We love peaches this time of year -- and make do with frozen or canned ones the rest of the time. Every once in a while, I'm seduced by the rosy balls in the grocery store -- but invariably they're green. They look nice for a few days, then start to 'go.' And that's important, when you just brought home more than a dozen boxes of them.
So why not take advantage of today's current peach crop (and lower prices), and make some pie and tarts? They freeze nicely unbaked, and will be a good memory on some cold, windy night when the world seems heartless and cruel.
Or just serve it tonight.
|Try to keep the pie from disappearing!|
This recipe yields two pies (one open-faced, one traditional double-crust) and approx. four tarts. Cut it in half, if your peach supply is limited. Leftover dough can be sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, or spread with jam, then baked for 15 min.
PEACH PIE (and TART VARIATION)
8-10 tablespoons butter (you can use less, but extra butter makes for a more tender crust)
4 cups flour -- plus 1/2 cup for rolling out
1 teaspoon salt
ice water, as needed
sugar -- about 1/2 cup
7-10 peaches, peeled and sliced thin
Mix the butter, salt and flour together -- the easiest way is with clean, cool fingers, but a fork will do. Add just enough cold water, bit by bit, until the mixture holds together in a loose, damp ball. Divide it in fourths.
Pie #1 (open-faced, like the photo above): Take one of the pieces, and press it evenly in place in a tart pan, until the crust extends up on the pan's walls. (Use extra flour on your fingers to keep dough from sticking, and patch thin spots with extra bits of dough.)
Sprinkle the bottom crust heavily with sugar, then sprinkle with nutmeg.
Pile in the peaches -- about 2-3 cups worth. Sprinkle again with sugar.
Pie #2 (traditional two-crust): Roll another of the pieces out on a floured board until it is slightly larger than your pie pan. Fit into place, pressing as needed with your fingertips. Sprinkle heavily with sugar, then nutmeg, then add peaches for a rounded top. Add a few slices of butter, if you've got them.
Roll out another of the pieces for a top crust. Fit it on top of the peaches, pressing to seal two crusts together around the pie edge. Use a fork for the final press around the edge -- then prick some holes in the top crust. Sprinkle with sugar.
Tarts: Your final piece of dough will yield about four tarts. I use a tart pan, but you can also roll the dough out into freeform circles, and use that instead. Follow Pie #1 instructions to make the tart. (Push the extra dough up and over the fruit after you add it.)
Baking: 425 degrees for 15 min., then 350 degrees for 40-50 min., until crust is lightly brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
Note: All three may be frozen unbaked -- put them into the freezer in their baking pans, then slide out and bag when they're frozen. OR partially bake them, cool, and do the same. OR freeze them baked. I've had good results all three ways.
More good peach recipes and storage ideas coming soon.