Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Brandy Peach Pie Dingman

Ripe, succulent Ontario peaches are superb for eating fresh, but there is nothing more mouth watering than a peach pie, or in this case, my friend Chris's Brandy Peach Pie with Streusel Topping. This delicious homemade deep dish pie, encased in buttery pastry with a sweet streusel topping, studded with pecans and walnuts, perfectly accents the tender sweet peaches. The secret ingredient, as with any pie, is the pastry. Chris smartly uses Jean White's famous pastry recipe — considered by many to to be the best no-fail pastry on the planet. High praise indeed, but wait until you try it. Jean's pastry dough rolls out well, freezes well, and produces consistently flakey and delicious pies. In combination with juicy ripe peaches, a glug of Brandy and the sweet, buttery and nutty streusel crown, Chris's Brandy Peach Pie is an all-round winner.

Brandy Peach Pie Dingman
Serves 8-10

1 10" pie crust, unbaked (see recipe below)
4-5 cups peeled and sliced peaches
1/3 cup brandy or calvados
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup mixed nuts, chopped (walnuts, pecans, almonds)

For the steusel topping, mix all the ingredients until crumby. If too smooth and buttery, add flour, teaspoon by teaspoon, until crumbly. Toss peaches with brandy, sugar and cornstarch. Fill the pie crust with the fruit and cover with streusel topping. Bake at 350°F for one hour until the pie is bubbling, and golden, and he filling has set.

Jean's Pastry
Makes three 2-crust pies

5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 lb Tenderflake lard
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp white vinegar
3/4 cup cold water

Mix the first five ingredients together well, until it's in crumbs. Add the egg, vinegar and water together in a small bowl and combine. Add to the flour mixture and mix with your hands until it is in a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 3 round portions and wrap in cling film and then aluminum foil. This is enough for three 2-crust pies, and freezes really well.