Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ginger Peach Pie

cutoutslice.jpgWhile we may still be a few weeks shy of prime peach season, that hasn’t stopped me from stocking up on New Jersey peaches that are just beginning to hit the markets. They are decent, though not amazing, but after mixing them with lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar- and then baking them- you can’t tell the difference.
peachesincrust.jpgPerhaps it wasn’t the best weekend to bake a Ginger Peach Pie, given that the temps were close to 100 with staggering humidity. Humidity is pie dough’s worst enemy and in the past has left me with crust that doesn’t want to be lifted off the counter, leading to rips, lots of re-rolling and frustration in general. But after chilling the dough for hours and working quickly, this crust came together just fine and a delicious peach pie was enjoyed by all this past Friday night. And now, let’s not forget the ginger because after the peaches it is the star of the pie. The ginger has a sharp tang that brightens up the peaches and takes the pie from just a sweet summer dessert to one that is more sophisticated, with a punch. Our dinner guests left us with one big slice of pie and NAK and I may just have to wrestle for it. But no worries, as I have 2 more crusts defrosting in the fridge ready for this week’s fruit pie, so there are no losers here.
Ginger Peach Pie
Adapted very loosely from Saveur

This pie requires a top and bottom crust, and my crust recipe makes 4 crusts, meaning that I’d only be left with 2 crusts. I fully intend on making a fruit pie every week this summer – how can you resist with all the delicious fruit that’s making its way into the market- and so I opted to make 8 (yes that’s right!) crusts. If you don’t have unlimited flour on hand or just don’t feel like filling up your freezer with pie crusts, then either make the full crust recipe below (which will yield 4) or cut it in half and you’ll have the 2 you need for this pie. Crusts freeze well, just wrap with plastic wrap or wax paper and freeze in a ziplock bag.

Pie Crust:
5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons butter
12 tablespoons shortening
1 cup of cold water

In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar, butter, and shortening and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add water a little at a time until dough is moist enough to form a ball. (Note that you may need less water in humid weather). Divide the big ball into 4 equal balls and wrap in wax paper or plastic to freeze. Refrigerate the dough for this pie for 1-2 hours.

1 tablespoon. fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger (mince it using a microplane or grater)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3-4 pounds (about 9 to 10 medium sized) fresh ripe peaches
1 egg white
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

For the filling: Mix together lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Allow to sit while you prep the pie dough. Preheat oven to 375°. On a floured surface, roll out 2 pie crusts into 12 inch circles. Place one in a 9 inch pie pan, then add the peach filling leaving out any juice. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 an inch. Drape remaining crust on top. Trim the dough so the edges are even, then fold the top crust under the bottom crust. Pinch to secure the crust, then crimp edges. Slash the top of the pie to allow steam to escape then brush top of pie with egg white, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until golden, about 1 hour. Serve warm.

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