Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: A sweet, home-grown treat

Peaches are one of the tastiest things about living in the Okanagan and they are ripe, juicy and ready for eating or turning into dessert

  • Sep. 3, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Peaches are one of my favourite fruits, probably because we seldom had any while I was growing up. We never wanted for cherries, because my Uncle Bill farmed a large cherry orchard and he always shared with us. How I wished to convince him to add just a few peach trees; but he never did, and peaches were far too expensive to buy for our large family.

To this day, I love the smell and wonderful taste of peaches. Today’s recipes include a lovely peach pie that is perfect served warm with a scoop of ice cream. With summer still with us, the second recipe is sure to become a family favourite; it’s a creamy, wonderful peach ice cream that only has six ingredients and requires no cooking. Enjoy!

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Peach Pie

1-1/3 cups cold butter

4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup ice-cold water

8 large fresh, firm, ripe peaches (about 4 lbs.)

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg, beaten

1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar

Cut 1-1/3 cups butter into small cubes, and chill 15 minutes. Stir together 4 cups flour and 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup ice water with fork, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened and dough begins to form a ball and leaves sides of bowl, adding more ice water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if necessary.

Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap; press and shape dough into 2 flat disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface; sprinkle dough lightly with flour. Roll dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Starting at one edge of dough, wrap dough around a rolling pin. Place rolling pin over a 9-inch pie plate, and unroll dough over pie plate. Press dough into pie plate. Roll remaining dough disk to about 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.

Peel peaches, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; cut slices in half.

Stir together brown sugar, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/4 cup flour in a bowl; add peaches, stirring to coat. Immediately spoon peach mixture into pie crust in pie plate, and dot with 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter. (Do not make mixture ahead or it will become too juicy.)

Carefully place remaining pie crust over filling; press edges of crusts together to seal. Cut off excess crust, and reserve. Crimp edges of pie. If desired, re-roll excess crust to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch leaves using a knife. Brush top of pie with beaten egg; top with leaves. Brush leaves with egg; sprinkle with 1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape. Freeze pie 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a jelly-roll pan in oven 10 mins. Place pie on hot jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425 F on lower oven rack 15 mins. Reduce oven temperature to 375; bake 40 mins. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake 25 more minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly (juices will bubble through top). Transfer to wire rack; cool 2 hours before serving.

Summertime Peach

Ice Cream

4 cups peeled, diced fresh peaches (about 8 small ripe peaches)

1 cup sugar

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (3.75-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

4 cups half-and-half

Combine peaches and sugar, and let stand 1 hour.

Process peach mixture in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Stir together evaporated milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; stir in peach purée, condensed milk, and half-and-half. Pour mixture into freezer container of 4-quart hand-turned or electric freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon into airtight container, and freeze until firm.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday a month.