Thursday, July 9, 2009

We've all Heard of Peaches and Cream . . . How About Sour Cream Peach Pie?

When I think of peach pie, I don't typically envision anything that involves sour cream. But, apparently, peach pie made with sour cream in the filling produces a nice variation on the norm. I made a sour cream peach pie yesterday, and it certainly is an interesting twist on an old favorite. My husband has been telling me for years that he remembers eating a pie like this when he was a child, and that he just loved it. I kept that piece of info in the back of my mind for a long time, but I never came across a recipe that looked to me like it was really worth trying until just recently.

The pie that I baked last night turned out well, and the hubby ate a piece of it this morning (it was still cooling last night at about 10 pm; no choice but to wait!) after he was finished with his breakfast. He gave it his Seal of Extreme Approval, I was gratified to know. Okay, so far so good, I thought. I figured that the real test, though, would be if my fruit-pie-adoring teenage son would eat it without any urging from me whatsoever. Well, the pie passed that test about an hour ago, so I guess we're good to go!

The recipe that I used for the filling is from Baking From the Heart, by Michael J. Rosen, a cookbook I picked up while browsing at the library last week. It has a number of recipes that look deliciously promising. (In fact, I ordered a used copy for myself from Amazon; I hope it comes before I have to return the library's copy!) Besides rewording the instructions, the only alteration I made to the recipe pertained to the amount of fruit; I used considerably more peaches than the book's recipe called for.

For the pie's crust, I used a recipe that is a simple amalgam of other recipes I've seen or used over time. It makes a tender crust, and one that's not at all sweet, but is just slightly salty. It's a little harder to work with this pie dough than some others, in terms of rolling it out, and that accounts for the less than perfect looks of my pie's crust. I make no excuses; it's a somewhat homely pie, I know. I was patching crust rather roughly, here and there, as I went along. With pie crust, though, I think it's occasionally okay to sacrifice looks if the trade-off is worth it in terms of taste and texture. Hope you agree!

Sour Cream Peach Pie

(For a printable version of this recipe click here!)

Makes one 9" pie.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rack in lower third of the oven.

For the pie crust dough:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into half-inch chunks
3 cups unsifted All Purpose flour (plus a bit extra for rolling out the dough)
3/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. ice water, or more as needed

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening finely. Add in the cold butter, cutting it in coarsely. You should still be able to see little chunks of butter here and there.

One tablespoon at a time, add in the ice water, tossing the dough with a fork until it just holds together when you press a bit of it in your hand.

Gather the dough into two evenly sized balls.

Flatten them slightly into two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate them for at least 15 minutes, until chilled.

After the dough is chilled, and you're ready to assemble the whole pie, roll out one of the disks into a 12" to 13" circle and, carefully, fit it into your pie dish, patching as needed. Roll out the other disk into a 12" to 13" circle and cut it into 8 wide lattice strips (if you wish to do the lattice, that is; otherwise just roll it out and use it uncut as a full cover for your two-crust pie). The longest strips will go in the center of the pie. See "To Assemble the Pie" below.

For the filling:

7 - 8 medium sized ripe peaches, peeled and cut into large bite-sized chunks
1 extra large egg yolk (reserve the white for the glaze)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. AP flour
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmet
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the egg yolk, sugar, and flour. Stir until smooth and pale yellow.
Whisk in the sour cream, spices, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

Fold the peaches into the mixture; set aside.

To assemble the pie:

Into your dough-lined pie dish, pour the peach mixture and spread it out evenly.

If you're using lattice strips, lay four across the top of the peach mixture--longest in the center, shorter on the outside. Then, one by one, add in the strips going in the other direction, starting with the center. (You don't have to interweave them if you prefer not to, but interweaving is really not difficult. Probably a zillion sites on the internet can show you how to do it, thus I will refrain from rehashing the instructions here.)

Seal the edges of the crust, and flute it as you wish.

Brush the top crust with a beaten egg white that's been mixed with a tiny bit of water. Sprinkle sugar liberally over the top of the pie.

Bake the pie on a rack in the lower third of your oven for 20 minutes, then rotate the pie 180 degrees, and bake another 20 to 30 minutes. Cover the top with foil if it is browning too quickly.

When you take the pie out of the oven, let it cool completely on a rack. The filling kind of "sets up" a little bit as it cools.

* * * *
It's all cooled? Okay, cut a piece and give it a try . . . . . . not your typical peach pie, hmm?

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or view any existing comments, just click on the purple COMMENTS below!)


Jenn said...

Hey i figured since you write about baked goods, even cookies, that you'd like to check out a feature I put together on cookie jar collectors. These ladies have some pretty cute collections. Check them out here

Jane said...

Thanks Jenn, I'll be sure to visit that site. (No big surprise that I love cookie jars!)

Lauren said...

This looks wonderful! I can hardly wait for peaches to start coming into season to try it,