Like seemingly every other weather-related delay this year, the peaches took a while, but the good ones have finally arrived in Virginia just in time for the Fourth. Once these beautiful golden globes start showing up by the bushel full in the grocery store,
I know that summer is really here and a bunch of juicy delights awaits. Collecting peach recipes has been a hobby ever since I left the Peach State back in ’83, and over the ensuing years, I have discovered that the simplest cobbler and pie recipes for these sweeties are usually the best.
Ellen swears by her favorite cobbler recipe from lDd, so I promised to give it a try while she was enjoying more serious culinary pleasures in Italy. As the focus of her recipe is the filling, my testing became the perfect opportunity to try the vodka pie crust that kMg inquired about back in May.
I confess: I am one of those people who turns to the Pillsbury ready-made crust any time a recipe calls for a pie crust. I do like Martha Stewart’s pate brisee recipe but only use it when I don’t have to roll it (think pie tartlets). It’s the rolling into an even circle that is my Achilles heel.
Sunset Beach Peach Cobbler Supreme does not require a round crust,
- 8 cups sliced fresh peaches
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 T all-purpose flour
- ½ t nutmeg
- ½ t almond extract
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- Foolproof Pie Dough
- Combine peaches, sugar, flour and nutmeg; set aside until syrup forms. Bring peaches to a boil, then cook over low heat 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; add almond extract and butter, stirring well.
- Roll out half of pie dough to 1/8" thickness and cut into 10x8" rectangle. Spoon ½ of peaches into a lightly buttered 10x8 dish, top with pastry. Bake at 475° for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon remaining peaches over pastry. Roll out remaining dough and cut into ½ inch strips. Arrange in lattice design. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until brown.
so I had no excuse not to try what Cook’s Illustrated calls its Foolproof Pie Dough. The promise of flakiness and just a touch of sweet encouraged me to give it a whirl with some of the reader suggestions. With these rolling pin rings as the guide for a flat 1/8″ thick dough, I was delighted at the combination of these two recipes to make one beautiful and tasty dessert.
- 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 t table salt
- 2 T sugar
- 12 T (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼" slices
- ½ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- ¼ cup cold vodka
- ¼ cup cold water
- Process 1½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.
- Combine vodka and water, and with processor running, slowly poor liquid through feeder tube until it is incorporated.
- Dump dough onto clean surface and roll the dough into a ball. It should be slightly tacky. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and press each into a flat disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerator at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
With a bit of vanilla ice cream, Sunset Beach Peach Cobbler Supreme epitomizes peach season
If you are more of a pie person, how about a Red, White and Pie buffet to complete that cookout? Every since seeing this cute buffet
on Celebrations at Home via Giggles Galore, I have had pie on the brain. And now that I have a new favorite pie crust recipe, I can’t think of anything more perfect for the Fourth. Here are my choices:
Fresh cherries are also filling the shelves in my grocery store, so a fresh cherry pie seems like the perfect red component for a 4th of July pie buffet. A bit of internet research revealed a great way to pit cherries. Put a cherry, stem down, on top of a glass bottle opening. Take the cover of a meat thermometer and push it through the bottom of the cherry.
The pit and usually the stem will pop right out and into the bottle which also captures much of the juice. WARNING: any way you pit a cherry, use an apron because the juice is going to splatter everywhere.
Smitten Kitten’s Sweet Cherry Pie recipe sounded uncomplicated and tasty, and I couldn’t wait to try it with the foolproof dough.
- 4 cups pitted and stemmed fresh cherries (about 2½ pounds unpitted)
- 4 T cornstarch
- 2/3 cup sugar (can be adjusted according to the sweetness of your cherries)
- 1/8 t salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- ¼ t almond extract
- 1 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
- Foolproof Pie Dough
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Gently fold together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon and almond extract in a large bowl.
- Roll out half of the Foolproof Pie Dough on a floured work surface to a 13" round. Gently lift the dough into a 9" pie pan either by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan or folding it into quarters and unfolding into the pan. Then trim edges.
- Carefully spoon filling into pie crust, discarding the majority of the liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Dot the cherries with the cold butter bits.
- Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, lift and drape it over the filling and trim it, leaving a 1/2" overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively.
- Cut slits or other decorative elements like stars in the crust with a sharp knife or cookie cutter so that steam can vent. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350° and bake the pie for another 25 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack.
- If using cookie cutters for venting design, cut them out before draping the top crust over the cherries.
- Smitten Kitten suggests brushing an egg wash over over pie crust for shine then sprinkling with coarse sugar.
Beautiful and delicious, this recipe is a keeper.
Rustic pies seem to be popping up everywhere, and when it comes to quick and easy, Southern Living’s Lazy Day Peach Pie that I found years ago fits the bill perfectly. While it is super simple with the pre-made roll-out dough, I couldn’t wait to try it with the Foolproof Pie Dough.
- 3 cups sliced peaches (1½ pounds)
- 1 T lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 4 t all-purpose flour
- ¼ t ground nutmeg
- ½ recipe Foolproof Pie Dough
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 T water
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Combine peaches, lemon juice, sugar, flour and nutmeg in a medium bowl and gently blend all ingredients.
- Roll Foolproof Pie Dough into a 14 x 11-inch oval either on a large floured flat baking sheet or a Silpat mat that is then lifted onto a rimmed cookie sheet.
- Spoon peach mixture onto pastry leaving a 2" border. Fold pastry border gently up and over peaches, folding the edges where necessary.
- Combine egg and water. Brush egg mixture onto the top and sides of the crust.
- Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden. If necessary, cover top crust with foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool for 30 minutes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle edges with powdered sugar, if desired.
Again, another winner.
Last but not least, my blueberry pie go-to recipe is Ken’s Delicious and Easy Blueberry Pie that I picked up from the Swift Creek Berry Farm’s stand at the St. Stephen’s Farmers Market a couple of years ago.
- 3 cups blueberries
- 1½ cup sugar, divided
- 1/3 + ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup butter, softened but not melted
- ½ recipe Foolproof Pie Dough
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix together 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 2 eggs and sour cream. Add blueberries and blend well.
- Roll out Foolproof Pie Dough and lay into pie dish. Pour blueberry mixture into crust.
- In a separate bowl, blend butter, ½ cup sugar and ½ cup flour until crumbly. Scatter over pie filling.
- Place pie dish on a baking sheet to catch drips and bake for 1 hour.
So which will you have for the 4th? Cobbler or Pie? How about a little of both? Make any of these recipes ahead of time, rewarm at the end of supper, add a bit of ice cream and have a Happy 4th of July with family and/or friends!
July 3, 2013