Friday, August 08, 2014

Historical Food Fortnightly, Challenge 5: Pies

I honestly thought I would not be able to do this challenge. I'm pushing up on a zillion deadlines and had three out-of-town trips in less than two weeks. Then last night, our neighbor brought us over a massive bowl of peaches from his tree, and I found myself doing what I always do--reaching for my grandmother's Fannie Farmer Cookbook to find what I could make with on-hand ingredients. Voila, peach pie!

Date/Year and Region: 1939, Boston

How did you make it?: I went with the peach crumble pie. Over the past few years, I've been making a peach cobbler from Cooking from Quilt Country, which is delicious. We've gotten a bit bored with it, however, and this one seemed like a fun possibility. Plus, even though the recipe title says "pie," there's no actual crust. Given my time constraints, there was a lot about this recipe I found appealing.

First, I did a 30-second boiling water/ice water plunge to help with peeling the peaches. This step wasn't mentioned in the recipe, but it's what I've always done with tomatoes and peaches.

Then I sliced them and put them in my pie pan. The recipe calls for the glass pan, but I wanted to use my stoneware one as it holds more. I had a LOT of peaches to use up. In fact, I've got some peach jam cooking away right now as well and still have nine more peaches. Fortunately, they're freestone peaches, which makes them easy to slice. Look how gorgeous!

The recipe called for creaming the butter, but for some reason I chose to cut it in with a pastry cutter. 

I sprinkled the crumble over the peaches and popped it in the the oven for 35 minutes. We have a commercial convection oven, so I generally cook for less time than any printed recipe.

Time to Complete: Less than one hour. The most time consuming bit was preparing the peaches.

Total Cost: Zero out of pocket. I had all the ingredients on hand, and the peaches were free.

How Successful Was It?: I've discovered I like a little more complexity of flavor in my peach pie. It's good, but I would probably add some salt to the crumble and perhaps some brandy or almond extract to the peaches. A little nutmeg wouldn't hurt either. That said, as soon as I'm done typing, I'm going back for seconds.

How Accurate Is It?: Very. I followed the recipe faithfully. I did use a modern oven.

No comments: