Free-form Peach Pie

November 23, 2008

Last night when I made my own shortcrust pastry I said I was in the mood for some pie. Today was the perfect weather! A cold, wet and dreary Sunday great for a freshly baked fruit pie.

I decided to bake a free-form peach pie. Free-form means that it doesn’t use a baking tin, rather the edges are folded over to keep the filling in. I think the end result looks simple, yet really tasty and inviting. So here’s how to make your own, subsitiute the peaches for anything you fancy.

Rolling out the pastry

Rolling out the pastry

Roll out the pastry until it is about as big as a dinner plate; making sure it’s all even. If you want a perfect circle you can use a plate to cut one out.

Apricot conserve and brown sugar

Apricot conserve and brown sugar

Melt some apricot jam (or conserve in my case) in the microwave carefully, and spread onto the pastry leaving a border around the edge. Then sprinkle on some brown sugar.

Arranging the peaches

Arranging the peaches

Layer the peaches onto the pastry, I attempted to make it look fancy…

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Sprinkle the peaches with more brown sugar and carefully fold the edges of the pastry to partially enclose the filling. Now it’s ready to be baked!

Fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve! The smell is divine; warm stewed peaches, I couldn’t wait to eat it.

It was really tasty!

It was really tasty!

Serve a slice with some double cream and try not to eat the whole pie! I am so incredibly proud of this dessert; it’s the first time I have ever made my own shortcrust pastry and it turned out light and crispy just as I hoped. And here is the recipe!

Free-form Peach Pie
Serves 4

1 quantity of shortcrust pastry
2 tbs apricot jam (or conserve)
2 tbs brown sugar
415g can sliced peaches
Icing sugar to dust
Cream, ice cream, custard etc to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C

Roll out the pastry into a rough circle shape as big as a dinner plate.
Melt the apricot jam in either a saucepan or the microwave. Spread onto the pastry leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Sprinkle with 1tbs of the brown sugar.

Arrange the peaches on the pastry. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and carefully fold the edges of the pastry partially enclosing the filling.

Place the pie on a baking paper lined tray and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Let it cool slightly and serve!

Enjoy!

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Easy Shortcrust Pastry

November 22, 2008

Once you discover just how easy it is to make your own shortcrust pastry you will never want to buy frozen pastry ever again! It is almost 11pm here and it took me about 15 minutes just before to quickly whip some up.

I have a hankering for some pie, and shortcrust pastry is the best for pies and tarts. I’m thinking a free-form fruit pie like apple, or mixed berries. Stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow! But first, the pastry!

Shortcrust Pastry

1 2/3 cups plain flour
125g butter, chopped
1 egg

Combine the flour and the butter with a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Whisk the egg with 1 tbs of chilled water. Now if you have one of those fancy processors where you can add ingredients into it while the motor is running do this with the egg. However, if you’re like me and have a very basic processor; turn out the flour mixture into a bowl.

If you’ve mixed the egg into the food processor, pulse until the mixture forms large clumps but don’t let it form a ball.

If you have combined the egg with the flour mixture in a bowl, just mix with your hands until it has formed a ball. Don’t knead it like you would a pizza dough otherwise the pastry will become chewy, not nice and light.

Wrap the pastry in cling-wrap and store in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.

And there you have it! Quick and simple homemade shortcrust pastry!

What’s great about this recipe is that the variations are endless… you could add some grated cheese to make a savoury pastry and make mini savoury tarts… ohh I’m getting too hungry for this time of night! I better just publish this post before I get the idea to raid the fridge…