Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rhubarb-Peach Pie

I'm not sure what is the most surprising thing about this pie.  It is an odd combination of fruits- peaches and rhubarb.  It is also made with ingredients I had on hand.  The peaches and rhubarb were in my freezer, along with the lonely, old, store-bought pie crust.  But I think the most surprising thing about this pie is I made it without a recipe.  I have NEVER baked without a recipe. I cook dinner like that all the time, but I've always considered baking a more exact science.  I guess I was feeling a bit rebellious today.

Here's how I did it....

I defrosted the fruit and the pie shell on the counter.  I rolled the pastry into my glass deep dish pie pan.  I dumped the fruit into a bowl with about a cup of sugar.  I had no idea how much to add, but I knew the peaces would probably be sweet enough, but I know from past experience with rhubarb pie recipes, it requires a good bit of sugar.  I added the cup, then tasted until the raw rhubarb was tolerable.  I could have put more, but with the peaches, I decided not to.  I then added 2 tablespoons of instant clearjel powder from King Arthur Flour.  This stuff is great!  I used to use instant tapioca to thicken my fruit pies, but not anymore!  If you bake pies frequently, it's worth following the link and checking it out!  I let the fruit sit and fester in the sugar and clearjel for about 15 minutes, then dumped it into the pie shell.  Since I only had one pastry crust, I decided to do a streusel topping.  I mixed about 3/4 cup of assorted nuts I found in the freezer (mostly hazelnuts, but a few sliced almonds as well) that I bashed with a rolling pin to break up.  Then I mixed maybe half a cup of brown sugar with the same amount of whole wheat flour.  I melted half a stick of unsalted butter and mixed everything together with a dash of kosher salt.  I sprinkled the mixture on top of the pie, loosely covered it foil and baked it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  I took the foil off and then cooked it another 20 minutes or so.  I poked at it with a knife, and it seems to have thickened up nicely.  I'm planning to serve it with some whipped heavy cream infused with Calvados.  I'm thinking it won't suck.
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