I don’t recall ever making a pie from scratch. I may have made a pumpkin pie as a kid, but I’m sure the crust was already made, and the pumpkin came from a can. The reason is probably because I don’t really like pie. . . unless it’s pumpkin. I’m more of a cake, brownie, cookie kind of person.
This is a recipe from my great grandmother’s cookbook, “Southern Cooking,” by Mrs. S. R. Dull, copyright, 1928. She must have been my great grandmother’s favorite cook because I found lots of cutout newspaper articles on Mrs. Dull folded inside of the book. Anyway, I took on the challenge of making my first pie from scratch. I make quiche all of the time with no problem. Martha Stewart’s “Perfect Pie Crust” recipe is really easy to make, and extremely tasty. How hard could this be? No problem.
It took me 3 attempts on the pastry before I got it right – and that’s only after I gave up and went back to Martha’s. It was getting late, and I was getting tired, so I caved. I think my problem was I refused to use the shortening it called for. I kept using butter in its place. Martha’s calls for mostly butter, but she does add a bit of shortening, so that must have been my mistake. I will include the recipe I attempted. Martha’s in online if you’re interested. I’d include it, too, but I don’t want to get sued.
One more thing – I surprised myself. The pie actually turned out very good. Who would have guessed that after all of the trouble.
Georgia Deep Peach Pie
4 cups ripe peaches
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup boiling water
1 thick slice lemon from the end, rind and all
1 1/4 cup sifted flour
4 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons ice-cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sift salt with flour. Chop shortening with a spoon until broken into small pieces. (I used a pastry cutter). Add water in several places in order not to get any part too wet. Mix with a spoon into a ball, having it very dry. With the hands press together, place on a floured board and roll out until as thin as desired.
This is where Martha would tell you to place in the refrigerator for at least an hour; but like I said, it was late and I ceased to care anymore.
Back to the pie recipe: Using half of the pastry dough, line sides of well-greased deep baking pan. (I wasn’t sure what that meant. Just the sides??? After much thought, I just placed the pastry inside the entire dish.) Place in peeled and sliced peaches. Mix dry flour with sugar, butter, lemon and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over peaches. Roll balance of pastry 1/4 inch thick, cut with a large biscuit cutter (I used a small one to be different – radical, I know), slit each piece in center and cover top, overlapping edges but leaving spaces for steam to escape. (I left some of the full circles because I was running out of dough). Bake in moderate oven (I put it on 350 degrees) for 40 minutes until fruit is juicy and pastry brown. (It took close to an hour in my slow oven).
Martha Stewart, I’m not. But thanks to her, I was able to finish this pie.