Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on $10/day.
I got this recipe from my friend Vanessa. I'm not entirely sure she'll even want to claim it because of how ugly I managed to make the finished product (it's a thing I have a knack for) when this is actually a very beautiful, not ugly at all kind of pie. Unless you mess a few things up. Which I did (also a knack). However, ugly or not, messed up or not, it still tasted delicious--better even than many a cooked pie I've enjoyed in the course of my life.
Now I'll let you in on how you can not mess this up.
1. It requires a pie shell that is already baked and cooled or mostly cooled. Have your pie shell ready.
2. If you're making your own pie shell, it may shrink a bit. (This means you put it in to bake with the dough up the sides and when you take it out, it's shrunk and fallen down the sides). If this happens you will have to pipe whipped cream onto the sides like I did. Not the end of the world, but still... I'm not 100% sure how to keep you pie crust from shrinking, but I know that mine was a bit too thin and just barely big enough. I'd recommend making it a wee bit on the thick side and having a bit to spare at the edges of the pie pan--not hanging over or anything, but not just barely to the top and thin as mine was.
3. Pour the sauce on the peaches as soon as you can. The longer you wait and the cooler it gets, the more it will set and you don't want that happening before it is poured.
4. Soft peaches are best for this. Mine were somewhat hard. It wasn't the end of the world; they still tasted good. But for cut-ability and extra sweetness, soft peaches will be best.
5. I left my peaches unpeeled. It's very pretty that way and that's how I'd do it again, but if you've got picky folks in your family who have texture issues, you might want to peel them. Kip ate this and he liked it, but he would have liked it better with peeled peaches, beauty be darned.
Mostly-Raw-Peaches Peach Pie
given to me by Vanessa and to Vanessa by Deanna Dowdle
makes 1 pie
Prep time: 20 minutes (this includes a pie crust done in a food processor)
Cook time: 5 minutes (stove top)
(peaches: 2.00 in the summer; pastry shell: .70, sugar: .13, other stuff: .02)
1 9-inch pastry shell
6 C sliced peaches or about 6 peaches (you can actually get away with less than 6 C, but you must have at least enough for one solid layer of sliced peaches on the bottom of your crust, plus 1 more cup)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 C sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 C water
1/8 tsp almond extract
1-2 drops food color (I didn't use; maybe it would have made my finished product prettier)
Have you pie shell ready and cooled. (Vanessa used a tart shell and said it came out perfectly in it.)
Combine peaches and lemon juice. Remove 1 C peaches and mash. (If they're soft and peeled, this can be done with a fork; I wiped out the food processor I'd used to make my crust and used it). Set this aside for a minute.
Arrange remaining peaches in pie crust (at least one layer, but don't be afraid to double layer them) and set aside.
Mix sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water and whisk. Add peach puree. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Simmer 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add almond flavoring and coloring if using.
Pour this mixture over the sliced peaches in your pan. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Note: If you've messed it up and it looks a disaster, don't despair. It will taste great, no matter what. And aesthetically, it's nothing a little whipped cream can't fix (even if your whipped cream piping skills are so remedial your husband asks if there are marshmallows on the pie). And as I said earlier, this is normally a very very pretty pie that slices wonderfully.