With July now ripe and full, it seems like the whole world is tipping at the brink of peach madness.
I personally just received 15 juicy little darlings in last night’s CSA box.
They’re about to become peach compote or maybe just peaches sliced into yogurt if only I can keep myself from devouring them all in a dripping, fleshy mess over the sink.
“I can remember a menu long after I’ve forgotten the hostess that accompanied it. When I was seven years old I recollect being given a peach at a garden-party by some Duchess or other; I can’t remember a thing about her, except that I imagine our acquaintance must have been of the slightest, as she called me a ‘nice little boy,’ but I have unfading memories of that peach.
It was one of those exuberant peaches that meet you halfway, so to speak, and are all over you in a moment. It was a beautiful unspoiled product of a hothouse, and yet it managed quite successfully to give itself the airs of a compote. You had to bite it and imbibe it at the same time.
To me there has always been something charming and mystic in the thought of that delicate velvet globe of fruit, slowly ripening and warming to perfection through the long summer days and perfumed nights, and then coming suddenly athwart my life in the supreme moment of its existence. I can never forget it, even if I wished to…”
I actually wasn’t going to offer up a recipe. After all, I agree with Saki. A summer peach is a simple, glorious thing. Why mess with success, right?
But then I realized that in checking through my online recipe file, it’s clear that I’ve never posted my glorious Ginger Peach Pie. For shame! It’s a delight that never fails to please a picnic/potluck crowd.
And, after all, one who is blessed with peaches should at least consider sharing them. Especially with ice cream. Or yogurt. Or crème fraîche.
Spiced Ginger Peach Pie (With or without crumble topping, below)
2 Tbsp dry tapioca (small)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2-3/4 tsp garam masala blend (or substitute 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground dry ginger or cinnamon)
1/4 tsp salt
3 large peaches, sliced in 1/2" wedges
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (about 1" piece)
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1 pie crust
Crumble topping (use a double crust if you’re not doing the crumble topping)
- Heat oven to 375°F and blind bake* the pie shell for 10-15 minutes.
- If your tapioca is large, pulverize it first using a clean coffee grinder, a mortar/pestle or a food processor. Blend the powdered tapioca with the brown sugar and garam masala (or ground spices) and salt.
- In a mixing bowl, gently combine the peach slices with the freshly grated ginger, brown sugar/tapioca blend, lime juice and zest.
- Pour the peach mixture into the baked pie shell, packing the slices into place.
- Sprinkle evenly with the crumble topping (if using) or lay on the top pie crust. If using a pie crust top, be sure to open up several holes to allow steam to escape.
- Bake the pie on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes (or until the filling bubbles), checking the pie after 20 minutes to make sure the edges aren’t overbrowning. (If the edges do start looking a bit brown, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.)
- Cool the pie on a rack for approximately 1 hour before serving.
*Blind baking is a process that involves pre-cooking the pie shell a bit (usually with pie weights or dry beans in the shell to keep it from bubbling and rising). This keeps the crust more crisp, which is especially nice for juicy fruit pies.
3 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
1 dash salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup pecans, walnuts or pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut in 1/2" pieces
- In a mixing bowl, blend together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats and nuts.
- Cut the butter into the mixture with a fork until the blend resembles a uniform gravel. Sprinkle atop the pie filling and bake as directed above.