On the menu: Peach Pie
I have to tell you something. Have I told you that I hate change? There’s a lot of change going on right now. I start my summer job tomorrow, and I can’t believe I haven’t told you about it yet! It’s probably because I didn’t really want to think about it. I mean, I’m really excited for the opportunity, but it involves a lot of…change.
I’m going to be working at a land trust in Midcoast Maine as a stewardship intern at an organic wild blueberry farm. The farm is in the middle of one of the most touristy spots of the Midcoast region, so part of me is dreading trying to live there during peak tourist season. Oh yeah, and that living situation. The farm is 2 hours from home, so I’m going away for the summer. I am moving into a graciously provided apartment that unfortunately has no oven. Or no internet.
Friends, it is SUMMER. I am supposed to be baking pies and cobblers and buckles and boy bait, and I am supposed to be telling you all about it! And now I have no oven and no internet. This terrifies me. I will be working 40 hours a week, though, so I’ll be keeping relatively busy. And lest you think I seriously considered the implications of this here website from accepting this amazing job offer, I will tell you that I jumped for joy before immediately taking on the position. I may not have an oven or access to the internet, but I have a seriously sweet summer job working on an organic wild blueberry farm.
The farm is gorgeous; it’s up on a hill and you can see the ocean (and a lighthouse!) from the top. The highlight of the farm is a historic stone hut that looks over the property. I am eagerly anticipating my chance to get out into the field and learn about blueberry farming, and I will also have the chance to explore how land trusts work. Land trusts are small, local nonprofits that work to conserve land, and they are prolific in Maine. I greatly admire their mission and cannot wait to be more involved with their cause.
But before I go, I have to share a pie with you. I wouldn’t miss Pie Party 2012 for the world! I made a peach pie the other day. It’s too early for peach pie–the peaches aren’t at their prime just yet–but dang it, I won’t have an oven for the next two months. I wanted peach pie!
So, you may not hear from me for a while. I’ll be in the field with the blueberries!
adapted from the Joy of Cooking
One recipe Basic Pie Crust, below
2 pounds peaches
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare pie crust. Roll out bottom crust and place into a 9 inch pie plate. Keep the crust cold until ready to bake. To prepare the filling, peel the peaches. Peaches peel quite easily after they’ve been blanched in boiling water for a minute then plunged into an ice bath. The skins should slip right off. This works best with really ripe peaches. Slice peeled peaches into 1/4 inch slices. Toss peach slices with sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Let sit, stirring once or twice, for 15 minutes. Pour filling into pie crust and cover with top crust. Brush the top crust with milk or cream, sprinkle some extra sugar on top, and place pie into oven. Bake at 425ºF for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is well browned. Remove from oven and cool before serving.
Basic Pie Crust
from the Joy of Cooking
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. vegetable shortening, chilled
3 T. cold unsalted butter, cubed
6 T. ice water
Sift flour and salt together. Cut half of the shortening and all of the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or work it in gently with your fingers until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut the remaining half of the shortening into the dough until it is pea sized. Sprinkle the dough with the ice water and blend gently to combine. Shape into two disks, wrap in plastic, and bake as directed by individual recipes.