Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fresh Peaches and Cream No-Bake Pie

Fresh peaches, sweet and juicy when in season, are prime for this perfect unbaked pie. Yes, yes, it requires a baked crust (buy one if you wish), but the sweetened cream cheese layer needs no cooking and it would be a travesty to lay the heat to those luscious and lovely peaches and alter their perfect texture and bright flavor. This one is honestly the FOURTH Fresh Peaches and Cream No-bake Pie that I've made in the past two weeks and I doubled one of them in a 9x13 dish to take to a lakeside cook out with friends. The recipe is just that good. 

I start by cutting and sugaring the peaches, 4 or 5 with 1/3 c sugar to let the juice accumulate, and then do the crust. Now, I know I'm always saying that a certain ready made crust in the red box is so good that I don't bother making my own anymore, but I recently came across Never Fail Pie Crust in an old cookbook of Virginia Bentley's (source of this yummy pie) and saw that it was literally a 5 minute project. Well, here I am making homemade again since I do sometime find myself in need of pie and lacking the red box in the fridge. After the directions for the pie I'm going to indulge you with the directions for this oddly made but flaky tender crust that absolutely anybody could do, even on the first try, without ruining it.
For the creamy layer of the pie use a spatula or wooden spoon to blend together an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese with 1/4 tsp almond extract and 2 tablespoons of sugar. This is easiest if you soften the cream cheese in the microwave just enough to barely get it warm, not hot. It will also be easier to smooth into the pie crust. Drop it in there in a couple of blops and press it around with the back of a big spoon or spatula, WITHOUT lifting the spoon until completely finished or you may pull up a chunk of crust. Next add the peaches, after pouring them through a mesh strainer with a small pan underneath to catch the juices. Very gently press the peaches without squishing them to extract all collected juice or just shake the strainer a bit, then add them to the pie. 

Little Baby Mini Pie
The juice should equal around 2/3 cup, but don't worry if it's a little less.Taste now to see if it needs a little more sugar and then add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Before putting this over medium heat, whisk it well to melt the cornstarch completely. Now stir steadily over the heat and it will thicken and turn clear again within just a few minutes. Let sit until cool and then top the peaches with this mixture. It's hard to wait but the pie does improve with a good chill in the fridge.


Never Fail Pie Crust

This oddball pie crust uses 1/2 cup OIL (not shortening) and 1/4 cup COLD MILK (not water) to 2 cups flour and 1/2 tsp salt. I thought that sounded like it couldn't possibly work but I really wanted a pie and something had to give. Don't bother pulling out an electric mixer because you truly will not need it. Just put everything together in a bowl and mix quickly with a fork.

It will look like a mess. Ignore the shaggy pieces of barely stuck together dough because the less you work it the more tender and flakey it will be, just like with biscuits - something every southern woman knows and it's time we let everybody in on that secret. Touch not thine dough, except a little bit.

Now just turn the bowl over onto a piece of wax paper and let the dough fall out. Don't try to tidy it up. Top it with a second piece of paper and press out with your hands to about an inch thick, then take to it with a rolling pin to work it into a big piece only 1/4" thick or so. There will be plenty more than you need for one pie. I used all of it for a 9x13 dish once and another day I made a regular pie and a mini pie, still another day (I told you I've been making pie like a crazy woman) I did one reg pie and 6-8 tarts in a mini muffin tin.


 Before moving the crust peel one side of the paper off and loosely replace; this will make it easy to remove when you shift it over to the pie pan. Flip the crust over and completely remove the other piece of paper then flip back over into the pan and ease into place, gently pressing in through the paper.
 It will hang way over the edges. Peel away the paper and cut all around the edge with a knife. Prick it well all over with a fork and put it in the freezer. That's right, freezer. For just about 10-15 minutes, no longer. If you do this step you can be assured of a perfect crust that will not shrink or slip down into the pan or bubble up in some crazy spot. If you skip it I'm not giving out any guarantees because it is the softest oddest dough that seems like it surely will not work but it does if you follow directions.

Now it's ready to bake at 475 for about 10 minutes or until just turning brown, perfect, tender, and unfailingly delicious.

THE SHOPPING LIST
4-5 ripe peaches
1 lemon (for 1 Tbs juice)
8 oz cream  cheese
1 TBS cornstarch
1/3 c+2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1 Pie Crust
      or 2 c Flour, 1/2 c Oil, 1/4 c Milk
Today you can find me on the Food Network website! Summer Fest is underway at FN Dish and this week we're all blogging about Peaches. Stay tuned for more summer fruit and veg posts throughout the summer and in the mean time check out these other great blogs about peaches:

CIA Dropout: Peachy Keen Panna Cotta
What’s Gaby Cooking: Peach and Blueberry Cobbler
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy Peach Preserves
I Am Mommy: Peach Bread
Cooking with Books: Peaches and Cream Cheesecake
Cooking With My Kid: Peach & Friends Cobbler Pie
White on Rice Couple: Peach Heirloom Tomato Salad
Cooking With Elise: Bruschetta with Grilled Peach Chutney
Taste With The Eyes: Warm White Peach and Blackberry Cobbler
Recipe Girl: Fresh Peach Pie
A Way to Garden: Farm Fresh Peaches Frozen to Perfection
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Fresh Peach Cookies
Sassy Radish: Peach, Apricot and Blueberry Cobbler with a Cornmeal Crust
Sweet Life: Sweet Peach Ancho Chile Salsa
Indian Simmer: Indian Peach Gujiya
Dixie Chik Cooks: Peach Cobbler
Food2: 5 Killer Peach Flavored Cocktails
Healthy Eats: 8 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Eat Peaches
Cooking Channel: Peaches on the Grill
Add a Pinch: My Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler
And Love It Too: Pan Seared Salmon with Fresh Peach Salsa
From My Corner of Saratoga: Double Caramel Peaches
She Wears Many Hats: Peach Wontons

2 comments:

  1. This looks so delicious! Gorgeous peaches!

    ReplyDelete
  2. no bake, oh I am all over this!! yummy

    ReplyDelete

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