Baking with Becca: Summer Peaches

One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies.  We’ve been picking and buying fruit at Chiles Orchard, located nearby in Crozet, VA.  Not only do they have a variety of fruit such as strawberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and apples but they also sell yummy ice cream, baked goods, canned products, and doughnuts on a daily basis.  Check them out at www.chilespeachorchard.com for more information, fruit availability charts, and recipes.

We recently bought several pounds of sweet yellow peaches and while delicious on their own, there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence every once in a while..  Enter the Peach Pie!

Butterific Peach Pie

Ingredients:

* Store bought butter pie crusts, or a recipe for two 9 inch pie crusts (My pie crust recipe is a secret for now!)

* 6 cups fresh sliced and skinned peaches

* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

* 1/4 cup white granulated sugar

* 1/3 cup white all-purpose flour

* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

* Zest from one small lemon

* Pinch or so of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or any other spice you prefer.  I mix it up depending on what I find in the cupboards!

* 2 (or 3, or 4) tablespoons of butter

* 1 egg white, mixed with a few tablespoons of water

Instructions:

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 400.  Make sure there is a rack in the middle.

2.  Skin and cut the peaches into slices.  There is a super easy, stress free way to skin peaches.  You will need a medium size pot of boiling water, a large bowl of ice water, and a slotted spoon.  Cut a X in the bottom of each peach, and place them in the boiling water with the spoon.  I usually put three peaches in at a time, and leave them in for 15-20 seconds.

The riper the peach, the less time they require!  Next, transfer them to the ice water until they are cool enough to handle.

Then, peel off the skin like so!

Naked peaches!

3.  In one large bowl mix peaches, sugars, flour, spices, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Resist urge to eat as is.

4.  Roll out one pie crust and place in pie dish.  Crimp edges with fork, or use two fingers to create a wavy edge as I did.  Fill crust with peach filling.

5.  Place pats of butter over peaches.  My own personal motto: the more butter, the better.

6.  Roll out second pie crust.  My favorite way to top a pie in the summer is with a lattice top.  It looks intimidating, is actually super easy.  After you cut out a round crust, use a pizza roller, or a sharp knife to cut six equal strips.  Use every other strip to cover the pie lengthwise.  Next, fold up the outside two strips, and place a strip across the pie horizontally.  Lay the vertical strips back down.  Repeat, but this time lift up the middle vertical strip.  For the last strip, lift up the outer vertical strips again.  Secure the lattice strips by pressing them firmly to the bottom crust.

7.  Top the pie with eggwash and plenty of white sugar to make it sparkle!

8.  Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn oven down to 350 and cover edges with foil.  Continue baking for an additional 45 minutes or until pie is bubbly and golden brown.  Every oven is different so stay close and keep an eye on it!

9.  Let pie sit and cool until firm.  Serve with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for happy bellies!

This particular pie is headed over to our wonderful neighbor George, who is always kind enough to bring us goodies from his garden.

Accidental Peach Sun Tea

For easy clean up I threw all of the peach pits and skins into the ice water bowl.  After the pie was made I noticed that the water had turned a lovely peach color, and decided to make iced tea from it.  The results: a refreshing and surprisingly peachy tea that was easy as pie!

*Throw peach pits, skins and scraps into bowl of water.

* Add 2-4 tea bags, depending on how big of a caffeine kick you want.  We used Lipton’s, but an herbal tea may be nice for different flavors.

*Cover with plastic wrap and set out in the sun for several hours (or until dark, if you forget about it like I did.. Whoops).

*Remove tea bags and peach debris, and pour into pitcher.  Refrigerate until cool, serve over ice with mint or basil sprigs.  YUM!

-Becca

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One Response to “Baking with Becca: Summer Peaches”

  1. katelin Says:

    Wow Bec-that pie looks delish-I may have to try the recipe! It looks like things are really coming along out there, I can’t wait to come visit and check things out!!

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