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Jul 31, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Baked: Peach, Raspberry and Basil Pie

August 14th 04:08pm, 2013

081413_bakedpie

 

I was recently invited to judge a pie contest in Hermann, Mo. It was my first time venturing farther west into Missouri, and it was a complete honor to be there. Hermann is a small town of around 2,400 inhabitants, and it was easy to see the camaraderie, love and good will among everyone. I was the only judge and sampled seven delicious pies and two scrumptious cobblers. I chose the caramel-apple-pecan pie as the winner, although a blueberry-lavender pie came rather close. The experience was so fun and sweet! And it got me thinking about pies.

I was a stranger to pies until I moved to the U.S. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about cooked fruit in general, but now I love a tangy cherry or a sweet nectarine pie. The combinations possibilities are endless, yet many people stick to traditional flavors. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but amidst all those recipes for classic peach or strawberry-rhubarb pies, I like to think of something a little outside the box.

Although I already had a lot of raspberries and peaches lying around (my favorite pairing for most fruity desserts), I decided to add the basil on a whim. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. The basil lends an herbal, floral flavor to the overall taste. The raspberries are tart and balanced by the sweetness of the peaches. All are met in a crunchy, buttery crust. I don’t know how high I’d rate my own pie had it been in the pie contest, but I think it’d come close. Enjoy and happy baking!

Peach, Raspberry and Basil Pie
Makes 1 pie
Adapted from Zoe Bakes

1 pint raspberries
6 ripe, firm yellow or white peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped *
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
A handful of basil, roughly chopped
1 pie crust (recipe follows)
1 egg white, beaten

• Toss raspberries and peaches together in a bowl with the lemon juice.
• Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, the cornstarch, salt and basil in a small bowl and then pour it over the fruit, mixing well so it’s coated. Add more sugar to taste.
• Pour the fruit mix into prepared a 9-inch pie pan lined with the pie crust. Place the top crust round over the filling, crimp the edges together, and make small slits in the top (I cut little shapes in mine.). Brush the crust with the egg white. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and then freeze for 15 minutes.
• Place the oven rack on the lowest possible level and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
• Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake another 40 minutes. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent the pie with foil and continue baking.
• Let the pie cool before serving (The filling may not completely set if it’s still warm.). Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

*Nectarines also can be used in place of peaches.

Pie Crust
Makes 1 double- or 2 single-crust pies
Adapted from SmittenKitchen.com

2½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, cubed and chilled
¾ cup ice cold water

• In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
• Sprinkle the butter over the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mix together until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
• Drizzle half of the ice water over the mixture, and use a rubber spatula to gather the dough together. Add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.
• Divide the dough in half and wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap. Let chill for at least 1 hour.
• Roll out each dough ball separately to a 13-inch round and an 11-inch round between two sheets of parchment paper. Use the 13-inch round to line a greased 9-inch pie pan, leaving ½-inch overhang around the edges. Reserve the 11-inch round to top the pie after adding the filling.

 

 

By Amrita Rawat

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One Response to “Baked: Peach, Raspberry and Basil Pie”

  1. Constance LaBoube Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Amrita, this looks like a winner to me! Thank you again, for judging our Pie Contest!
    Constance LaBoube
    The Bank Bar at Schiller
    Schiller Guest Suites

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