On Not Cooking with the Seasons

Peach Pie - Homemade

Peach pies are a thing of glory and, it turns out, a true thing of summer.

I have been saving a peach pie recipe for a while now and finally got the time, the peaches, the crust all happening at the same time. Go for it! The crust rolled out nicely and I crimped the edges. So far so gorgeous. I blanched the peaches and put them in cold water so the skins could slip off. This was the first problem and I probably should have stopped there and found a bunch of apples that looked like they needed pie-ing. But I get an idea in my head and...there you go.

The skins were not even close to slipping off. I ended up paring them off with a knife and they were very firm pieces of fruit. "Oh, don't worry, the oven does wonders to fruit", I thought to myself as I chopped them up. Then I made a carmel that turned out fine but hot carmel on cool peaches is not easily tossed as so blithely instructed by the recipe. I also added the flour and cornstarch thickener which immediately also raised my concerns. I find these two make an unattractive pie especially if there isn't enough juice produced by the fruit to dissolve them. I've had much better luck with minute tapioca but the clock was ticking and I didn't have time or energy to re-do the recipe's math with tapioca.

The kitchen is getting hotter, I'm getting more concerned but plunged on. I put on a top crust, brushed it with milk, sprinkled it with sugar and in to the oven it went. A very long time later, out it came bubbling and brown and looking quite nice. However, it lacked any peach scent. The fruit had cooked down and all seemed normal but when I bent over to enjoy the sweet smell of my pie labors, all I smelled was crust. That buttery smell is fine but this isn't a crust pie.

It cools, we wait and finally time for a slice. Bad. Barely a hint of peach, and the caramel makes a brief appearance on the palate then disappears for good. The fruit looks cloudy from the thickeners. At least the crust turned out well. We will be finishing piece number three this evening and then the rest goes in the trash even though it kills me to waste food. Life is too short to listlessly chew through a pie that might as well have been made with turnips.

Despite this bad pie experience, I remain undaunted. My next plan is actually make a pie with fruit in season. What a brilliant idea! Classic apple pie it is.