Friday, March 28, 2014

Cherry Peach Pie

Two cherry peach pies that are ready for their top crust.

Fruit pie making is fun because there is lots of room for flexibility. The only recipe you need is one for the pie crust and then the filling is up to you — berries, peaches, cherries, apples, pears, rhubarb - any fruit, frozen or fresh, works.

Toss the fruit of your choice with the desired amount of sugar (about 1/2 cup for naturally sweet fruits like peaches and blueberries and up to a full cup for tart fruits like sour cherries and rhubarb) and add some flour or cornstarch to thicken (between 3 and 6 tablespoons depending on how juicy the fruit) and you've got pie filling. Other nice additions like cinnamon, ginger and vanilla are up to you.

It's also fun to experiment with mixed fruit combinations like this Cherry Peach Pie that I recently made with my friends Anne and Tiffany. I brought the crust ingredients, Anne brought the cherries and Tiffany brought the peaches and in no time we had two pies baking in the oven. It's liberating not to feel limited to a recipe.

So pick your fruit and go bake a pie.

Here's the only recipe you'll need, the one for pie crust:

Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 cup Crisco
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup ice water

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add Crisco and using your fingers, break it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some large pieces remaining.

Add the water, a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is moist enough to easily pull together into a ball. Make sure you add enough water since a dry dough is difficult to roll out. Divide dough in half and roll out on a floured surface for the bottom and top crusts.

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