Saturday, June 28, 2008


The Stonewall, TX Peach JAMboree experience (which I highly recommend) isn't complete without mutton riding, wild cow milking, and walking away with a half bushel of peaches. Some idea of what half a bushel minus 20 peaches looks like...
Needless to say, some peaches need eated.

Peach Project #1: Spiced Peach Pie with Buttermilk Crust

Pie crust and I have a brief, yet unhappy history together. However, as a firm believer that buttermilk makes everything better, this recipe prevailed. The crust rolled out easily and baked up tender; the cardamom and cinnamon gave the peaches a hint of warm, delicious spiciness.

I also made this pie with a handful of blackberries thrown in with tasty results. This crust recipe would work well for just about any fruit pie.

Spiced Peach Pie with Buttermilk Crust
Adapted from Bon App├ętit | August 1999

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup chilled buttermilk

½ cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 3/4 to 4 pounds ripe peaches (about 6 cups fruit)
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

Make crust (when you don’t have a processor):
Mix flour, sugar and salt. Toss in butter and lard. Take 2 steak knives and cut up the chunks into smaller bits. Should look like chunky flour, yum! With a spatula, stir in 3/4 cup buttermilk, smearing the bits of dough against the side of the bowl. Dough should look a might dry and crumbly, but comes together in a moist clump when you take a handful and squeeze it. Gather dough into ball. Divide into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into disk. Wrap disks in plastic; chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Peel your peaches:
Boil some water. Cut a little ‘X’ into the bottom of peaches and toss them into water for 30 seconds. Transfer them into a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Peel, halve and pit peaches. Mix 3/4 cup sugar and next 4 ingredients in large bowl Slice peaches into bowl with sugar mixture; toss to coat. Let filling stand until juices form, 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out larger dough disk on floured surface to 12- to 13-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 3/4 inch. Mound filling in dish. Roll out second disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Drape dough over filling. Pinch overhang and edge of top crust together. Fold edge under. Cut several slits in top crust. Crimp edge. Brush pie with beaten egg; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on center rack in oven. Bake 50 minutes. Place baking sheet on lowest rack to catch drippings. Continue to bake pie until crust is brown and juices bubble thickly through slits, covering very loosely with foil if top browns too quickly, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack 1 hour, or cut into it hot and let it run everywhere with a scoop of ice cream.

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