I bake because baking is my therapy.
I do not need to run it out, work it off, walk myself down or visualize the outcome I want. I do not need to post inspirational quotes on my wall or remind myself to ‘hold onto hope’ or to ‘just believe’. I do not need to convince myself out of a funk, or have four different versions of ‘what- I- should- have- said’ conversation do overs in my mind. I simply need to bake.
I lose my way following the silky smooth trail eggs and sugar leave behind when they are whisked together for long enough; in my mind I fall softly and with total abandon into the tiny white kingdoms I create with meringues as I dollop them onto waiting sheets of baking paper where I see myself making snow angels in delight. As I knead dough for a loaf, the one I hope to enjoy warm, probably messy with dripping butter, the small exertion lets me breathe out the things that try to tie me up inside. I find relief coaxing strands of gluten to do my bidding.
While I bake my home smells like love and refuge and quiet, the possibility of another wonderful smile. Even before I remove it from the oven, the fight against my impatience for the result finally over, my soul has soothed, my heart is refreshed and as in this case, a pie is wonderfully baked.
The last of the summer peaches demanded a peach pie. I was intent on finding a great recipe, with homemade pastry and after a few trials, this is it. This recipe is adapted from Kristi’s winning State Fair Peach Pie. The original recipe can be found here.
There are so many resources online to help you get lattice work right, I like You Tube for hands on tutorials. My lattice work needs…well, work. Obviously, like many things its not as easy as it looks.
Forward, into the world of plum, berry and apple pies until we get it right! Who is with me?
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 240 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 6 Tbsp. cold water
- milk for brushing
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup diced almonds
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 6 yellow cling peaches
- Juice from half a lemon
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- 3 Tbsp. corn flour
- To make the dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Divide the dough into two. Using a little extra flour to prevent sticking, roll out one half of the dough into a circle large enough to line the bottom of your pie dish. Trim the edges neatly and place the lined pie dish into the refrigerator. Roll out the second half of the dough into a circle of the same size as the first. Transfer this circle of dough onto baking paper, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- To make the crumble, place the melted butter into a medium sized bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Use a fork to crumb the mixture. Set aside.
- To make the filling, blanch the peaches in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, or until the skin softens. Refresh the peaches in ice cold water. Peel the peaches, cut open and remove the pit. Use a sharp knife to slice the peaches evenly.
- Place the peach slices into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and corn flour and stir well to mix.
- Remove the prepared pie dish out of the refrigerator and spoon the peach filling onto the pastry. Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the peaches.
- Remove the second pastry circle from the refrigerator. Use a ruler to guide you and cut the pastry into even strips. Layer strips across the breadth of the pie dish. Now doing one strip at a time, weave a second band of strips in the opposite direction to create a lattice pattern. Even the edges.
- Brush the top of the pastry with milk.
- Bake the pie in an oven preheated to 180˚C for 40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.