Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Deep Dish Peach Pie with Pecan Streusel

Ok, I'm back. For realsies this time. Promise.

It's been a hectic year here in the 'Rillo (Camarillo, CA for those of you not in the know). Having a preschooler and a toddler keeps me busy. It's mostly keeping busy by vacuuming 32 times a day, 47 loads of laundry a week, and making fresh, healthy, tasty food that neither monster will come within 15 feet of for fear of contamination. As everyone under the age of 5 knows, the only safe food is Kraft Mac & Cheese. Or string cheese. Most certainly NOT homemade mac and cheese with REAL cheese. God forbid.

Quinn, brave little soul that she is, will eat pretty much anything I BAKE. Cook, not so much. Bake, yes. If it's in cookie or muffin/cupcake form she'll snarf it right down (if I could just figure out how to bake a chicken breast into a cupcake...). But alas, I don't have high hopes that it will keep. Colin was the same once and now only chocolate chip cookies or "normal" cupcakes (read: chocolate, vanilla, or red velvet) are acceptable. He turned his nose up at chocolate chocolate chip cookies this week. Something is seriously wrong with the kid. If he didn't look like a clone of his dad I'd worry he was switched at birth. No kid of mine should be walking away from a cookie. Ever. Well, unless there's raisins in it. And even then, they can be picked out.

I HAVE been baking. A lot. But the blogging and the photos stopped. When Q-tip is squawking for one more Bubble Guppies and C-dog is screaming on the floor for Angry Birds, setting up my photo "booth" seems to get knocked down on the list of fires to put out. So more often than not, my treats sit on their pretty white plate for a day or two before I give up the fight and put it out of it's misery.

So, that's what I've been up to. I don't have many back-logged photos, so I'm just starting from scratch. Here's the plan:
1) re-bake all of my old recipes that have gathered dust. I submitted a cake to the Ventura County Fair that I could swear must have been excellent. Why else was it in THE BINDER? Only sacred, drop dead deliciousness go into THE BINDER. But....not so much. Apparently it was excellent before I knew any better. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't binder worthy.

2) Work through the 1,247,313 pins I have on Pinterest. I've made a dent, really more of a ding, but it counts. You're on Pinterest, right? If not, go NOW. NOW, I said! It's like crack but without those unsightly track marks.

If you go check out my pins and see something you want me to make, tell me!

Let's get this party started! This pie was fabulous!! Very summery but different than the peach cobbler that I usually make with farmer's market finds. I will most definitely make it again.

Deep Dish Peach Pie with Pecan Streusel

Streusel topping
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup cup (packed) golden brown sugar (I used dark, I had some extra sitting around)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced (I froze it with the shortening)
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, frozen, diced
3 1/2 tablespoons (or more) ice water


3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (I used small pearl)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (didn't have any so I upped the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 3/4 to 4 pounds peaches, peeled with vegetable peeler, halved, pitted, cut into 1-inch wedges (I only used about 2.5 pounds because I don't have a deep dish plate)

Streusel topping
  • Stir flour, oats, sugar, and salt in medium bowl.
  • Cut in butter with a fork or cutter. You're going for small moist clumps.
  • Mix in pecans.
  • Cover and chill.
  • In food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt for 5 pulses.
  • Add butter and shortening. Pulse until you get very coarse meal (about 5 long pulses for me)
  • Drizzle 3.5 tablespoons water over the mixture. Pulse again until it just starts coming together but is not a big lump. If you squeeze it in your palm it should stay as a moist (not wet) clump.
  • Gather into a disk, wrap and chill for one hour. Any longer than that and you'll need to let it sit out for about 10 minutes to soften up a bit.
  • Roll out onto parchment paper, transfer to a pie plate, fold over edges (or cut them off, whatever you like), chill.
  • Stir sugar, tapioca, and spices in a bowl. Mix in lemon juice then peaches and toss to coat.
  • Let sit 20 minutes or so, mixing once or twice.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Spoon filling into crust then sprinkle with topping. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet (it WILL bubble over!)
  • Bake 30 minutes then turn down the oven to 350° and bake another 45-ish minutes. Cover with foil if necessary. Cool for several hours.

Notes for next time:
  • I used white peaches. To do again, I'll use yellow. The white are too mild.
  • The crust is FABULOUS. I'm not a seasoned pie baker. I've really only ever made a few with scratch crusts. I feel like everyone who makes a really good pie crust had a nice, squidgy-around-the-middle grandma to teach them. My grandmother preferred that I polish silver in my spare time. But even with very little experience this crust came out perfect. Crisp, flaky, buttery, relatively easy to work with. Next time, I'll bake the pie directly on my pizza stone to crisp up the bottom a little more.
  • It's too juicy. Not that this is bad, but it most certainly doesn't make for pretty slices. I did cut the peaches down to 2.5 pounds but left the spices, tapioca, and sugar the same. After sitting there was quite a bit of juice, which I just dumped over the peaches before I added the topping. It did thicken (thank you miracle tapioca!) but still made for one overly sloppy pie. Next time I'll up the spices and leave that extra syrup out. On a side note, trying to take a picture of a pie that won't hold it's pie-shape is less than amusing. Especially when Quinn is pulling on my pant leg and yelling for milk (kids are just so NEEDY). It took all of my photography set-up prowess to get a picture that looked kind of like pie and not crumble. All of that prowess being a C battery propping up the back of the crust. Don't hate on the mad skills.
  • Streusel was perfect. Pecans gave a nice crunch, oatmeal gave some chew. Leave it as is!

Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

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