Monday, July 5, 2010

Making the Pie


Seems that the last Top Chef Quickfire got our Pie Mojo rolling. Had to break out the flour for the crust. When it comes to making pies I generally rely on Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie Bible. Written in 1998 it's served me well both with it's many options of crusts and filling flavor combinations. However since the rise of the Internet, Rose has updated this particular recipe at her website, Real Baking With Rose. I will definitely be trying this out in the future.


Which is good because I made some mistakes with my pie. First the filling. My peaches were fairly ripe but I think next time I'd mix just ripe peaches with a bit softer fruit. Rose's cookbook peach filling recipe calls for 6 cups of sliced peaches with slices cut into 16ths but her blog calls for the 6 1/2 cups cut a little thicker. I think that would have worked a little better with the peaches holding up better in the finished pie. The even bigger change is dealing with the juice that will be released by your peaches. Why I like this recipe is that you're dealing with the juice before it gets into the crust. You let your peaches macerate for at least 30 minutes, drain and then you cook down that juice. In the book it suggests reducing it to 1/3 cup while on the blog it adds butter to the juice and reduces it to half and then adding it back into the peaches. Either way you're cutting down on the chance that your pie will bubble over with fruit juice.

I really didn't treat the edges well of my pie. I should have made a much thicker edge and protected it better when I baked it. It's a little too overdone, not very stable or pretty for my tastes although I do like using the star cut outs on the edge. I baked those very carefully in my toaster oven and then added them to the pie for the last ten minutes of baking. Should have only gone the last five minutes and turned the oven off for those last five.


Still it tasted darn good. The flavor of peaches needs little dressing unlike apples. A little almond flavoring to brighten it up. The crust could have been better but practice makes perfect.

Not to mention I wasn't the only one who took inspiration from the Pie Challenge. Moi over at
Bite the Apple sent me her personal snapshot of her finished Peach and Blueberry Pie. Have I mentioned I can't do a lattice topped pie worth spit?


Continuing in our peach pie-ish theme is Dani's Peach and Blackberry Cobbler. You can find it at Gardening Under the Florida Sun.


Hmmmm biscuit topping. Did anyone else bake this holiday weekend?


Dani said...

Great minds think alike! :)

moi said...

Look how pretty your pie is with those cutouts! Love the stars!

And Dani, that cobbler looks divine. Cobbler is one of my husband's favorite deserts. I'll definitely try this.

Teasing out flavor from baked peaches is always a trick, though. Cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract—I've used them all. This time, the blueberries just overwhelmed everything. I enjoyed my crust though, even though the blueberries spilled over and made a mess. It was my first attempt at a lattice and next time I'll make the strips thinner and put them closer together.

Also, I'm about to spring for one of these:

Usually, I just cover the edges with strips of foil after about 10 minutes or so in the oven, but that's just too wasteful.

Making Space said...

That pie looks beautiful - love the tablecloth underneath, evokes an era when people did this all the time...

Love Moi and Dani's contributions too, I swear I can smell peach pie baking as I type this!

I've always wondered why people complained when their pies were too juicy - I know it can make a mess but that juice is goooood.

Thanks y'all for remindin' me of my grandma and her garden and all of her summer fruit pies...

I baked a cake, and slathered it with cream cheese frosting. Vewy nutwitious.

Big Shamu said...

Dani, I think it's more hungry stomachs yell for peaches.

Moi, I had a pie shield but it was the wrong size for the pie pan I used. That's what happens when you buy vintage pie pans.

MS, that's actually a dish towel that the lovely Susan of 29 Black Street sent me. I'm waiting for you to develop a new kind of frosting, one that marries your love of cream cheese with Ranch Dressing. I expect it to be a hit all across America and you'll get your own singing cooking show, The Hungry Soprano.

Syd said...

I'd hit both of those pies. Twice.

And I'm very picky when it comes to pie.

Susan said...

Dang ! Did I go and miss another DSSunday ?? oh well ! that darn cowboy won't eat pie anyway as you know he's "all" Heart Healthy No-Butter, No-Lard, No-Shortening). I cheat (occasionally) but then you already knew that. And hey ! I recognize that new, but vintage looking, tea towel. xo les Gang

ps. that peach pie looks mighty fine, a scoop of your best premium vanilla with mine s'il vous plait

Big Shamu said...

Dear Sweet Susan, you did NOT miss a DSS. The latest Top Chef challenge had the chefs making pies and it was embarrassingly bad. So some of us got inspired and baked. I don't think any of us used Celery Spuma on our pies. By the way, I hear there's a Canadian Top Chef coming your way. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Yes, that is your lovely tea towel. It was a perfect fit with the pie, thank you so much.

Sharon Rudd said...

Susan, you weren't the only one who thought she might have missed a DSS. Some darn fine baking going on this weekend by all involved. Great photos too, Shamy. And MS is right, they remind me of my grandmothers' kitchens.

LaDivaCucina said...

I noticed the tea towel too, lovely! We did horrid computer techie work all weekend but it rained all weekend anyway. I felt an urge eat warm brownies but cheated and got a Ghiradelli mix, which was quite good actually. I added cinnamon and chile powder to give it some kick. Could. Not. Stop. Eating!

Your pies were all my faves! Blueberry Peach and cobbler too!

copper pots and pans said...

Oh man, one of my favorite things in the summer is all of the fruits that you can use to make delicious pies! These just make my mouth water, I need to go home today after work and see if I can make your Peach and Blackberry Cobbler. That just looks immaculate!

Kathleen said...

Great post. I think I could live off peach pie. Love your star cut outs!!!