You simply have to take advantage of peaches in the summer. Like tomatoes, there is really no other time to eat them. The ones you find in the off-season are just sub-par and that’s why we have to dive in and get them while we can.
If you have a market near you that sells them, please, please, do yourself a big favor and get a GOLDBUD peach or nectarine. I don’t know what kind of Harry Potter magic spell they are putting on their fruit trees, but damm! I’m telling you I have never tasted anything better. They are like super-charged with sweetness. Truly like candy. And also HUGE. One summer when I lived on Martha’s Vineyard I worked at a farm stand/nursery that sold them. Each day I would pick a nectarine to take home. I could only afford one, because, well, I was poor and they are somewhat expensive as fruit goes. I always chose wisely. I’d wait until I got home. I’d wait until after dinner. I’d wait until hour 2 of the summer Olympics program for that evening and then when the anticipation was sufficiently build and I could no longer wait another minute, I’d break that nectarine out, rinse and eat. And there was no sharing it—under any circumstances. That’s how good they are. I noticed on the website that you can order them and have them shipped to you. I may just have to do that. . . www.goldbudfarms.com
So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get into the first recipe. This week we’ll be talking about Summer Pies and Tarts. The first on the list:
PEACH BLUEBERRY PIE
Do not “wasteâ€ GoldBud peaches in a pie, they must be eaten ripe, raw and out of our hand. However, if you can score some WILD bloobs, definitely do that!
1 recipe pie crust pastry, recipe below
2 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced
1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
juice from half a lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Divide the dough in half and set one half aside covered in plastic wrap. Lightly flour your counter or board and roll out the dough to about a 10-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the of pie plate. Trim the edges so they are even at about a half an inch.
3. Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon, and cornstarch. Spoon the fruit mixture into the pie shell and add the butter.
4. Roll out the reserved dough the same way and lay gently over fruit. Trim as needed, and crimp the edges. Cut a few vents in the top of the pie and brush with the beaten egg. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbly–50 to 60 minutes. You may want to position the wrack in the lower part of the oven, and if the crust edges brown too fast, put a little tin foil on them.
Cool the pie and serve with vanilla ice cream (of course!)
BASIC PIE PASTRY:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
Combine the flour, sugar, salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the butter is the size of little peas. Add the egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands. The deal with pie crust is you don’t want to over-work it. That’s when it gets tough instead of tender and flaky. So, don’t over do it. Just mix it together long enough so that the dough comes together when squeezed. If it is still a bit too dry, add a little water at a time til it comes together. Once it’s right, shape it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and put it in the refrigerator. Make sure you chill it for at least a half an hour before rolling it out!
People get all wiggy about making piecrust, but the truth is—it’s easy. You really just need to remember to use COLD butter, don’t handle it more than necessary and let it chill in the fridge. Don’t be intimidated! Go forth and make pie!