Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My One Summer Pie

I make two pies a year. This one in the summer, and pecan for Thanksgiving. 

This is my favorite. The flavor is intensely peachy, not masked by too much sugar. The tapioca thickens the juice the peaches make. The nuts add a nice contrast to the soft peaches.

I never use canned peaches, instead waiting until I get a batch of ripe ones from Leonard's Orchard up near Cana, Va. This year's crop of Challenger peaches have been flavorful, ripened gradually, and didn't bruise. We've had them sliced for breakfast and I've frozen some.

By far, this is my favorite way to "process" them. I start looking forward to next year's pie as soon as the pan is empty. 

Peach Pecan Pie,
from the Colorado Cache Cookbook

Combine and let stand 15 minutes:
4-5 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar (sweet peaches need less)
2 Tbsp tapioca
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Before adding to the crust, you may have to pour off some of the peach juice. I leave not more than 1/4 cup of juice.

Meanwhile, combine:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter

Place half of the nut mixture into an unbaked pastry shell. Add peach mixture. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over peaches. 
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees and bake 20 minutes more. (I would cover the crust if it starts to brown too much, and bake another 5-8 minutes to be sure the bottom crust cooks all of the way.)

Bakers, would you pre-cook the crust a little before adding the peaches to keep it from being soggy? 

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