Saturday, July 19, 2008

Peachy-Keeny Pie

The window of time when peaches are at their most luscious is brief. That's why I'm taking advantage by pumping out fresh peach pies as fast as my friend Janet can pick the sweet fruit from her trees. After all; there's only one thing better than a fresh strawberry pie, and that's a fresh peach pie.

Many of my friends admit to taking the easy way out and purchasing frozen pie crusts. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's really not necessary because it's so easy to make your own pie crust.

Before you roll your eyes and think "sure," as I did when my neighbor told me it's easy to make orange marmalade, let me assure you. When I say something is easy, you can believe that it is because I am admittedly one of the laziest food bloggers this side of the Whole Foods Market. (And no doubt on that side as well.) And I'm also a bit inept, probably due to a touch of ADD. I guess these are the two things that differentiate me as a food blogger. That and the Hapa Hillbilly thing.

But I digress. (Oops, the ADD is coming through). The point is that making good pie crust is as easy as pie. If I can do it, anyone can. And, with this recipe, it's just as easy to pump out four pie crusts as it is to produce one.

Easy-as-Pie Crust
(Makes four or five crusts)

5 C. flour
1 t. salt
2 C. shortening
1 egg beaten well plus enough milk to make a cup
2 T. vinegar

1) Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening.

I use two knives to cut the shortening into the flour, but you can also use a pastry cutter or a food processor.

2) Beat egg and add non-fat milk to make one cup. Add 2 T. of vinegar and stir.

3) Add liquid mix to flour mix and place ball on lightly floured sheet of parchment paper.

I thought you said "lightly floured."

4) Divide into four sections. (Technically, this recipe is enough for five, but it's not easy to divide a ball into five equal pieces.)

I like to bake two pies and freeze the other two balls of pie crust dough.

I think I first learned this easy trick for getting the pie crust from the parchment to the pie pan in my home ec class at Broadway Junior High in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Roll out the dough and then fold it four times.
1. Fold the left edge in a little past the center.
2. Fold the right edge in a little past the center.
3. Fold the top edge down a little past the center.
4. Fold the bottom edge up a little past the center.

That's what it's all about!

Plop the folded dough into the center of a pie plate.

Gently unfold.

Finally, flute the edges with your fingers or crimp them with a fork.
Don't forget to poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork before baking.

After your pie shells have baked to a warm, golden brown, the final step is to fill with fresh peaches and a variation on the Shoney's strawberry pie filling recipe:

1 C. sugar
dash of salt
4 T. peach Jello
2 T. cornstarch
1 C. water

  • Combine sugar, corstarch, salt and water.
  • Cook and stir until clear.
  • Add Jello and stir until dissolved.
  • Mix with fresh peaches.
(This recipe is designed for one pie, but I find that it's enough filling for two. I use approximately 2 pounds of peaches per pie.)

Not bad for a lazy, inept baker, huh?


Karen said...

Looks delicious! I just got a big bag of peaches at the farmer's market so I think I'll try your recipe.

What kind of vinegar do you use? Cider? White? does it matter?

Susan Carrier said...

I use white wine vinegar, but I don't think it matters.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

That looks great. What does the vinegar do? My pie recipe is pretty similar, minus the vinegar.

Susan Carrier said...

I have no idea about the purpose of the vinegar. Chemistry or taste? Its presence isn't detectable in the crust.

Piper Robert said...

Re: "I have no idea about the purpose of the vinegar. Chemistry or taste? Its presence isn't detectable in the crust."

Tisk, tisk. Grandma would be disappointed. A splash of vinegar makes for a flaky crust. Grandma said when I was a wee lad, I liked to stand on a chair and watch her cook.

Yesterday, Bonnie made a "mess" of fried green tomatoes. Outstanding.

Glad you're feeling better!!! Love ya.

Piper Robert said...

p.s. You do remember what a "mess" is, don't you?

Susan Carrier said...

I confess - I didn't recall Grandma's secret to flaky pie crusts. And her crusts were in deed flaky.

Yes, I do know what a "mess" is, but at first I thought you were dissing Bonnie's cooking. When will she make another "batch" of fried green tomatoes?

Petrea said...

This is a fabulous post. I'm bookmarking it. I don't know if I'll ever actually make pie crust, but I mean to. I don't know what shortening is.

Susan C said...

Ooh, that reminds me. I still have two pie crusts in my freezer.

Shortening (aka Crisco) is that white grease that comes in a can.

Petrea said...

Oh. Duh!