I made Nigel Slater's Peach Pie with Lemon Pastry last week; the recipe is from his book 'Notes From the Larder', which I love and adore. I also love and adore Nigel Slater. But....I love his writing a teensy bit more than I love his recipes, which are a bit hit or miss for me. (I'm sorry Nigel. I really think you're amazing.) The hits are BIG HITS (like his chocolate banana bread) and the misses are...well, sometimes things are just less than perfect in this world and that's ok.
Nigel likes to make several of his pies with a cookie dough crust. Sort of fruit and shortbread type of biz. I made a blueberry pie of his like that, which turned out really well. This one though, had a few mishaps, which I will share. I believe that he does not call for enough thickening in with his peach slices. I DON'T LIKE MESSY PIE and in this case, all the juice served to make the bottom crust a tad too soggy in places. Also, my oven is a bit slow, meaning I have to cook things longer amounts of time, so if yours is slow as well, cook this pie A GOOD 10 MINUTES more than the recipe says.
So the problem was that I thought the crust was too soggy in certain places, like the very middle and some of the bottom. Some of it was just right. The flavor was amazing! My husband and I were like, hmmm. Maybe best to go with a traditional pie dough crust? My daughter ate this for breakfast, ENORMOUS slices, for two days in a row. She absolutely LOVED it and said, MOM. YOU MUST MAKE THIS AGAIN. (I'm looking at the photos for the blueberry pie and am realizing how uniform the crust was compared to my lumpy peach slices. Maybe this crust needs to be flatter, so it cooks evenly??)
Nigel Slater's Peach Pie with Lemon Pastry - via 'Notes From the Larder'
Ingredients for pastry:
2/3 cups butter (10 and a half tablespoons)
3/4 cup golden brown sugar
the grated zest of a small lemon
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
a little milk and sugar to finish
Ingredients for filling:
6 medium-sized, ripe peaches
2 tbsp white sugar, superfine if you have it
the grated zest of a small to medium orange (I omitted this)
1 heaping tbsp cornstarch (SEE MY NOTES ABOVE PLEASE)
(You will also need a 9 inch metal pie plate)
Directions from the book:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Lightly butter the pie plate. Mix in the egg, continue creaming, then add the grated lemon zest. Sift together the flour and the baking powder, then fold tenderly into the butter and sugar mixture. Form the dough into a ball and place on a floured work surface. Knead very lightly for a minute or so, then cut in half. You will use one half of the dough to line the pie plate. Place this, and the remaining half, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
(Nigel says that for the bottom crust, it works best to form the dough into a log before chilling. Then cut into 1/8th inch thick slices, and line the bottom of the pie plate with the slices. Press out the dough slices into the pan with your hands and pat it into the pan, making a uniform layer of dough. This was very easy to do! Much easier than rolling it out. You gotta roll out the top crust though.)
Halve the peaches and remove their pits. Cut each peach half into large pieces and put in a bowl with the sugar, orange zest and cornstarch. Toss together gently, then spoon into the pie plate. Roll out the reserved pastry to generously fit the top of the pie. Brush the rim of the pastry in the pie plate with a little milk, then lower the second piece of pastry on top. Press the edges to seal, pressing or pinching them together as you wish, then brush the pie lightly with milk and dust lightly with sugar. Pierce a small hole or cut in the center of the crust to let the steam out.
Bake for 40 minutes (MORE. SEE NOTES ABOVE.) or so until the crust is pale gold (DARK GOLD). Leave to settle for 10-15 minutes or more before serving.
~ So what do you think my lovelies? Fancy a try at this? My blueberry version of this same recipe turned out perfectly. And my kid ADORED it, like I mentioned above. Just need to get that crust to cook evenly enough....