Saturday, July 30, 2016

Peaches and Cream Pie

I'm at my happiest when the peach is in season.  Here in Oregon, it is usually a short season and once it is picked tree-ripened, it will not last too long.  I get my peaches from a family friend and every year I will not want to miss their juicy and sweet peaches.  Every year in July, I will come home with at least 20 pounds of peaches.  A third will be freeze for making smoothie, another third will be for fresh consumption, and the last third will usually become dessert.

This is one the desserts that I chose to make when the first batch of peaches arrive.  I'm also a sucker for custard dessert so even if this type of pie isn't in trend anymore, I will still make it.  The creamy filling has the smooth peach puree, while the top is decorated with chopped fresh peaches.  And as an added decoration, lightly sweetened whipped cream frost the edges of the pie.  It is an optional item so I'll leave it up to you.

The hard thing to do with this pie is the waiting time.  It needs to set for at least 3 hours before we can eat it, so the anticipation is building up.  It doesn't disappoint, I promise.

Peaches and Cream Pie

Makes 8 servings

1 9-inch graham cracker crust pie shell

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
4 large ripe peaches
2 1/2 cups (approximately) light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Extra cream to make whipped cream, optional

In a medium non aluminum saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt; do not heat.  Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat well with a whisk.  Peel and slice 2 of the peaches, dropping them into a 2- to 4-cup measure.  Pour enough cream into the cup to get an even 2-cup measurement.  Pour the cream and peaches into a blender and puree.  Pour the puree into another non aluminum saucepan, add 1 more cup of the light cream and heat gently, just until hot to the touch.  Remove from the heat.

Whisk a ladleful of the heated mixture into the egg yolks.  Stir this into the saucepan with the dry ingredients and turn the heat on low.  Gradually add the rest of the liquid, stirring almost constantly and slowly increasing the heat to medium.

When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down a little and cook, stirring, until quite thick, about 3 minutes; get your spoon into the bottom crease of the pan so it doesn't stick or burn there.  Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the vanilla and then the butter, several small pieces at a time, waiting until it melts to add more.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly over the filling so it doesn't form a skin.  Cool for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, assemble the pie.  Peel and slice the remaining peaches, cut them into small cubes.  Ladle the filling into the pie shell, then drop cubed peaches on top, press lightly to submerged the fruits.  Let the pie cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover loosely with a foil tent; it should touch the pie's surface.  If desired, frost the pie's edges with sweetened whipped cream.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Source:  adapted from Country Baking by Ken Haedrich

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