I feel like I should make and eat more pie. Particularly when it is filled with peaches and blueberries.What is it about pie?
I always think food nostalgia harks back to childhood memories of foods your mother fed you. Or that you ate in the sunshine, without a care in the world. Or foods that make you feel comforted, that generate a feeling that everything will be okay. But for me, my pie nostalgia only goes back 2 years – to the summer of 2014, when I was interning at CooknScribble. It was there that I learnt to make pie; to participate in conversations about food as someone with expertise; and to investigate how people go about learning and teaching food in informal settings. And so I suppose it is a nostalgia of sorts – one associated with the USA, new friends, sunny days, outdoor swimming, cooking, baking and talking to people about food.
But my pie enthusiasm is also not about nostalgia. It is about my love of baked fruit. There is little I love more than fruit baked with a little sugar until it is soft, perhaps slightly crunchy at the edges, and ideally, combined with oats and custard. It is why I love crumbles sooooo much. I know people write about their ideal peach being one that they bite into (or slice and eat), savouring the juices as they run down their chins. But I admit, I am not one of them really. Yes, I will eat peaches raw (or nectarines or plums or apricots) and particularly when we are in Spain, the fruit is perfectly ripe, and it is actually too hot to contemplate eating anything heated. But my favourite way to eat summer fruit is to slice it in half, sprinkle it with a little sugar and butter, and bake it in the oven. Then I can eat it warm, possibly (almost certainly) with custard. Or cold for breakfast the next day, with yoghurt.
This is why I love pie.
This is a photo essay (with notes) of making this pie. The recipe is from Food52.
First steps: make the pie dough. This needs to rest in the fridge. Yossy has you roll and fold the dough like you would rough puff but this did not achieve the flaky pastry I’d envisioned so I’m unsure of the purpose of this. I’m not sure why my pastry wasn’t very flaky – I may try this again to be sure but my pastry was like regular pie pastry, not like rough puff. Once you’ve rolled, folded and chilled the dough, roll half of it out and line the tin. I use an incredibly handy tart tatin tin. This has been one of my best equipment buys because it is so versatile.
Blanch the peaches in boiling water and then shock in cold water so you can remove their skins. If your peaches are not particularly ripe you will need to do this for more than the minute advised in the recipe.
You then toss the sliced peaches, blueberries, sugar, flour and lemon zest together. It will almost immediately get syrupy.
Place the fruit in your pie tin and preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the rest of the pastry into a long rectangular sheet and cut it into strips, and any shapes you like. Arrange these into a lattice a top the pie case.
Brush the whole thing with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!