Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peaches & Cream Pie (Would you like crust with that?)

I wish we had a peach tree in our own backyard.  Let me rephrase that. I wish we could plant a HUGE peach tree in our own backyard, and that we could have beautiful peaches by this summer.  I've hinted around with my Green Thumbed Husband, but so far I have the company of one Meyer Lemon Tree, one Eureka Lemon Tree and one fledgling Lime tree.  Now that I think of it, I wish we had an orchard of every kind of apple and stone fruit that grows well on the Central Coast of California!  Somehow, I don't think our little home plot of land could support my dream orchard. So, I wait for the first signs of California peaches at my local farm stand.  At last, the first peaches were spotted, but they weren't quite ripe.

I was craving peaches, and then I remembered a recipe in the June 2011 issue of Cook's Country Magazine that I had bookmarked.  Peaches and Cream Pie isn't anything new.  In the style of the family of Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country wanted to re-work the recipe so that the pie crust doesn't get soggy.  In order to accomplish this, this recipe required the roasting of the peaches, with a little sugar,  to release it's moisture. That made sense to me.  The pie crust is also partially blind-baked with pie weights and aluminum foil.  I'm not posting how I make my pie crust, as I have several different versions. If you want to use a commercially purchased one, please do so.  Otherwise, my favorite  pie crust recipe,is a mixture of shortening and butter and a "how to" is posted here.

The peaches are roasted, for about 30 minutes,  on the top rack of the oven, while the pie crust is baking below.  I liked the time-saving convenience of this procedure.

 Then it hit me.  I forgot to peel the peaches, before roasting them. D'oh!

After chewing myself out, for not following the directions that were clearly there, I was saved by discovering that the peels came off quite easily.  No harm, no foul.

The peaches are quartered and layered into the pie crust.
The filling comes together in a snap-- flour, salt, heavy cream, vanilla and egg yolks (the yolks helps the filling to set better.)
The filling is poured over the roasted peaches, and then baked until firm in the center-- 45-55 minutes.

While the pie was cooling, I noticed that the crust had shrunk quite a bit.  I'm guessing it's because I used a large deep-dish pie pan and I didn't quite have enough pie dough.  I decided to remove the pie and serve it like a tart. It worked quite well.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

...I had leftover peaches and filling. On a whim, my leftovers filled two ramekins. These were baked for about 30 minutes and came out bubbling and smelling wonderful. Ooooooooooh, crustless pieI have a confession to make.  Ready?  I'm not a huge fan of traditional pie crusts.  That's why I prefer fruit  crumbles or crisps.  The day before I made this pie, I made a creme anglaise and a raspberry coulis sauce.  I had an idea...

I served the pie slices, to my husband and guests, with the Creme Anglaise and Raspberry Coulis sauce. They loved the pie and the crust.  One of our dinner guests is from Atlanta, Georgia.  He should know what good peaches are all about! 

As for me-- I ate one of the crustless pies from the ramekin. Oh, boy!

TASTING NOTES:  Though the peaches weren't quite ripe, this recipe roasted and baked them to perfection.  I loved the crunchy and chewy texture of the pie filling, while the peaches tasted like "summer".  The edges of the ramekins had slightly caramelized the pie filling.  The pie crust was not soggy! The Creme Anglaise with the Raspberry Coulis sauce made this a glorified Peach Melba, in my book. Vanilla ice cream would be a perfect substitute.  I intend to make this same recipe, using fresh berries and I think it would work extremely well with apricots-- but I'm going to use all ramekins.  This pie disappeared within two days. As for that second ramekin-- I hid it.  It was all mine!  

With or without a pie crust, this is a pretty simple way to enjoy peaches. This recipe goes into my Family Favorites recipe file.  I hope you try it.  A printable recipe is at the end of this post.

Enjoy!






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14 comments:

Noelle Ritter said...

seriously... who needs dessert when I have your blog. this is hurrying up to the front of my "must make" list.

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

this looks fantastic. i have two wishes for my life before I die: have fruit trees and have chickens :-)

Aarthi said...

y mouth is drolling...this looks so yummy...can you please send me a piece

Kim said...

Oh my, Debby! I love everything about peaches, especially their beautiful fragrance. I can only imagine how wonderful the peaches smelled as they roasted in the oven. I can't believe how gorgeous the raspberry coulis is with the pie (genius)!

Joanne said...

I'm actually kind of obsessed with peach desserts but finding really good peaches up here is super hard. This sounds like the perfect recipe for me then!

Cheryl said...

OK you are scaring me here, LOL! I made the exact same pie last weekend, same recipe too! I used frozen peaches which does not work well at all mine was a mess, LOL!

Allie said...

Sounds like we are perfect dessert partners in crime because I also do not love crust. I loooove crumbles and the actual filling itself. So I would have been right there with you eating the crustless pie. What a great idea! You are always coming up with the best things Debbie!

Kathleen said...

This looks fabulous! I'm bookmarking right now!! Thanks so much for this share ;)

Monica H said...

What a pretty presentation with the raspberry coulis and the creme anglais. THis looks so good and I can't wait til my neigbors peaches start ripening up!

Mary said...

This is a really lovely dessert. My husband loves peaches so I know this dish will have a welcome spot on my table. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I can't wait till peaches are ripe to try this luscious dessert. I wonder if your peaches kept that bright red color on the outer part because you roasted them with the skin on?

Cathy said...

Beyond delicious, Debby! My grandmother made something similar with poached rhubarb and it was one of my favorite desserts when I was young. Love that you roasted the peaches. That must have smelled like heaven when it was baking.

Garnet70 said...

I baked this and it was wonderful! The peaches were difficult to peal and quarter and took longer than 30 minutes to release their water but assembling the pie could not have been easier. The result is sweet and creamy without being overly sugary or rich. It probably won't displace my favorite apple or berry pies from the top of my favorites list, but it was definitely a worthwhile addition to the catalog of great, seasonal pies. Also, I used the leftover dough and peaches together with fresh strawberries to bake some single serving deserts in ramekins which were wonderful.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Dear Garnet,
You don't have an email, so hopefully you'll check back. I made a mistake when I made this recipe by NOT peeling them before roasting. Guess what? My mistake actually was a blessing, as the skins peeled right off! As for quartering them, I didn't do that until AFTER the peaches were roasted and skinned. I love shortcuts, so this is a suggestion. Since this recipe, I made a peach sangria (most excellent) and I discovered that my apple peeler/corer (one that attaches to my counter) peeled my peaches like a charm. So simple. I also have a mango splitter (by OXO) that removes peach pits beautifully. I'm a gadgetholic! Thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed it.