Friday, August 30, 2013

Farm Share Friday: Peaches Continued...

So many peaches. Peach picking was a bad idea. Why do peaches go bad so quickly? These were all the thoughts and questions swirling around my head yesterday when I picked up my farm share and saw a beautiful, giant bag of peaches inside. Normally, I would be jumping up and down, but I'm up to about 25 peaches in my house... I'm panicking. Thankfully, I have good friends. Good friends with great cookbooks. Dynise Balcavage to the rescue! With peach apple sauce, peach crisp, canned peaches, and peach jam under my belt (and in my fridge/freezer), I am moving onto more peach pie. This time with salted agave drizzle. Because when the farm gives you peaches... you make pie.

Peach Pie with Salted Agave Drizzle
Excerpted from Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage


Most fruit pies are finished with either a pastry top crust or a crumble topping. But juicy summer peaches are so gloriously orange and happy that it’s a shame to cover up their gorgeous color. So instead, I’ve topped this classic with a fancy drizzle of agave (punctuated with gorgeous flakes of finishing salt) for modesty—and to complement and balance the flavors. This is divine à la mode, with a scoop of pure vanilla nondairy ice cream.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie

1 Basic Single-Crust Pastry or Gluten-Free Single-Crust Pastry
5 cups (850 g) peeled, 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks ripe peaches (about 4 or 5 medium peaches)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
½ cup (60 g) all-purpose flour (gluten-free is fine)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar (add ¼ cup [50 g] more if peaches are not sweet)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg

For Salted Agave Drizzle:
1 cup (235 ml) agave nectar
2 teaspoons large-chunk finishing salt, like fleur de sel, Hawaiian, black lava, or pink Himalayan salt, which looks gorgeous suspended in the amber liquid
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).

Roll out the crust and place in the pan. Crimp the edges and refrigerate, lightly covered, until ready to fill.

Combine the peaches, lemon juice, flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar,  salt, and spices in a large bowl. Pour into crust and bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) and bake for 35 to 40 more minutes, or until the crust is golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly at room temperature.

Refrigerate for a few hours.

Just before serving, dust with some confectioners’ sugar. Slice the pie.

To make the agave drizzle: Prepare this just before serving, or the salt flakes will melt. In a medium bowl, mix the agave and salt. Pour a bit over the pie slice, allowing some to drip over edge onto the
plate (I recommend a white or light plate to highlight the contrast). If you want to make just enough for one slice, mix about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) agave with about ¼ teaspoon salt. Sprinkle very judiciously with extra salt if you like salt (I used chocolate sea salt I bought in Portland!). 

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Sweet and Savory Vegan Pies

Take your plant-based pies to another level. In Pies and Tarts with Heart, popular blogger Dynise Balcavage shares her straight-forward wisdom about kitchen fundamentals and the most effective pie-making techniques. From Apple Pie to S’more Pie—and everything in between—these 60+ recipes will make you shine in your pastry pursuits, whether you are a beginner or a veteran pie maker.

Inside you’ll discover:

- Instructions for building your pie, from the basics to baking
- How to roll, stretch, and bake a respectable crust in no time
- Sweet pies: traditional, decadent, nutty, citrusy, and more
- Savory pies: including Tomato Tart, Greek Spinach Pie, and Cornish Pasties
- Stocking a pie-making pantry: the ingredients and equipment you’ll need
- A variety of gluten-free, low-fat, kid-friendly, raw, and no-bake options

This is the third cookbook by Dynise Balcavage. She blogs at urbanvegan.net and tweets at @theurbanvegan.