For years I have struggled making peach pie. Suzen was totally scared off. We could not get the right flavor balance: too sweet or too spicy. And there was the issue of sogginess.
Big, sloppy, the-first-piece-out-of-the-pie-is-a-disaster problems haunted us. I would look at peaches, pause, and sigh. I had no solution.
Until I got The Perfect Peach. Here is their perfect pie filling. Just a hint of cinnamon. Not too much sugar and enough flour to produce a filling that sets and that can be cut without a need for a sponge.
And the taste. The taste is peach, lovely, fresh, wonderful fresh peach. You can use this filling in a pie that has crust on the top and bottom or just the bottom with streusel on top. The little dollops of butter add a trace of richness that is subtle but certain to be appreciate.
Perfect Peach Pie Filling
Yield: 1 pie
- 6 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup granulate sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, instant tapioca or tapioca flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes
Place the peaches in a large bowl. Drizzle them with the lemon juice and stir gently to coat evenly.
If your peaches are especially juicy, drain off the excess juice and reserve for drinking later, or even while are making this pie. Use the extra tablespoon of flour for extra juicy peaches. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the fruit and toss gently to coat the peaches evenly. Set the peaches aside.
When ready, pour the peaches into a prepared pie pan. Distribute the cubes of butter evenly over the filling.
Top your pie with crust or streusel and bake away.
Source: The Perfect Peach by Marcy, Nikiko, and David Mas Masumoto
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑250
Suppose you grew up, luckily, with a grandmother who knew pies. Suppose, as an adult, you owned three Seattle coffee shops in 2008 and noticed the economy going south. Suppose you had the vision, if not the audacity, to see salvation through pie.
I rather like that term: salvation through pie. Maybe a new society, a church, … I digress.
Dani Cone is the person whose story is boldly and brightly described in Cutie Pies. You see, she had the idea of not just doing “pie” but doing it differently. Very differently.
So in Cutie Pies you will find both sweet and savory, and sizes small to smaller.
Her first cutie pies were baked in standard muffin pans. The muffin pan “dips” are each lined with a superior crust — and Cutie Pies supplies multiple recipes — and then filled:
- Pear Cranberry Ginger
- Black Raspberry
- Cranberry Nut
- Three Cheese and Onion
- Garlic Potato and Chive
- And more
Her petit pies are smaller yet, baked in mini muffin tins, for one gigantic oozing mouthful of flavor:
- Key Lime
- Banana Blueberry
- Berry Black Bottom
- Pear, Gruyere and Prosciutto
- Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill
But it is the pie jars that are the best idea in the book: bake in a mason jar lined with crust [see the pictures above and below]:
- Spiced Plum
- Raspberry Mint Chocolate
- Apple Cherry Rosemary
- Peach Ricotta Honey
There are other chapters in Cutie Pies: empanada-like flipovers and pie pops on a stick. And while it’s not exactly needed by the time you get to the end, there is a chapter on full size pies. Actually, when you see the Chocolate Cream Pie you’ll be very glad it was included.
The book has 40 recipes, but these are all really templates. Once you “get the idea” you are certain to experiment and enjoy on your own. New combinations, new fruits, new savory touches are all welcome. You cannot fail here.
Suzen has her Cooking by the Book cooking school in New York City. At least once a week now, clients ask for pie jars. They make the pie jars themselves, they watch them bake, they consume with relish.
So will you. Find a copy of Cutie Pies for yourself. If you like to bake, you will plunge in with energy. If you are not a baker, prepare for a life changing experience.
See, I told you: salvation through pie. I’m going to trademark it.