What's Cooking - Paprika Peach Pie

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's peach season and I can't resist a peach dessert!  To ensure that I indulge in a quality dessert I decided to try my hand at making a pie or two this summer.

Pies are a food that I associate with gatherings of family and friends at a special event or holiday.  I am happily discovering that making a pie is a fantastic way to lure your busy friends over.  It is WAY more satisfying to share a slice of pie over a good conversation with a good friend or three.  Pies are special and peach pie is even more special because this fruit has a very short season (mid to late summer).

Yes, I know pie is not typically on the "healthy" spectrum of the "what to eat" list but on occasion a slice of pie will not harm your diet especially if you are sourcing quality ingredients.  For this pie recipe I used minimally treated nectarines from a local farm, unbleached, organic, all-purpose flour, and grass fed cow's butter.  These three ingredients make up the bulk of this pie recipe and I felt confident that I wasn't compromising my diet.  I also feel that if you like to bake making something from scratch with the intention of sharing it with friends can be a very therapeutic and meaningful exercise.

The benefits of eating peaches & nectarines:
  • Nectarines contain both antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene which have the power to protect your body certain illnesses and diseases.
  • A cup of nectarines contains 186 mcg of lutein which is also an antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals in the body.
  • Nectarines are low in calories.  One medium nectarine contains about 60 calories and no fat.
  • Fact: the only difference between a peach and a nectarine is their skin. Peaches have a fuzzy exterior where as nectarines are smooth. 

This recipe comes from a cookbook authored by a very popular pie shop in my neighborhood called Four & Twenty Blackbirds.   I can't recommend this book enough if you are looking to make a variety of excellent pies and want learn how to make an outstanding crust.  (I substituted nectarines instead of peaches for my pie.)

2 1/5 lbs peaches peeled (enough for about 5 cups)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 Tbsp potato starch
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 dashes Old Fashion bitters
Egg Wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt)

*All butter crust for a 9 inch double crust pie - you can use a homemade crust or a ready made from the store.

1.  Slice the peaches into 1/2 inch slices, add to a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice.
2.  Add the granulated and brown sugars, potato starch, paprika, white pepper, allspice, ginger, salt and bitters and toss will to combine.
3.  Spoon the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, leaving behind excess juices.
4.  Arrange your second crust as a lattice or pastry round on top and crimp the sides as desired.
5.  Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 - 15 minutes to set the pastry.
6.  Position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425º F.
7.  Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat.  If your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn).
8.  Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown.  Lower the oven temperature to 375º F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
9.  Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours.
10.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Note:  The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.
For  alternative raw, delicious, gluten-free peach cobbler recipe click here!


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