Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Flavor of Summer

One of my favorite combinations is peaches and blueberries, which are luckily in season at the same time. These beauties called to me from the farm stand tucked under old oaks that border the steeplechasing course. They sing in this lattice top pie laced with ginger and lemon.

Ginger Scented Blueberry Peach Pie

2 pie crusts, recipe follows
7 slightly under-ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 pint blueberries, rinsed
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp lemon extract
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
milk for glazing
coarse turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out pie crusts into 2 rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Mix together remainder of ingredients. Transfer one pie crust into a greased pie plate. Transfer filling into pie crust. Use a pastry tool or pizza cutter to cut the other crust into strips.

Weave the strips in an alternating pattern over the filling. I like to start with one direction of strips all laid out across the top. Start in the center with the strips running perpendicular, placing the first perpendicular one over the middle strip, under the next one on either side, over the next and so on. With the next strip, use the same concept but start by running it under the center strip, then over the next. Continue the pattern until pie is loosely covered with lattice. Crimp lattice into bottom crust's edges using fingers or a fork. If these instructions are still confusing try this tutorial with pictures from Simply Recipes.

Brush pie curst with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Put a baking sheet with sides on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips.

Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate pie 180 degrees, reduce heat to 375 and bake 30-40 more minutes, until top is golden brown and juices bubble thickly.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if you like, although it doesn't need it.

For all-butter flaky pie crust:

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tsp cubes
1/2 cup ice water

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and spices. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or fork (avoid using your hands or anything that might warm it up, as this will prevent a flaky crust. Drizzle in water as you cut in, then gently knead, adding more water bit by bit until dough stays together when pressed but is not sticky. Form into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before rolling out.

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