We have about 3 weeks until the arrival of Baby Pear, and this house is in full nesting swing. The nursery is almost completed, the freezer is almost fully stocked with meals, and we have just enough time to squeeze in some more family summer fun before she arrives. Today's adventure was the Peach Festival at our favorite summer market: Ramsey Farmer's Market.
Of course, because I'm a maniac, I decided this morning to bake a peach pie for the contest they were hosting. I've never made a peach pie before, Actually, I've never made a pie before! My grandmother makes the world's best pies, so I have never felt the need to bake my own. But there I was, a huge bag of peaches on the kitchen counter and a few hours to fill before market opening, so a pie I made. I used the crust recipe my mom swears by, and modified my peach cobbler filling a bit (since I am out of bourbon, the shame!). Of course, my peaches felt a touch under-ripe to me, so I blanched them a bit longer than usual and ended up freaking out that I had overcooked them. Then Jude started climbing on me, I spilled a bunch of cream on the floor, we had a matchbox car emergency, and in the end, the pie came out of the oven at 11:45, 15 minutes before I had to enter it in the contest. I didn't have high hopes, though it did look pretty! I had to carry the hot as lava pie plate at a full preggo clip through the crammed market, but thankfully the judges were all late. I was all nervous to see one of the judges was Produce Pete, so I assumed he'd be a tough judge and figured, whatever, at least I'll have pie to stuff in my face later. To my surprise, about half an hour later they announced the winner and it was me! Sweet! Apparently the winners from a bunch of markets have to compete in a regional contest for a big prize, but that takes place in September, a few weeks after Miss Pear's due date. Methinks I will have to pass, but you never know. If preggo hormones inspired me to bake today, nursing hormones may inspire me to do it again!
Prize Winning Brown Sugar Peach Pie
3 cups AP flour
2 Tbls granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks plus 2 Tbls. chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbls white vinegar
1/2 cup ice water (you likely won't need it all)
8 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbls. cornstarch
2 Tbls heavy cream
In the bowl of your food processor, pulse flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add chilled butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add vinegar and 8 Tbls. of the ice water and pulse until just combined. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon and pulse quickly until the dough begins to come together. This happens fast and you don't want to add too much water or overwork the dough, so be careful! Turn dough out onto your work surface and gently shape into a mound. Cut the mound into two pieces, press each into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Prepare the peach filling. In a large bowl, toss peaches with brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Once the dough is fully chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove one disc of dough and roll out on a floured surface. Place dough into a pie plate, fill the shell with foil and pie weights or dried beans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and beans/weights and allow to cool.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon peaches into bottom crust. Discard excess juices. Remove second disc of dough from the refrigerator and roll onto a floured surface. Cut into 1/2 inch strips. The quick cheat way to make the lattice top is to simply layer 6 stripes across the pie horizontally, about 1/2 inch apart, then lay the other strips on top of them going vertically. If you'd like it to be fancy and official, you can weave them ala Martha. Press your strips gently to adhere to the bottom crust and trim any overhang. Brush lattice top with heavy cream and sprinkle with raw sugar. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. If your pie is beginning to bubble over, slide a cookie sheet underneath to catch any drips! Cover loosely with foil if the crust is beginning to over brown and bake another 20 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
He wouldn't stop chewing for a second, not even to smile. I guess it was good!