Sunday, June 17, 2012

He’s-A-Peach Pie

This year marks the first Father’s Day on which I don’t have a father to whom I can send a card, which makes it a sad occasion.  But rather than dwell in the Land of Lost Fathers–a place where I have spent far too much time in the past year–this post is going to focus on the other father in my life:  The Hubs.  When I asked him what he wanted me to make him for Father’s Day this year, he thought about it for awhile before saying “A peach pie.”  And when I offered up some options (peach crumble pie, peach cream pie, peach custard pie, etc.) he said, “No, nothing fancy.  Just the old-fashioned kind with peaches and crust.”

This in itself tells you much of what you need to know about The Hubs.  He’s a no-fuss kind of guy.

The Hubs and I always knew we wanted to have a family–one of our very first serious conversations included a discussion of how many children we wanted to have.  Still, we were married for almost six years before we were ready to take that step, mostly because we enjoyed the life we’d made with just the two of us.  (What did we do with ourselves all day?  Why didn’t I write six novels with all that free time on my hands?)

Now, of course, it’s hard to remember a time when the Foodie children weren’t around.  And it’s impossible for me to think of The Hubs without thinking of him as a dad, because that piece of his identity is so integral to the person I love.  A short list of things The Hubs has done to earn his Great Dad cred:

1.  He sat through six years of summer swim meets, in the Texas heat, to watch The Girl swim for approximately five minutes total at each one.  (In case you’ve never been to a swim meet, I’ll just mention that they’re long. Very long.  Like, four or five hours long.)

2.  He drove The Boy to Dallas–about a five hour drive from our home in San Antonio–so he could participate in a Pokemon tournament.  He did this as an incentive to get The Boy to bring up his grades in school, and when The Boy followed through, so did his dad.

3.  The Hubs later drove The Boy to Dallas again, after he’d earned a chance to audition for Kids’ Jeopardy.  They made a vacation weekend of it and saw the traveling King Tut museum exhibit while they were in the city.  The Boy still talks about this.

4.  He taught The Girl to drive.  Enough said.

The list could go on, but you get the idea:  The Hubs is a really terrific dad.  So when he asked for a peach pie, I made him one.

As with any pie, whether you make your own crust or buy something prepared is completely up to you.  I’m not above taking a shortcut once in awhile myself.  And I’m not a big fan of using flour to thicken fruit pies, so I used tapioca as a thickener in this one.  Most fruit pie recipes call for using a little butter in the filling, and you could certainly dot the peaches with a couple tablespoons of butter before you add the top crust; I forgot the butter when I was making this one, and I actually prefer the clean taste of the sweetened peaches, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  I sprinkled the top crust with a little turbinado sugar, for extra color and crunch, but white sugar will give you a similar (if somewhat lighter) result.

After church this morning, we came home and had pie for brunch.  And before you can question the logic of that decision, consider this:  is there really much difference between a stack of IHOP pancakes with peaches and whipped cream and a peach pie topped with ice cream?  I think not.  Except for the the fact that this peach pie was made with lots of love.

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He's-A-Peach Pie

Ingredients:

Pie crust (prepared or home made)
7 cups sliced peaches (about 8 medium peaches)
1 cup sugar
2 T. tapioca pearls
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

Before you start assembling the pie, blanch the peaches by dipping them into boiling water for about one minute, then submerging them in a bowl of ice water. The peach skin should slide off easily. If it doesn't, repeat the process until the skin is loose. Then slice the peeled peaches into a large mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Gently stir together the peach slices, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Line the bottom of a 1-inch deep pie place with a layer of pie crust. Trim the overhang so it's even with edge of the plate. Pile in the peaches, making sure they're evenly distributed across the crust. Center the top crust over the fruit. Fold the top crust over the edge of the bottom crust and pinch tightly to seal. Crimp the edges of the crust all the way around.

Cut two or three one-inch vents into the top of the pie crust, to allow steam to escape while the pie is baking. Sprinkle the top crust with sugar, if you like.

Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil, to prevent over-browning, and bake for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the top of the pie has browned and some juice is bubbling up through the vents.

Allow the pie to cool for at least an hour before serving. Otherwise, your filling will be runny.

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One Response to “He’s-A-Peach Pie”

  1. 1

    David Nickell — June 19, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    Pam,

    A nice post and a great recipe. I must confess, however, that I’m not a big fan of peaches, so I likely won’t be trying this one.

    My own favorites for pies are cherry and mincemeat, which coincides with your husband’s no-fuss philosophy. And that’s why I loved the post. You pay nice homage to the special man in your life, and it’s a recipe and a post full of love.

    And the pictures are mouth-watering scrumptious. Enough to make me change my mind about peaches.

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