Food page feature on local peaches, I enjoyed the quintessential summertime experience of pulling a juicy ripe peach off a tree and eating it right there in the field, no napkin or anything. It was awesome.

Having that craving taken care of (thanks, Vertacnik Orchard!), I bought a half-peck of peaches on my way out to take home and cook with.

I used most of the fruit in a peach pie, then peeled and froze the leftovers to try peach daiquiris (this idea, new to me, was inspired by one of the sources in my story). If anyone else out there has good peach recipes (peach daiquiris, perhaps?!?), I’d love to check them out, just share them in the comments section.

I’m sharing my pie recipe. It may not be cutting-edge, but in my book, good old-fashioned fresh-fruit pies — richly colored, juicy/oozy, sweet and slightly tart — are one of the best things about summer, not unlike picking and eating fruit right from the tree.

Homemade Peach Pie

This recipe is adapted from Grandma Shepherd, the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book and Christopher Kimball’s “Classic Cookbook.”

Double-Crust

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup Crisco, chilled (may substitute a few tablespoons butter, if desired)

Small bowl of ice water

Milk

Granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-sized (if you use your fingers instead, work quickly to avoid warming the shortening).

Sprinkle ice water over the mixture, a spoonful or two at a time, tossing with your hands after each addition. Repeat until flour mixture is moistened and you can press the dough into a ball. Divide in half.

On a floured surface, roll one ball of dough into a 12-inch round. Wrap around rolling pin and gently unroll into pie dish. Add filling (see below) and repeat with second ball of dough, laying crust on top. Trim edges of crust, fold edge of top crust under edge of bottom crust, crimp together.

Brush top of crust with milk, sprinkle with sugar. Cut slits in top to vent.

Filling

8 cups fresh peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

3 to 5 tablespoons Minute Tapioca

1 tablespoon crystalized ginger, minced

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss all ingredients together, set aside to macerate while you make the crust (see above).

Place prepared pie in center of oven, reducing temperature to 350 F. Lay a piece of aluminum foil on top of pie. Bake 50 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 10 more minutes, or until crust is just browned and juices are bubbly.

Cool pie to room temperature (at least 1 hour) before serving, ideally with vanilla ice-cream.

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