This seems to be the week for baking challenges for me! Five weeks in July, and they all seem to hit this week!! LOL! Well, that's OK. Here is my entry for this month's You Want Pies With That? pie baking challenge. The theme this month was "What pie reminds you of summer". Well, for me, it's 100% peach. I love really good ripe peaches. I'm talking the kind that is so juicy it runs down your chin while your eating it. I love a good ripe peach that tastes like "captured sunshine". So for me, it had to be a peach pie.
The other thing that was important to me is that it wasn't "muddled up" with something else. I didn't want a peach-blueberry pie, or a mixed fruit pie with peaches in it. Summer to me is all about "simple" and "kick-back-relax". So I wanted a simple peach pie that tasted like summer sunshine! Hey, I'm easy - right? LOL!! We are not quite into peach season here in the Midwest, so I had to rely on my local grocery store. All I could find was white California peaches. I bought them a few days early and let them "ripen" in a brown paper bag. They were just fine this morning when I began the pie.
Well, it's not that easy to find a simple peach pie recipe. Everyone wanted to complicate it - from Ina Garten to even (gasp!) Paula Deen. After some searching and playing around, I found a nice simple recipe from Recipezaar that I only changed ever-so-slightly by adding a little almond extract. So here's my recipe - hope you take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of summer!!
Simple Peach Pie
(modified from a Recipezaar recipe)
pastry for a double-crust 9" pie (I use the recipe from Hillbilly Housewife)
1 T apricot preserves
5 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/3-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4-1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t almond extract
2 T butter
2 T sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.
Wash, peel, and slice fresh peaches.
Mix together peaches with almond extract and combine with dry ingredients.
Brush apricot preserves onto pastry-lined pie plate. This will help keep the pastry from getting soggy.
Turn peach mixture pastry-lined pie plate and dot with butter.
Cover with top crust, cut slits in it, seal the edges.
Sprinkle top with 2 T sugar
Cover the edges with foil to prevent over browning; remove foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake 35 - 45 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust.
Let cool then serve with vanilla ice cream.
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE ON MY PEACH PIE:
Well, I've never "updated" a blog entry, but this one was needed. I was over on the You Want Pies With That? blog and looked at some of the recent entries for "Summertime Pies". I was shocked!! They are all so beautiful!! My "humble pie" was embarrassing!! People came up with pies based on favorite summer foods, one had a watermelon ice cream pie - one had a pie that was adorable, but I couldn't even pronounce the name!! They are incredible and the bakers are very talented. If you get a chance, hop over there and take a look at some of their entries. You'll really be inspired! So here I am with "simple peach pie" -YIKES!! I almost e-mailed the organizer to withdraw my pie. How could I possibly be so stupid? (well, don't ask my 12-year-old son that question - he thinks everything I do is stupid!!).
But before I withdrew my pie, I decided to have a bite. I know what you're thinking: "You haven't even tried the pie yet??" Nope. Hubby got home a little late last night after buying a boat (that's a whole other post), and after eating dinner everyone was too tired and too full to try my pie. My poor simple peach pie. So here I sit at 8:00 A.M. cutting into my pie. And let me tell you.......
That is the BEST PIE I have ever eaten in my whole life!! The peaches were "just right", the pie wasn't a bit running, and I could "taste" the sunshine!! I felt like I was sitting in a little diner in a small town eating some awesome pie. And the crust - WOW - the crust was perfect. Here's an updated picture for you. If you can get your hands on 5-6 really good peaches this summer then MAKE THIS PIE. You won't be sorry!!
So maybe my pie is simple and lacks creativity, but I'm not withdrawing. I probably won't win, but I sure hope someone takes a look at this easy-as-pie recipe and gives it a try. You sure won't be sorry!!