Friday, July 06, 2012

As American As Peach and Blueberry Pie

Several years ago, my bestie began a July 4 tradition.  She bakes a made-from-scratch (including the crust!) pie.  Three years ago, she sent me a picture of said pie, and I absolutely fell in love with it.  It was the most beautiful pie I'd ever seen.  So I asked for her recipe.  The first thing I noticed was the homemade dough.  That was almost a deal breaker for me.  I love to cook, and I spent a lot of time in my kitchen.  But I do not love to bake.  First of all, I don't always take the time for exact measurements, which are essential in baking.  Second of all, absolutely nothing I've ever baked turned out like I thought it would, meaning it never looks like the picture!

Case in point . . . this past Mother's Day, Seth's family came over to our house after church for lunch.  There was this most delicious looking strawberry cake featured in one of my magazines.  It reminded me of my very favorite strawberry cake at a local bakery so I decided to try it.  It was a three layer cake with strawberry mousse in between the layers and strawberry icing.  And it was. a. disaster.  After nearly four hours in the kitchen working on just that one cake, I nearly threw it in the garbage.  The cake was dense, not light and fluffy.  And the mousse was nothing but a big, sloppy mess.  As soon as I started putting the layers together, it was slipping and sliding all over the place.  My husband came to the rescue and convinced me not to throw it away but to at least finish it since I'd already put so much time and energy into it.  So I finished it.  But it. was. ugly.  And it really didn't taste all that great.  So that was the point that it went in the garbage.  Lesson learned.  Next time, I will go to said bakery and buy my favorite strawberry cake.

Anyway.  The pie.  I did ask my bestie if the homemade dough was necessary.  The answer was, of course, yes!  And it really is.  I'm telling you, I could eat handfuls of that stuff raw.  And I did.  But don't worry; it doesn't have raw eggs in it or anything.  Just flour, sugar, butter and vanilla.  Last year was my first attempt.  My parents had recently been in town and brought with them some Georgia peaches fresh off the tree.  It was a bit sloppy and I had a time stretching the dough and then getting it in the pie plate.  And then I left it in the oven a little too long so it came out a little too much on the burnt side.  The filling was super yummy though so I scraped off the crust and ate just the insides.  And I decided this year that I'd try it again.  I made the dough a day ahead and kept it in the refrigerator.  And then the next day (July 4), I put the pie together.  

I learned from my mistakes last year and had a bit easier time with the dough.  It wasn't perfect, but you couldn't even tell after I filled it with all the goodie.  I was hoping to get my hands on some Georgia peaches, but they still don't have them at my local farmer's market.  So I had to settle.  And since I had some blueberries already in the frig, I decided to use them, too.  So here's my pie this year.
And then I used the remaining dough for my lattice crust topping.  After brushing it with egg and a sprinkling of sugar, I put it in the oven.
This year I made sure to adjust my cooking temperature and cooking time.  I probably could've left it in there a bit longer, but here she is:
Oh my!  So delicious and so worth the time!  This was my first piece.  I'll not tell you how many pieces I've enjoyed since then.  I'll only say it's almost gone.
And that was about as "patriotic" as we got this year.  No parades.  We didn't even go watch the fireworks over the Mississippi this.  I always love doing that because I just love fireworks, but Seth didn't think that was a good idea given my "situation."  And he was right.  I would've been most uncomfortable and probably down right miserable.  But we really did have a great day.  We assembled the baby's swing and bouncer.  The infant carrier is ready to go, and we assembled the stroller caddy.  Seth cleaned the cradle, and I found and ordered a new bedding set for it that is boy AND girl friendly.  I also began working on burp cloths and washed one last load of baby blankets.  We finished the day with a meal off the grill.

As for me . . . I'm already looking forward to next year's pie.  I think I might try peace and blackberry!


The Applings said...

What is peace & blackberry? Sounds like something we all need...ha! Forgot to mention said bestie had to request her own recipe back after a Martha Stewart flop of her own this yr...seriously, I don't recall giving you my recipe but so glad you have it!! Your pie turned out perfect!!

Anonymous said...

I think Mimi needs bestie's recipe, too! Crust is always a challenge for me. Don't make many pies with homemade crust.
We'll bring some good ol' GA peaches in a couple of weeks!