I was walking home from Central Park a few weekends ago with my friend Josh and we were talking about food. He likes to cook as much as I do so no matter what conversation topic we start out on, it really always comes back to something along the lines of, “So what are you making for dinner tonight?” Josh has mainly learned to cook from his mom and so he was telling me about some of her signature dishes. Then all of a sudden he went quiet.
“There was one time, though – we call it the meal that shall not be named – that something she made just didn’t turn out.”
“What was it?” I asked.
He shook his head sadly. “I didn’t mean to do it,” he said morosely. “It was all my fault.”
“It will make you feel better if you talk about it. Let it out,” I said, putting a hand on his shoulder.
After a moment of silent consideration, Josh nodded and began his tale. (The sky begins to darken at this point and even though up until now it has been a beautiful sunny day, there are some definite cracks of thunder and lightening in the distance. Not a sign of good things to come.)
“We have this tradition in my family where for your birthday, you can request a meal and Mom will do her best to make it. I wanted a really simple dinner, something easy, I think it was meatloaf or a roast but for dessert, and here is the fatal event, I requested a pecan pie. And so she set about to make it, all the while maintaining that pies just aren’t her thing. And so we sit down to eat it, we’ve blown out the candles and everything. She hands me the pie cutter and I sink it into the first slice. And it is a liquid mess. Completely inedible. She hasn’t been the same since.”
We walk in silence for a bit more, Josh contemplating the gravity of what he has done, me contemplating whether or not the powers that be have issued me a challenge in the form of Josh’s story. Pies are hard, they seem to be taunting, much too hard for an amateur like YOU.
Bring it on, I replied. (Cue background music – Eye of the Tiger).
This one’s for you Josh.
And for the record, it wasn’t that hard.
The only changes I made to this was to double the cornstarch since that is what many reviews said to do on the food network website as well as to use a crumb topping instead of a top crust. This pie was very good – not too sweet, which really allowed the flavors of the peach and blueberry to shine through. The crust was also AMAZING. My favorite part, actually, it was infused with this lemony flavor from all of the zest. It will definitely be my go-to fruit pie crust recipe in the future.
Makes 1 9-inch pie, adapted from Tyler Florence
2 lb peaches, pitted and sliced
1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter, cold and cut into dice
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3/8 cup butter, cold and cut into dice
1 tbsp ice water
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, very cold and cut into dice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Move the oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
2. Make the crust – combine the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the base of a food processor. Add in the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water. Pulse some more. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Loosely drape it over the rolling pin and transfer it to a greased 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough over the bottom and sides and trim the edges to 1/2-inch.
4. Toss the fruit with the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Pile the fruit into the pie shell and dot with butter.
5. In a food processor, mix together the crumble ingredients and pour over the pie. Put on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 50-60 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if they brown too fast. Cool before serving. Unless you can’t wait to eat it but be warned it will be VERY messy to cut.
I am submitting this to Tyler Florence Fridays!