August 23, 2009

Peach Pie with Clotted Cream & A Summer Full of Farmer’s Markets.

Summer Splendor

~ elephantjournal.com columnist Peggy Markel

In summer, everyone else is out with their gear, maps, packed cars and travel itineraries, while I prefer to stay still.

I would rather spend peaceful days, moving little, taking in the splendor of my favorite season in Colorado. I frequent the Boulder County Farmer’s Market with my granddaughter Makena, age 3-and-a-half, who loves to make the rounds. Pete from Oxford Gardens gives her fresh carrots to nibble on, Lara from Cure Organic Farm gives her flowers, and her basket fills with love.

Makena doesn’t like peaches (I could faint), but she likes to bake. Peach pies are a mainstay. This informal recipe is meant to give you a relaxed approach to pie making:

Peach Pie with Clotted Cream

6 organic peaches, skins left on, sliced
1/2 c sugar
1 lemon, sliced in half

2 cups of unbleached white flour
1 and a half sticks of butter
a few T’s of cold water
pinch of salt
tart pan

Put together your pie dough by cutting butter into your flour with two knives (or use a Cuisinart, pulsing the blade to cut the butter into flour). Add a pinch of salt. Add cold water a tablespoon at the time to bind the dough together. Form into a ball. It should feel like a “babies behind.” Put it in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, slice peaches into a bowl. Add sugar to taste and 1/2 of a lemon, juiced with your hand. Set aside.

Roll out dough on a floured surface, starting from the center and rolling out in all directions until you have a thin round. Center it over your tart pan, trimming the edges.

Press dough gently along the sides where the edge meets the bottom. The crust needs to bake on its own before putting in the filling at 350F, weighted. Use a piece of aluminum foil over the crust and add beans or other filler to keep the dough from rising. I’ve even used a glass bowl, turned upside down. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weight and foil and cook another 10 minutes.

Take crust out and add your peaches in a uniform fashion all around the tart pan, spiraling into the center. Bake for 20 minutes. Add cream by pouring over the top of the pie about half way. Let bake another 10-15 minutes. The cream will clot and the peaches will look wilted and rustic with their skins. Let cool for a moment, then unmold the tart from the sides. Final step: Enjoy.

With 17 years of first hand experience in some of the world’s richest culinary traditions, Peggy Markel has become known as a “food guide extraordinaire” (Food and Wine, 2008). Her adventures “bring visitors directly into places it would take the lone traveler quite some time to discover, if ever.” (More, 2008).

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