I’m a pie person. Pie is so homey, so traditional, so good with coffee, so hard to perfect. I’ve had daydreams of opening a pie and coffee place (among many other pie-in-the-sky dreams). Whether I follow that folly or not, I figure it can’t hurt to work on my pie skills. I’m pretty confident in my lemon meringue, chocolate, and pecan pie, but I have never attempted a fruit pie (not even apple!). Also, I hesitate to admit that I’ve never even made my own crust (my mom worked! She taught me shortcuts!) . My friend Chaela’s mom on the other hand, works hard making her homemade pies and quiches every day at Antique Sandwich Co in Tacoma, WA. Chaela promised me pie crusts aren’t as hard as I think. So, I put aside my fears and attempted my first crust.
Chaela was kind enough to give me her recipe which was the basic flour, butter, water (optional yolk). I read a lot of pie posts around the web and learned that I want to keep the butter and dough as cold as possible to achieve a deliciously flaky crust. This meant I used a fork to fold the flour and butter as opposed to my hands. (As an aside, I first attempted to mix the flour and butter in the Vita-Mix, thinking it would serve as a food processor as well, but it failed. 1 point lost for the Vita-Mix). I also worked furiously fast, terrified that the butter was melting with each precious second. I think it just made me nervous. I put the rolling pin in the fridge to make it easier to roll out and covered it and the table with lots of flour (I used white whole wheat flour, which I found out about from Heidi of 101cookbooks).
I rolled out half the dough and while it presented a few small dificulties (I needed even more flour and a spatulula to pry it up from the table), it seemed to work! I transfered it to the pie pan and did a little dance. I put the pan (and the rest of the dough for the top) in the fridge to cool until I was ready to bake.
The 9lbs of peaches I picked yesterday at Delicious Orchards were begging to be made into a pie, and since Alejandro is allergic to raw peaches, he still needed to taste the amazingness of a Colorado peach.
I adapted this recipe (from Texas to Colorado) and cut 5 or 6 peaches into pieces (leaving the peels), tossed them in fresh lemon juice and then tossed them in a dry mix of 1/4 c white whole wheat flour, 1/2 c sugar, a good shake of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. I added the coated peaches to the pie crust, threw on some cubes of butter, and attempted my first latticed top (harder than it looks). I forgot that I had to weave the strips over and under each other (duh) until I saw that the pie just looked ridiculous. So I corrected it as best I could, happy to settle for pretty, if not perfection. And I gotta say, I’m proud.