Rewind a couple years this month, and I was having a last hurrah type dinner with a handful of these friends. Friends that love good food & good company & have no problem spending hours dwindling and soaking up life are the kind of friends you want to keep. I remember prepping the meal that day, slowly and surely realizing that this was going to be a last for me, & I was going to revel in every step of the process. Making bread dough in the morning & letting it rise. Making pie crust & letting it chill. Biking to the grocer & fruit stand for the remaining groceries. mixing pasta dough & praying to God that it would come together right. Everyone pitched in as dinner time came closer. Michael brought salad & his coffee geeking equipment (this is a reason why we are friends). Alan made french vanilla custard (can’t have pie without ice cream, right?). Everyone pitched in to pain-stakingly roll out the dough for the pasta (no pasta roller=elbow grease!). Several people brought wine, which was completely necessary. And a few people set the table community style, complete with an abundance of candles & some flowers from the garden.
Why is there so much detail & no pictures? Why do I feel the need to bring you into these moments with me? Because these moments are frozen in my brain & heart as perfect. There are those times in your life that I personally life to call “Holy Spirit” moments, where you know that the actions that are taking place are precious & treasured. That this might not every be repeated in your lifetime, and everything about it is quintessential just what it should be. It is perfect. It is Eden, in that place, in that time. There are no pictures, because at the time I didn’t want to focus on the food becoming a blog post. I wanted to intentionally soak in the day, the people, & the experience.
When dinner time came, there were about a dozen of us seated in a dimly lit room with candles as our ambiance & light. Rolls & salad, spinach ricotta tortellini & vegetables, plenty of good red wine, peach raspberry pie & french vanilla custard. I made a point to burn it all into my brain, because who knows when I’ll get to snatch a moment like that again.
makes one 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
about 3 pounds ripe peaches (I used about 6 peaches)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 to 2/3 cups granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of your peaches)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for topping crust before baking
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Stir together the ice cold water and vinegar. Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the water and vinegar mixture. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the filling, wash and slice peaches. In a medium bowl, combine peach slices and blueberries. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch. Pour the sugar mixture over the fruit, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice. Place bowl of fruit in the fridge to rest while you roll the crust out.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and place a baking sheet on the lower rack, just below where you’re going to place the pie. This will catch any pie drippings without making a mess of your oven.
Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, then use your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. The circle won’t be perfect, that’s ok. Try not to get any tears in the rolled out dough, but if you do, they can be patched together with extra dough. When you roll the dough and you can see it start springing back, that means that the butter is warming and the crust shouldn’t be rolled out anymore. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in the 9-inch baking dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.
Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, moving the dough across the floured surface every once in a while, and creating a roughly 13-inch circle. Remove the bottom crust and fruit filling from the fridge. Gently pour the fruit filling into the pie dish. Carefully remove the top crust from the work surface and drape over the fruit in the pie dish. With a small knife, trim the crust, leaving about 3/4-inch overhang. With your fingers press the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut five small slits in the top of the crust so the juices and steam can vent. Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place pie in the oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375 and bake for 45 to 55 more minutes. Remove from the oven when crust is browned and golden, and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours before serving. Place covered in the fridge to store. Pie lasts up to 3 or 4 days.