August 27, 2011

The Boy Bakes: Pie!

To fill the Miami-sized hole in this blog, I'm filling in for Esther this weekend.

Now it is time for one of my favorite baking activities, pie baking. I think it’s also the favorite one that I share with others. There is something therapeutic about making a pie. Not even eating it (though that’s pretty good too), measures up. While convalescing from my recent wisdom tooth surgery, I made a pie for Esther as a thank you for driving me home and putting up with me over the weekend. The pie was also a test run for an entry in the DC State Fair pie competition at Columbia Heights Day.

Didn’t know that DC had a state fair? We may not be a state, with all the fair powers that come along with it, but last year the first DC State Fair was held at Columbia Heights Day. As you may know from a previous post, I entered a raspberry rhubarb pie. It didn’t win, but that only meant I got to enjoy the leftovers. This year, I decided to do something a bit more seasonal.

In researching what exactly would be in season, naturally, I came across peaches. To find something to pair them with, I chose blackberries and added lime for a citrus tang. Adding some spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) lent a good depth of flavor. This pie was a little tart, so I will follow Esther’s suggestion and taste the berries before using them to decide on sugar. My recipe is adapted from a peach strawberry pie, so the measurements for the sugar and spices in the filling are flexible. If the mix looks watery before you put it in the pie crust, add more flour and tapioca pearls.

Peach Blackberry Lime Pie

2 pounds (about 3-4) peaches
1 pint (or a small grocery container) of blackberries
Juice and zest of 1 lime
½-¾ cup granulated sugar
⅓-½ cup all purpose flour
1-2 tbsp quick acting tapioca pearls (the secret to preventing a pie filling from oozing everywhere)
⅛ tsp salt
⅛-¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut up
1 egg, well-beaten (optional, see note)
milk (optional, see note)
2 pie crust halves (I use this recipe from Simply Recipes (the Pate Brisee), but with a bit more water)

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Prepare a large pot and boil water in it over high heat. Also prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes in a large mixing bowl. Boil the peaches for 1 minute (a little longer is fine), drop into the ice bath. Peel the skin off the peaches and slice into a mixing bowl.

Add all other ingredients into the mixing bowl, and mix until combined. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to let the tapioca start working. While the mixture is resting, take out your prepared pie crusts.

Roll out the bottom crust and place it in your pie tin. Be sure to allow an inch of crust to go over the edge. Poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork (another piemaking trick for you - this prevents the crust from bubbling up while it’s baking). Add filling and dot with about a tablespoon of butter. Roll out the second crust and place on top. Pinch the edges to seal the crust. Cut slits in it with a sharp knife and brush the top with milk or a well-beaten egg (see note).

Put the pie tin/plate on a baking sheet and bake at 425F for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drop the heat to 325F and bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Cool on a rack and eat warm, chill it for the next day, cut it up and freeze it for later or take it to work let your coworkers enjoy.

Note: Brushing the crust with milk or egg is optional, but will result in a more golden crust.

No comments:

Post a Comment