Winter peach pie

>> Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tonight I made my first pie from scratch and managed to surprise myself with the outcome. A winter peach pie with a lattice top was my goal, and my goal was accomplished. To make a pie, you first must tackle the crust. To make a pie crust, mix in a large bowl:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 solid vegetable shortening and 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

Break the shortening into large chunks and cut the butter into small pieces then add to the flour mixture. Cut the fat into the dry ingredients by chopping with a pastry blender until the consistency is dry and powdery, not pasty. Drizzle over the top 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water.

Using a rubber spatula, cut with the blade side until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula. If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water. If not, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water and repeat. Cut your dough into two pieces and press into two flat disks and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, to make the filling you will need:

2 1/2 pounds canned sliced peaches, "packed in juice"

Pour into a sieve set over a bowl and shake lightly to drain. Measure 3 cups of fruit and 1/2 cup of juice and combine in a large bowl with:

2/3 cup dark raisins
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Let stand for 15 minutes while pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees.

Roll your dough into a large circle on a floured surface with a floured dough pin. The key to rolling your dough is to apply pressure on an angle and roll in opposite directions, not back and fourth. Carefully lift your dough and lay inside the pie pan, trimming the edges to 1/4 inch and folding under the edges. Roll the second disk of dough and either cut into long strips to create a lattice top or leave in tact to create a closed top crust.

Fill your pie with the filling and top with the crust. Brush the top with an egg yolk mixture (1 egg yolk + 1/8 teaspoon water).

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Slip a baking sheet beneath it, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until thick juices bubble through the vents, 25 - 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack before serving.



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