June 7, 2012

Pleasant Memories of Those Summer Peaches

"No bought potpourri is so pleasant as that made from ones own garden,
 for the petals of the flowers one has gathered at home
hold the sunshine and memories of summer, and of
past summers only the sunny days should be remembered."
~ Eleanor Sinclair-Rhode

In my younger years, I looked forward to the first days of July. Mother had planned the morning by jotting down her grocery list, and off we headed to the Jackson Farmer's Market to gather up fresh produce. The peaches would be ready to harvest and the farmer's stands would be simply loaded with the vibrant colors of peaches, plums, strawberries and all of those fresh greens and the most beautiful tomatoes you could imagine!  

But, oh, it was those delectable juicy peaches that we were most excited about!  The juice would drip off our chins as we  "mmmed and yummed" our way through the first few. We would all want Mother to prepare our favorite peach treats. Daddy liked a homemade peach pie, Miss Judy liked to make fresh peaches with cream and sugar, and my request was Estelle's Peach Cobbler, which I still make today and quite often I might add. I wish I could capture those times back....our Jackson summers and Mother and Daddy....simply wonderful childhood memories....

This is a beautiful summer pie that is sure to "wow" everyone at your next family gathering! Be sure to pack up the kiddos, and support your local farmers. Visit those farm stands and create those summer memories! It's one of the best things about summer!

For the Crust
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for coating the pan
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling
2 pounds ripe peaches, pitted and cut into bite sized chunks (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 pints raspberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Streusel
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces

Coat a 9-1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate with butter and set aside. Combine the measured flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse 5 times to evenly incorporate. Add the butter and pulse until just incorporated (some large pieces will remain). Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse until moistened throughout, about 5 pulses. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if necessary, but do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.)
Turn into the prepared pie plate. Press with floured fingers or the back of a measuring cup dipped in flour until the dough evenly covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Place in the refrigerator to chill, at least 20 minutes.

 Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F, arrange a rack in the lower third, and place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the rack. When the oven is hot, pierce the base of the crust with a fork several times, line it with a piece of parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans.

Place the crust on the hot baking sheet and bake until dry to the touch but not browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside the pie weights and parchment paper, and let the crust cool slightly on a wire rack. Return the baking sheet to the oven.

Combine the peaches, sugars, vanilla  extract, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and gently mix. Add the raspberries and cornstarch and toss to coat. Transfer the filling to the crust and place the pie on the hot baking sheet. Bake until the peaches are just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

Combine all of the streusel ingredients except the butter in a medium bowl and mix until evenly incorporated. Add the butter and combine with your fingers, rubbing the butter into the flour mixture until mostly incorporated but some small pieces remain. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

When the pie is ready, remove it from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F. Sprinkle the streusel over top and return the pie to the oven. Bake until the filling is bubbly, the streusel is browned, and the peaches are fork-tender, about 40 to 45 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack at least 45 minutes before slicing.

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