It’s official, I’m hooked on pie. Pie with stone fruit, pie with berries, pie with booze, pocket pies, button pies, pie-in-a-jar, plain ol’ pie in a mini pie pan…I’ve made them all in the last couple of weeks. While I still do not think pie is the next cupcake (donuts, folks, it’s all about the donut!), I do really find comfort in making and eating pie. Mostly the eating…
This week’s pie is a White Peach Blackberry with hints of ginger and lemon. I made this into many varieties, sharing a mini pie with this week’s sweet friend, trying the lattice topped pocket pie mold again, pressing crust into tiny little canning jars and using a biscuit cutter to make adorable button pies perfect for after-lunch snacking.
White Peach Blackberry Pie
2 1/2 cups of my favorite gluten-free rice flour blend
1/4 t. salt
3 T. granulated white sugar
1 t. xanthan gum
1/4 cup shortening (Crisco sticks)
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup very cold water (this is the key!)
1 egg (egg wash for crust if making pocket pies)
3 T. granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top of pocket or button pies)
Mix flour, salt, sugar and xanthan gum together. I do not sift the rice flour blend, however if you were substituting all-purpose flour, I would sift. Add Crisco and break up with a pastry cutter. Next add the butter and mix with pastry cutter. Begin adding the cold water, just a little at a time until you reach the texture of pie crust dough.
Divide the dough into two equal balls and chill between two sheets of plastic wrap for 30 minutes. Instead of rolling out on a floured surface, roll out dough between the sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out to the preferred thickness of pie crust and cut following the instructions on the pocket pie mold or place in pie pan.
5 peeled and slice white peaches (I dice mine into tiny pieces for small pies)
3/4 cup fresh blackberries (slicing larger berries in 1/2)
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. crystallized ginger ground in a spice grinder or food processor
5 T. my favorite gluten-free rice flour blend
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Combine peaches, blackberries, lemon juice and salt in one bowl and set aside. In second bowl, combine ginger, flour and brown sugar then toss with fruit. Let sit for 1 hour.
Fill pie and bake at 350 degrees until crust is browned. For pocket pies, 20-25 minutes. For button pies made with a biscuit cutter, 12 to 15 minutes. For a mini pie (serving 3 to 4 people), 18-20 minutes.
I tried something new to pick this week’s Sweet Friend. I posted on Facebook that I was baking pie and whoever guessed the flavor would get some. My friend Casey was the first to vote…and vote she did, something like five times! While she didn’t guess the exact flavor, in separate guesses she said peach and blackberry so I declared her the winner. Other friends guesses included strawberry, apple, coconut, lemon, chocolate, horse apple, strawberry rhubarb, huckleberry, blueberry, raspberry, kumquat, kiwi, caramel apple and cow pie. I’ve got plenty of ideas now what sweets to bake for a few additional friends but feel a little sorry for the fella that suggested I bake with horse apples.
I met Casey through my job many moons ago. While creating balloon wearables at an outdoor concert, I heard Casey compare the abstract work my husband and I were creating to the glass work of Dale Chihuly. While the comparison of balloons and glass is often discussed amongst my balloon peers, it is seldom mentioned outside of our industry. Both come to life with the breath of an artist, both are a natural medium…there are many similarities. I knew immediately that I should know this lady–she GOT what I was doing. And now I know I totally GET what she does.
Casey, along with her amazing sister Sloane, owns my favorite store in Kansas City. When I need a memorable gift, it’s my first stop. When I need to reward myself for achieving a personal goal, it’s my first stop. When I slip away with a friend for a little shopping fun, it’s our first stop. I so admire the commitment to local artisans and to an enjoyable shopping experience. Beyond that, the commitment to the local community and several local charities warms my heart. The special events hosted at this darling store in support of local good causes make me smile for days before and after–and it’s not just because I have an excuse to shop, it’s because Casey will add her special touch to the event, including her big smile.
To continue with my streak of poorly-timed sweet deliveries, I dropped off a mini pie for Casey, only to find it was her day off. I really must find a way to not ruin the surprise of my sweet deliveries while making sure the recipient is available! I didn’t get to personally hand this pie off to Casey so I asked her to snap a photo with the pie. What I got from her was so much more than I expected–this is typical of Casey! I got a series of photos ranging from the full pie to the pie half-eaten and finally a terrific photo of Casey’s trademark smile with the pie. That may be my favorite thing about Casey. No matter what the day brings, she always has a genuine smile and that’s better than any pie!