After interviewing pie-baking champion Aliene Bieber for this week’s food cover story, (and, along with the rest of the newsroom, quite enjoying the pie in this picture), I typed up the recipe she shared with me to keep for myself (and inevitably not execute as well as she does someday when I try it). But, I figured, why keep it only for myself when sharing on the blog is so easy?
We also have recipes for Harold Agnew’s Basil Chive Bagels and Katherine Berkowitz’s Whole Wheat Bread. You can find those here, along with winning recipes from last year’s 4-H food contests.
Here is Aliene’s cherry pie recipe, with two approaches to choose from for the pastry.
3 cups tart red cherries
1/2 cup cherry juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter
Mix sugar, flour and salt thoroughly in a sauce pan. Add cherry juice, extract, cinnamon and coloring. Stir until well blended. Cook until thickened then add cherries. Let stand while making pastry.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup shortening
About 1/3 cup of cold milk
Sift flour, salt and sugar into large bowl. Add shortening. Cut into the flour with pastry blender or hands until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle with milk. Toss mixture lightly until mixture forms a soft ball. Roll out half of dough. Fit into pie plate. Trim off edge. Roll out the other half of dough for top of pie. Put cherry filling into pastry lined pan and dot with butter. Place top pastry on pie. Trim and tuck edges.
Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes longer.
Aliene’s Pie Crust (for two-crust pie)
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup butter-flavored shortening
4 Tablespoons cold nonfat milk
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
Mix flour, salt, sugar and shortening until you have a crumbly mixture. Using fingers, mix lightly. Add milk and syrup. Mix just until dough forms a soft ball. Roll out half at a time. If baking for a one-crust pie, bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. If making a two-crust pie, bake according to recipe.
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.”
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
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.
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.