Monday, September 03, 2007

Melba Peach Pie

Melba Peach Pie
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
I live in South Carolina, where peaches are usually one of our best and brightest crops. Unfortunately, a frost late in the year (as frosts go) destroyed something like 75% of the crop. Where last year you couldn't drive a mile without someone selling peaches along the road, this year I have had to intentionally seek peaches out. Only one farm was selling them at the farmer's market last weekend, so I bought one bag to make one pie.

If this sounds pitiful, that's how I feel! Last summer I was swimming in peaches, and there is just nothing like fresh local fruit. Of course I could buy peaches at the grocery store but they are the kind that is from a different country, picked green, and stored chilled.

I also had some leftover raspberries in the fridge, so when deciding on a recipe, I thought combining the two would be nice. I picked the Melba Peach Pie from the Almost Home Tearoom Cookbook.

The Almost Home Tearoom is a restaurant in Greencastle, Indiana, that serves lunch and dinner. I worked there for a year making desserts, and had so much freedom. Besides having to make sure there was enough strawberry pizza (their signature dessert) and lemon meringue pie on Thursdays, the rest of the dessert selections were up to me. That was a great year and sometimes I really miss the huge industrial kitchen with all the ingredients I could ever use and the thrill of needing to make enough dessert to feed 250 people every day, but in small batches so they had more variety.

This dessert calls for a homemade Melba Sauce, but I had some leftover raspberry syrup in the fridge so I used that. I suspect you could also melt down some raspberry jam. Just don't let the idea of making a sauce in addition to a pie stop you from trying this!

Melba Peach Pie

Prepare: Pastry for 9" double-crusted pie
Line a 9" pie plate with half of pastry dough
Place in bottom of pastry shell: A few whole red raspberries

4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp almond extract

Pour over raspberries.

Dot with: 1-2 tbsp butter
Cover with pastry, seal, and crimp edges.
Brush top with cream, and sprinkle with sugar.

Slit 5-6 vent holes in the top.

Bake at 425 degrees fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Serve with a dip of vanilla ice cream and the following Melba Sauce.

Melba Sauce
Combine in a glass cup:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Stir in: 3/4 cup red raspberry juice
Microwave on high for 1 minute 15 seconds; stir and microwave 30 seconds more. (Mixture may be placed in a suaucepan and cooked until boiling, stirring constantly).

Yields 6-8 servings

Jenny's notes: I would let this cool completely before serving to allow the cornstarch to do its job. And I'm not sure it needed quite this much sugar - next time I would try a cup or less. I was out of nutmeg, so chose to use cinnamon instead.

Categories: Peaches, Pie, Raspberries, Sauce


Peabody said...

Oh I love peach a pie...fantastic!

Deborah said...

This sounds amazing!! I just drove by a stand selling peaches on my way to work, and it made me crave a peach pie. This sounds even better!

Warda said...

That's so funny! I was just talking to my father on the phone who told me he was having a peach melba ice cream and here I see your tart. What a coincidence!