Baking – Pies, Oh My!

In spite of mounting piles of student work to grade before finals (which are now one week away), Mister and I spent a lot of time together catching up as he'd been out of town all week. Also, as it was Memorial Day, I thought it might be nice to visit with friends.

Visiting means treats, like pies. Both recipes came from the book, Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie. I made a brown sugar peach pie and a strawberry pie.

Strawberry Pie!

On Saturday, I whipped up a strawberry pie from the cookbook. I picked up six baskets of strawberries at the Farmers' Market because I needed four cups of berries and wasn't sure how many slices would fit (about 3 baskets).

The filling tasted good, but it never gelled as it did last summer when I made the same pie. The crust was fantastic, but I think that

I may have been ungentle when I slid it into the oven. You can see in the photo that the pie lists to the side. Tasted good, but you couldn't sell that drunken sailor.

In the future, I think I will add more cornstarch to thicken it up. I used Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee recipe, which is flawless for a flakey pie crust without using lard or shortening. (If you need to use one, go for the lard.)

Last summer I baked the same pie for my parents' anniversary party. I used mint flavoring (the recipe suggests using white creme de menthe). Yeah, I'll never do that again. If you can get white creme de menthe, maybe it'll taste great, but I couldn't find any and defaulted to mint flavoring. Gross. Totally gross. (Fresh mint will brown during cooking, or so I'm told, but it might be worth a try as it works well in fruit salad.)

Brown Sugar Peach Pie

I traded out the crust for this pie as it requires rising but it wasn't warm enough over Memorial Day Weekend to rise. I opted for a pan-fried filling, holy cow. Wonderful!

Melt butter in a skillet, add flour (and a couple of other ingredients), and yum! It picks up the nuttiness of browned butter which complemented the peaches and brown sugar topping. We took the pie to our friends' house where folks were busy cleaning out the family barn and tidying the yard in preparation for a wedding this June. Mister and I had to leave before everyone sat down to eat. (We met our out of town friends, Emma and Raffi, for a good, but overpriced, dinner at Salt House in San Francisco.)

We picked up peaches from Blossom Bluff. They weren't stone-free, which is only an inconvenience for slicing, but man, juicy and nicely tart and sweet together.

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Baking – Pies, Oh My!

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