Sunday, July 18, 2010

Peacha Pie




I’ve got some news for you: summer is here baby. In fact, it’s almost over.


It’s hot and dry and humid all at once, the sky is big and blue and wide and open and full of buxom blowsy clouds. Days begin early and finish late. Cicadas wake me up and lull me to sleep. Heat waves shimmer on pavement hot enough to fry an egg, and then an omelet, and probably some french toast for that matter. Sunflowers bloom. Air conditioners whirr. People while away hours at the swimming pool; life is better when you’re neck deep in ice cold water.


I always have big plans at the beginning of summer: I’m going to read War and Peace and study Russian history and I’m going to learn to ballroom dance and I’ll get a job and I’ll sew a quilt and paint the walls of my bedroom and get my driver’s license and learn French and go on day trips and make ice cream everyday of the week and wake up early and learn to how to jam and relearn Spanish and take voice lessons and read five plays and in my spare time I’m going to make doughnuts and go thrift/vintage shopping and go to yoga classes and hang out at coffee shops and chill with friends. And dance.


So far, this summer, I have:


-Learned how to say “You’re welcome.” in French.

-Woken up early, 6 days a week, and not because I want to. See Dance.

-Made more pie than any sane person should.

-Watched movies.

-Danced


And to be honest, that’s about it.


I get strangely apathetic in the summer. Not BLAH. Just lazy. During the school year, the word I would use to describe myself is FRAZZLED. This summer, after almost a full year of freak-out, on-the-go-ness, my slovenly tendencies have blossomed, and I’ve accomplished exactly zip.


Though I don’t know if rising at 7:00 am IN THE SUMMER, SIX DAYS A WEEK counts as a slovenly habit. Not that I’m upset about it or anything. Did I mention that it’s summer?


This pie holds a special place in my apathetic summery heart.


This pie is a summer pie. You can only make it in the glorious summer months. Because it's a peach pie.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get sentimental about peaches. They’re the perfect summer fruit, just as this is the perfect summer pie. This pie never fails to impress. It never fails to get eaten immediately.


Do something with your stupid apathetic summer. Get off your ass and make this pie.


My dad likes to call it Peacha Pie. It's peaches plus a custardy filling. What could be better?


There is a lot of contention at my house about this pie. This recipe is an heirloom, which means it’s from my grandma, Ann Bryce. (SIDENOTE: My favorite cousin Kathryn recently berated me for not publishing any "Bryce Family Recipes" on this blog. SEE KATHRYN, A "BRYCE FAMILY RECIPE."AND AN HEIRLOOM NO LESS.) My dad insisted I make this pie for a dinner party we were invited to the other night. Only, he insisted we do it his way, rather than my way. His way means doubling the amount of butter originally called for and NOT melting it and adding two extra eggs. If you do it HIS way you’ll need to increase baking time, and that’s all detailed in the instructions below.


Peacha Pie

6 or 7 peaches (depending on size of peaches and of pie), sliced, with pit removed
4 or 6 beaten eggs
1 scant cup sugar
4 or 8 tablespoons butter, melted or not melted
1 pie shell, partially baked

Use this pie crust.

HOW TO PARTIALLY BAKE: Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out 1/2 recipe of Best Pie Dough, and carefully fold into quarters and transfer to greased pie pan. Butter the shiny side of piece of aluminum foil, fit the the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and, if the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, return the pie plate to the ocen and bake for about 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored. (If you want to fully bake the crust for a different kind of pie, simply bake until golden brown, about another 10 minutes.) Transfer to a rack and allow to cool.


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Arrange peach slices in a partially baked pie shell. In a blender or with a beater combine eggs, sugar and butter until smoothish. Pour over peaches. Put pie on baking sheet, place in oven and bake for an hour. To check if custard is fully cooked take pie out of oven and jiggle it a bit. If it jiggles a lot, if probably needs more baking time. The custard should turn a light golden brown. When fully cooked, pull out of oven and let cool. Eat.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the crust is partially baked, when you put it back in the oven with the filling, the crust will continue to bake. To prevent the crust from burning and tasting nasty, it is highly advisable to cover the crust, AND ONLY THE CRUST, with strips of aluminum foil.

5 comments:

Eileen said...

Heirloom PIE?
Dandy.
This is a memory pie since I have eaten since a wee child. My grandmother would bake one early in the day and set it out to 'set' up till evening. The anticipation of PIE for dessert made the summer days seem endless.
Therefore I must beg to differ with your Father re the recipe. I have made this for YEARS and since I am older than he and thus far more experienced in matters of the culinary variety, my expertise supersedes his silly attempts to alter an historical masterpiece.
Firstly, I never pre-bake the crust.
Second, the recipe is rich and as close to perfection as there can possibly be. Therefore I have to wonder.....why on earth would anyone tamper with perfection?
My advice? Do not pre bake crust.
Stick with 4 Eggs and 4 T. butter and 1 +1/2 C. sugar.
The beauty and the ZEN of this recipe is its sheer simplicity and honest respect of the great and mighty summer PEACH.
Don't mess with nirvana.
AMEN.

zaza said...

Hey Mary, the link to the pie crust recipe doesn't work.?
Frank

The Hungry Girl said...

Sorry Frank, I can't figure it out, blogger isn't working for right now. I'll keep trying to fix it, but for now, here's the link for the crust recipe:

http://adventureswiththealwayshungry.blogspot.com/2010/06/god-is-good-but-pie-is-great.html

Sorry it didn't work!
m

zaza said...

Hi Mary,
I figured out the problem. Your blog is generating this link: http://http://adventureswiththealwayshungry.blogspot.com/2010/06/god-is-good-but-pie-is-great.html
Note the TWO 'http://''s at the start of the link. I think you just need modify your syntax by taking out one of those and it will work.
I've got a bunch of peaches and am going to give this a shot today.
HTH,
Frank

zaza said...

Mary, I made the pie and I'm about to cut it open. Photo at http://gallery.me.com/kurzawa/100173/DSC_0189

I went the full retro route: none of Robert's ridiculous suggestions (Hey Bob - it's not an omelet). And I didn't pre-bake the crust either. We'll see how that worked, but it also saves a step.