Monday, August 23, 2010

Peaches and Cream

When the peaches came in in July (early for this far North NYS) we'd buy a basket and savor it for days. Now, though, they are ripe on the shelf, and need to be separated and consumed as fast as we can. We  take them outside, stripping the shirts off the small ones so that the peach juice doesn't stain their clothing (if anyone knows an antidote for peach juice, please share) and holding our chins away from our chests as we bite in.

Still we can't stop eating them. Whole, cut and peeled, in cereal, pancakes, ice cream, or topped with Greek yogurt and coconut. They are so good fresh we haven't bothered baking with them -- until now, as they ripen by the tens on the counter.

So as a parting gift to my step-daughter, who reads this blog from her food-challenged University with her stomach growling, I made a peach pie, her request. The addition of the cream and cornstarch make a smooth base for the peaches, and the crust is infused with creamy almond flavor as well. Make ahead long enough to cool most of the way, and the crust can harden up like a crumbly cookie.

Peaches and Cream Pie

1 package Mi-Del pecan shortbread
1/4 cup browned butter

8 ripe peaches
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 Tablespoons rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt

In a small metal pan, melt the butter and cook until brown foam forms on top; off the heat if any solids begin to separate. Whiz cookies in a food processor and add butter. Pack into 9-inch pie pan.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and drop the peaches in for 1 minute each, this will make the skins slip off as easy as Hugh Hefner's panties. Working over a large mixing bowl to catch the juice, slice peaches in 1" wedges to the pit and discard the pits. Add the rest of the ingredients and bake at 400 degrees for 55 minutes. Check the pie towards the end of the cooking time and if the crust is browning too fast make a small rim of aluminum foil to protect it from direct heat.


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