Friday, June 17, 2011

Peach Crumble Pie




I used to really dislike peaches when I was little.  First, my mom would always lecture me to eat the peach very carefully, because peach juice stains everything permanently, and then she would wrap the peach in a paper towel to catch any peach juice so that it wouldn't drip onto my clothes, making the actual eating process such a nuisance.  However, more importantly, they were just too fuzzy for me.  How on earth could anyone seriously look me in the eye and tell me that a hairy and fuzzy fruit was actually delicious…it just made no sense to me. “Fruits just shouldn’t be fuzzy,” I would think to myself, “that’s just weird.”

Fortunately, I’ve become a much more mature person in these past couple of years, and have grown to really appreciate and love fuzzy fruits (except kiwis, those are a whole other story…don’t even get me started with them).  Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, and lately, I’ve been on a real peach kick, and I’ve become pretty obsessed…I even switched from using strawberry jelly on virtually everything to using peach preserves…I’m trying not to let this obsession get out of hand.  They are just too darn pretty and delicious though!



Pies are pretty awesome too.  They have lovely, flakey, buttery crusts, and are filled with delicious fruit fillings, and the fact that they come in pretty much every flavor imaginable just makes them that much better.  You really can’t go wrong with a pie! However…there are these things called fruit crumbles…oh my goodness.  I love a good fruit crumble.  They’re just so good, and they completely melt in your mouth! When you take the delicious fruit center and bottom crust of a pie and cover the top with a buttery and sugary (are these even words?) crumble, you have yourself one heck of a dessert.  Not figure friendly, per se, but whatever.  We’ll consider that an irrelevant detail for now.  Let me enjoy my peach crumble pie in peace and I’ll go for a run later. 



Peach crumble pie- a perfect dessert for any summertime gathering, and this would make a great dessert for an upcoming Father’s Day get-together!

One note of caution.  Make the peach filling at the last possible moment before you pour it into your pie dish on top of the crust.  Since the filling is essentially fruit and sugar, the sugar will begin to bring out all the juice from the peaches, and will make the filling have a bit too much liquid, which could result in a less than crisp crust.  I made the mistake of making the filling too soon, and while I prepped the crumble and took photos of everything, the peaches turned into a bit of a mushy mess.  Despite this, the pie still came out really, really, really good.

Peach Crumble Pie
From Food Everyday (July/August 2011)

Ingredients

For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) very chilled butter, diced
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
  • 3 pounds fresh peaches, pitted and cut into slices
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crumble:
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) very chilled butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats 

Directions

To make the crust, combine the butter, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture begins to resemble a coarse meal, and the crumbs formed are the size of large peas.  Add 3 tablespoons of ice water, and pulse just until the mixture begins to come together and forms a ball.  If necessary, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough finally comes together.  Gather the dough, and form it into a flat disk.  Wrap the disk in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

After an hour, remove the dough from the refrigerator, and on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch round that will completely cover the bottom of a 9-inch glass or metal pie dish.  Carefully lay the round over the dish, and mold the dough to pie dish.  Gently fold the overhang underneath, and proceed to crimp the edges of the crust together.

To make the crumble, combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, and oats together, and work with your hands until the butter is worked into the dry ingredients and crumbs are formed.  To make the peach filling, combine the peaches, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla extract in a bowl, and stir together until completely incorporated.




Pour the peach filling into the prepared pie dish, making sure to spread the peach filling as evenly as possible.  Evenly sprinkle the crumble over the top of the pie, place on top of an unlined baking sheet, and bake in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.  Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before serving.

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