Monday, June 8, 2009

YWPWT: Childhood Memory Pie

This month's You Want Pies with That theme was chosen by the fabulous Kittymama:

Childhood Memory Pie: Bake a pie or tart that is inspired by a favorite childhood memory. Maybe you spent a summer vacation in Maine so it's a blueberry pie; or your grandmother always baked lemon meringue, or you remember your first taste of apple pie ever. Tell us a little story that will help us walk down memory lane with you and relive some happy childhood memories!

For me this was a tough one, my Grandma (the one whose recipes I have often posted on here) always had pies around. The ones I remember were the refrigerator pies (even though I know she made fruit pies too), you know the kind with a cookie crust and some kind of pudding or custard filling. While they are definitely a childhood memory and delish, I have really been craving and for the most part prefer fruit pies. That being said it's hard to make a pie without thinking of my grandmother, no matter what kind, so that almost makes every pie a childhood memory pie for me. It was then that is came to me. Peaches! For as long as I can remember peaches have been up there among my favorite fruits, plus I remember for a few summers after my father started working in South Carolina that he would ship a massive crate of the biggest juiciest peaches up to us and we would have a ball making peach crisps and cobblers and even the occasional pie. So for the memories of my grandmother's pies and those massive crates of delicious peaches that I looked forward to every summer, I came up with this month's pie, a modern twist on a classic.

Vanilla Bean Cardamom Peach Pie
makes 1 9"deep dish pie

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp vanilla sugar - made by place a whole vanilla bean in an airtight container with at least 2 cups of sugar for 24 hours or longer
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter - ice cold and cut into pieces
1 cup iced cold water

8-9 average size peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges (I got about 8 pieces each)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
seed from 1 split vanilla bean
3/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp half and half

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients from the crust.  Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until there are pieces no larger than a pea.  Mix in about 1/2 cup of the iced cold water and add more a little at a time just until a dough forms. Break the ball of dough in half, flatten into 2 discs and wrap well in plastic.  Place in the fridge for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 425F. Peel and cut peaches. Place in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a medium bowl toss together all dry ingredients, including seeds from vanilla bean. Once well combined toss with peaches and let sit for 15 minutes.
3. Place standard 9"pie plate in the freezer and take dough out of refrigerator. Divide into two balls, one slightly larger that the other, return the smaller ball to the refrigerator. Roll out the larger ball to a large thin circle. Take pie plate from freezer and carefully lay crust into plate. Return to the freezer.
4. Remove second ball of dough from the refrigerator and roll out to just large enough to fit over the top of pie. Remove pie plate from freezer. Carefully pour peach mixture into plate, mounding slightly in the middle. Dot with butter and cover with crust.
5. Cut vents in the top of the crust. Mix together egg yolk and half and half. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash all over the crust.
6. Place pie on a cookie sheet and into the preheated oven. After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F and cook for another 30 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling in bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 4 hours before serving.

This was my first time cooking with cardamom and I am so happy with the way it complemented not only the peaches but also with the vanilla bean. It is so different from any pie I had as a child, but a nice reinvention of a classic peach pie. I made it up north for the boy's family and it was gone that very night, his dad had 2 pieces! That's a hit in my mind. I think it is my favorite pie I've made thus far, from the flavors to the pie crust that I threw together on my own, I loved it. The boy's buddy (you'll remember Birthday Buddy from my Strawberry Cupcake post) was at the cottage too and as you can see was a fan of the pie too!

Oh and don't forget to check out all the other fabulous and tasty entries over at You Want Pies With That. Enjoy!


Nichi said...

Cardamom & vanilla bean in there sound delicious, it looks beautifully bespeckled with the spices too!

suz said...

Ah yes, the cardamom train. Come aboard Jen; we've been waiting for you ;) So, how did this girl who never baked become one of the most amazing bakers I know?! I love your pie, as usual. Now we just have to keep poor BigSis away from it!

LaDue & Crew said...

Oh wow! I am definitely going to have to try this one! Now off to look through your bog more ;-)

jane of many trades said...

peaches go wonderfully with vanilla and cardamom, add little lemon zest too! that's how i flavor my peach pies!

kittymama said...

Yum! Sounds delicious!

Natashya said...

Cardamom, vanilla and peaches sounds heavenly!

Justine said...

Sounds like a lovely, delicious combination!