Margaux says…

Every year I make Granny’s Peach Pie at least twice.  It’s always been my absolute favorite pie, over all pies.  But every year, I say that I want a FRESH peach pie, one that celebrates the sweet, juicy, wonderfulness and deliciousness of the peach, a fruit that I absolutely adore, and that is only around for a nanosecond.  Not that Granny’s doesn’t…hers definitely has a huge peach flavor, and it is a wonderful pie (obviously, since I make it so often).  But my mom always talks about her mom’s peach pie, and how it’s like eating fresh peaches with whipped cream, and the thought of that appeals to me.

It took me so long to make this for a few reasons.  For one, I know I love Granny’s pie, and good peaches are in short supply usually, so I just stick to that recipe.  Secondly, my Grandma Major wasn’t particularly known for her pies (she made beautiful cakes, though!), and my Granny is…her pies are the best in town.

But this year I found a good source for peaches, and have been buying them in bulk weekly for about 4 weeks now, so I decided to give it a try.  I actually tried another fresh peach pie recipe earlier in July, but it was WAY too sweet and had way too much of the peach mixture that you pour over the fresh peaches.

Then my mom reminded me about Grandma’s recipe, and wrote it down for me.  OH MAN, is it good.  There’s still a few days left to get good peaches…you should definitely use them for this.  Next year, I’ll be making both Granny’s and Grandma’s peach pies, that’s for sure!

Grandma’s Fresh Peach Pie

One 9″ baked pie shell
7 peaches
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 2 pieces
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Peel peaches by dropping them into boiling water for about 1 minute, then taking them out and gently peeling the skin off.  Crush one cup peaches.  Combine water, sugar, cornstarch and lemon in a saucepan.  Add peaches, bring to a boil.  Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until thickened and clear..2 to 3 minutes.  Turn off heat, and add butter.  Cool slightly.  While cooling, slice remaining peaches into pre-baked and cooled pie shell.  Pour peach mixture over sliced peaches.  Chill for at least 3 hours.  Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Classic Blueberry Pie

June 22, 2010

Margaux says

The first pie I ever made was blueberry.  It was for my dad’s birthday, when I was about 10 or 11 years old.  My dad was never a cake guy (except Texas cake, which we’ll definitely do a post about later…its a family staple), so I made him a pie.  Pie making is big on that side of my family, and my granny is known all over town for her amazing pies, especially the crust.  So I’d of course already had a lesson or two before my big day of making my first pie. The pie was probably ho-hum…I used canned blueberries (it was October, in a small Midwestern town, in the 80’s, so there were probably no fresh blueberries to be found), and my crust was pretty mediocre, but I was very proud of myself, and my love for baking began.

I really wanted to make a strawberry pie this week because we’re in the height of strawberry season, but the strawberries at my regular grocery store AND at Stanley’s (a fruit and vegetable market here in Chicago) were terrible looking! I was totally disappointed, but Stanley’s had giant flats of blueberries on sale for $2.49 so I got those instead. Since my original blueberry pie in the 80’s, I think I’ve made only one other one in my life…I prefer blueberries in small quantities, like in pancakes or muffins. But for $2.49, I thought, why not?

This recipe is also from Joy of Cooking…I use a lot of their pie recipes.  They are very simple and very good!

Blueberry Pie

Prepare pie crust.  Roll half the dough into a 13″ round, fit into a 9″ pie pan, and trim the overhanging dough to 3/4″ all around.  Refrigerate.  Roll the other half of the dough into a 12″ round for the top crust and refrigerate it.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine and let stand for 15 minutes:

5 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
3 1/2 to 4 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch (use cornstarch for a lattice pie)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt

Pour the mixture into the bottom crust and dot with:

1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water. Cover with the top crust of lattice, then seal the edge, trim, and crimp or flute. If using a closed top crust, cut stem vents. Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Slip a baking sheet beneath it, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until thick juices bubble through the vents, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. The pie is best the day it is baked, but it can be stored at room temperature for up to one day.

I wanted to do a lattice top for this because baked blueberries are such a beautiful color.  Unfortunately, right when it was time to start the assembly, Desi decided he was ready for a nap.  So I did the short-cut version, which is laying all the strips one way, then laying the other strips right on top instead of weaving them in.  My strips are crooked, too…blame Desi for a not-perfect pie.  It tasted good, though!

Pie is best served with vanilla ice cream!  Yum!