I’m really proud of this pie.
It has been something I have wanted to make for a very long time and it really tested my skills in the pastry-making department.
Making pastry is not something I felt entirely comfortable with in the past; it stressed me out and generally made me feel unhappy. You see, I am the owner of consistently warm hands. If you want to hold hands with me on a chilly day, I am sure it would be fine (just, you know, ask me first) if you are so inclined.
However if you want me to make pastry for you – well, things get a little more complicated. These hands melt butter quickly and because I don’t own a large enough food processor (just a hand held attachment) to be able to make it in there my only option is to make it by hand.
My friend (who can whip up flaky shortcrust pastry by hand in a matter of minutes) uses a pastry blender to cut the butter through the flour and thus never needing to touch it. I got myself one of those do-hickeys when I was in America last year and I think it may be one of the best kitchen tools I own right now - pastry making wise.
I had a little help from Maggie Beer too. Her sour cream shortcrust recipe is awesome. Three ingredients: butter, flour and sour cream makes for extra flakiness. This is now my go-to shortcrust recipe.
When I was in Orange a couple of weeks ago, I made a little pilgrimage to Hillside Orchard where my family buys their seasonal fruit. I love to buy apples there in autumn but this particular visit had me walking out with a bag of lovely, fragrant peaches and the promise of pie dancing around in my head.
There is rum* in there and for me it is there purely for the fragrance. Peaches and rum are one of those wonderful scents that just belong together - like vanilla and pear, or tomato and basil. Introducing ginger to the pair was an experiment that went very, very well. It harmonises with the peaches and rum in the fragrance department and then provides background warmth behind the delicately sweet peaches. My mouth is watering just writing about this combination.
So what have I learnt?
I learnt that I am no longer afraid of pastry and I do not need a food processor to make said pastry. I have also learnt that there are many paths to happiness, and if you take peaches, ginger and rum with you for the ride, you are sure to have a wonderful journey.
*I purposely left rum out of the title for this recipe because although it is recommended - it is, of course, optional.
Peach and Ginger Pie
pastry via Maggie Beer
Influenced by Smitten Kitchen
I used a 25cm metal pie dish
For the Pastry:
I made my pastry using Maggie Beers sour cream shortcrust pastry recipe – but I don’t have a large enough food processor so I used a hand held pastry blender (like this) to incorporate the butter. I also divided the mixture into two discs before refrigerating.
For The Filling:
6 Large yellow peaches (Approximately 1kg)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 “thumb sized” piece of fresh ginger, minced
Approx 2 tablespoons of dark rum – optional
1 tablespoon of corn flour
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and have a bowl of icy water ready. Cut a small X in the base of each peach.
- Plunge the peaches into the boiling water for a about 30 seconds and then remove them with a slotted spoon and place them directly into the ice bath.
- The skin should have loosened enough for you to peel it off easily.
- Slice the peaches down the middle and remove the stone, then slice into wedges.
- In a bowl, toss the peach slices with the ginger, sugar, corn flour and rum (if you are so inclined) and set aside for about an hour to marinate. The sugar and corn flour will create a sauce and the ginger and rum will become one with the peaches.
- On a clean, floured surface, roll your pastry out into a disc about 5 mm in thickness and about 30 cm in diameter.
- Fold the disc into quarters and place it in your pie dish with the folded corner facing the centre.
- Unfold the disc so that it fits within your pie dish and there is a few cm of overhang.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (fan forced)
- Roll the other disc out to the same size and thickness as the base and slice into approximately 2.5 cm strips.
- Spoon your peach filling into the base. There will be quite a bit of sauce left, you do not need to use all of this.
- Place every second strip of pastry over the filling going in one direction and then place every other strip over that in the other direction.
- Here is a good guide to assist you with creating a lattice effect.
- Brush the top of the pastry with milk or a lightly beaten egg.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Serve hot or cold with vanilla ice cream, cream or on its own.