Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pie Attempt 1: Peach

For my first post ever, I decided to show the world my experiments with pie making. Peaches were on sale, so we got four huge ones and I thought a pie would be a good use for them-- we've been re-watching Pushing Daisies and it always makes me want pie, so now that it's coming back, I fully expect to keep experimenting with the whole pie concept.

I started with the recipe from Joy of Cooking, which is actually an Apple Pie recipe, but gives provisions for making it from peaches.

So! Start with peaches.
Like I said, we had four. I cut them up and skinned them and threw all the skins and pits in the compost. They made something around four of five cups. I don't think this was meant to be first, but I wanted to be sure I had enough before I committed to the crust-- should I make only the one crust? A double crust? A random amount of crust and then make hand pies instead of one big pie?

Turned out to be enough for a whole pie, so that's what I made crust for.

Next up was pastry-making. Two cups of flour sifted with a teaspoon of salt, then two thirds of a cup of butter and four tablespoons of water. Apparently, Florida is damper then I thought, because this came out very wet. I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and watched the latest episode of True Blood while it chilled, then came back and it was still really squishy. Mostly butter, even. So before I rolled it out (okay, after I rolled it out once and it broke because of it's own squishiness), I kneaded in maybe a half cup to a cup of extra four, and then rolled it out to make the crust. Still soft, but much more manageable. I also apparently suck at making pie crusts, because it was not at all circular, and it didn't come all the way up the sides of the pan, but it did well enough. Yay me! Preheat the oven to 450. I just knew it would be a mess, so I put it on a sheet pan. Top it with a little sugar, and in the oven it goes! Bake it for ten minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and cook until done. The recipe says 35 to 45 minutes, but my oven must run cold because it took more like an hour. The crappy crustal adhesion meant that it cooked out all over the edge and onto the sheet, so I'm glad I thought to put that under, but when it came out, it was a beautiful and only slightly weird pie!
So there we go! Pie number one! It's peachy without being overly sweet, and it's a little like peach jam, which is cool. The crust is almost like shortbread rather than pastry, but that might be because of the extra kneading. Might try a different crust recipe next time, or maybe do one of those neat lattice crusts-- it was good, but double-crust pies are a bit... crusty for me. I just prefer to do new recipes as they're written the first time, you know? I think it might be good with almonds or something mixed in, maybe a little lemonjuice to make it tang a little more... maybe make it earlier in the year so the peaches are more flavorful. But overall, it's a good pie and I'm pretty fond of it!

No comments: