Strawberry Peach Pie with Sage & Honey

The greatest thing about being a known food lover is hearing about your friend’s fantastic food adventures. My friends are more than willing to tell me anything delicious; from what they had for dinner, to the complicated dessert they tried their hand at.  If something food-related happens to any one of my acquaintances I’m the first to hear about it.  And when my friend’s herb garden becomes so overgrown there’s no possible way they’re going to get through it all, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going home with a ziplock loaded with garden fresh goodies.  This happened to me twice in the course of a week.  The first batch I got from my cousin’s where I gathered a little bit of basil, sage, rosemary and thyme. I got the second round from my friend’s patio, which was experiencing a massive mintfestation.  Needless to say, the mint shall be used for mojito purposes.

Strawberries and Peaches

I told you last time that I promised myself I would use all of my produce and I was almost home free when I discovered four neglected peaches and a forgotten pint of strawberries.  The pie seemed the most logical (and reckless) solution to my problem.

Strawberries and Peaches

It is very dangerous to make an entire pie for a two-person household.  I don’t normally make a pie unless I’m sure there are at least five people to help me eat it, but I had just run close to 10km, so somewhere in my sick and twisted mind I decided I deserved an entire pie.

Sage

I was settled on the idea of strawberry peach pie, but then I found the remnants of my ziplock of herbs.  The thyme was all but gone and the basil looked a little worse for wear, but the sage was untouched and still gorgeous.  Sage in a strawberry peach pie?  Dare I tread into the unknown and possibly waste precious pastry on a potentially strange, inedible pie?  Yes, of course!

Strawberries, Peaches and Sage

The pie came out beautifully.  The strawberries and peaches were the perfect compliment to each other.  The strawberries brought a touch of tartness to the pie, while the peaches dominated with their smooth sweetness.  The sage added an element of savory to the pie, which served as an interesting contrast to syrupy sweetness of the fruit and the shortbread crust.

Filling and Pastry

My beau was adequately impressed.  He and his hallow leg polished off most of the pie, saving me from having to run the equivalent of three marathons.

Unbaked Pie

I know it may seem strange, but every now and then it pays to throw caution to the wind and let your imagination do a little bit of the driving.  While this pie is certainly not groundbreaking it’s a little off beat and unexpected, so if your bored of the same old pies (I can’t imagine why you would be) this might be a good way to break the mould.   I served this pie with a drizzle of maple syrup and it went down quite nicely. I was inspired for this recipe from Vegging at the Shore blog.

Strawberry Peach Pie

Strawberry Peach Pie with Honey and Sage: Serves 8

1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced

4 peaches, sliced

2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

2/3 cup demerara sugar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup flour

1 batch of pastry (see Irish Whiskey Pie)

1 egg

1 tbsp water

Maple syrup for drizzling

Directions:

Preheat oven 400°

Place peaches, strawberries, sugar, honey, flour and sage in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Roll out half of the chilled pastry and line a nine-inch pie plate with it.

Pour filling into the center.

Roll out second half of the pastry and cut into strips a quarter of an inch wide.

Weave strips of pastry on top of the filling to make a lattice top.

Trim and crimp edges.

In a small bowl whisk water and egg together.

Brush pastry with egg wash using a pastry brush.

Fit tin foil over the edge of the crust and bake for forty minutes.

Remove foil and bake for an addition fifteen minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Allow to cool and slice.

Serve drizzled with maple syrup.

Irish Whiskey Pie

Irish Whiskey Pie

Okay, if you put my last post and this post side by side, I can see how you would think I’ve been hitting the bottle pretty hard lately.  But, please cut me some slack, I’ve been on vacation.  Don’t worry; I’m heading back to Toronto tomorrow where sobriety will prevail once again.  So, enjoy these boozey recipes while they last, it’s not everyday I can afford to cook with a twelve year old Irish Whiskey.

Rolling out the pastry

Despite it’s name, this pie only contains about one ounce of alcohol (two ounces if you really want to push the envelope), so there’s no need to feel guilty if a piece finds it’s way into the hands of a child, although after you taste this pie you might not want to serve it at all.  I made two pies for my brother’s birthday yesterday and I greedily hid the second at the back of the fridge so I could eat a piece this morning after my run.  Breakfast of champions! *hick!  Pardon me!

Pastry in Pie Plate

This pie is really a glorified (and drunk) version of a butterscotch pie, but a wee nip of whiskey gives it something unexpected and makes it even more naughty.  The whiskey saves the pie from being sickly sweet.  It is a pie for grown ups, because it so faithfully steers the palette away from that intense candy flavor kids go for, but who am I to talk?  I still like sour patch kids.  Have ever poured them into a bag of hot popcorn? *drool!

Crimped Pastry

Sorry…

Got a touch sidetracked.  Too much beer I guess.

12 year old Irish Whiskey a.k.a Liquid Gold

Anyway, this pie is sure to capture more than a few hearts and like last week’s dessert I think it’s slightly more appropriate for the fall… Is it too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving?

Butterscotch Whiskey

Bite my tongue! I shouldn’t be thinking about life after summer when it’s still gorgeous outside.  I use to get so mad when they started running back to school ads at the beginning of August.  Sorry school age children (I’m sure you all read my blog faithfully), I won’t mention that hateful season again until it’s upon us.  I don’t mean to rush you back to school.

A Slice of Irish Whiskey Pie

I’ll be back in a few days with a summery recipe and to update you on my return to overpopulated civilization.  I’m expecting a total emotional breakdown in the first 24 hours.  Should be entertaining.

Wish me luck!

Irish Whiskey Pie: Makes one pie

Loosely adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

For the crust:

2 ½ cups pastry flour (all-purpose is fine)

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced

1 tsp salt

¼ cup cold water

¼ cup cold vodka

For the Filling:

½ cup evaporated milk

¼ cup cornstarch

5 egg yolks

½ tsp salt

1 cup light brown sugar

6 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups homogenized milk

1 oz Irish Whiskey

Directions:

For the crust:

Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl.

Using a food processor, a pastry blender or two knives and a good amount of patience, cut the butter into the flour.

Add water and vodka stirring after each addition until the dough comes together.

Form into a ball and cut it in half.

Flatten each half into a disc, wrap them in wax paper and refrigerate for at least half an hour before baking.

You will only need one half for this recipe, so feel free to freeze the other half for future pie emergencies.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°

Place pastry on a well-floured surface and using a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry to fit a 9-inch pie plate.

Place pastry into the pie plate and trim and crimp the edges.

Prick the dough several times with a fork.

Wrap tin foil around the pastry and fill the center with pie weights or dried beans.

Place in the center of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove weights and tin foil and bake for an additional nine minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the Filling:

In a medium sized bowl whisk together condensed milk, cornstarch and salt.

Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking until combined after each addition.  Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan melt butter over moderate heat.

Add brown sugar and allow to bubble slightly.

Slowly whisk in milk.

Add egg mixture slowly, whisking constantly.

Bring back to a boil while whisking the mixture.

Once the mixture is boiling, let it cook while stirring for approximately one minute or until thick.

Remove from heat and stir in whiskey.

Pour into a cooled pie shell and cover with plastic wrap.

Place in the fridge and let set for four hours.

You may serve the pie with whipped cream if you wish, but I find it so rich that I like to eat it au naturale.

Apple Sausage Galette

Apple Sausage Galette

One of the first things I learned how to make in the kitchen was pastry. In truth cinnamon rolls may have been first, but pastry was definitely a close second.

Whole-wheat Pastry

Pastry may be an odd place to start out, but at the tender age of… some point before ten I was already well versed in carefully adding flour to our temperamental Kitchen Aid mixer.  I was ready for a challenge.

Apples

From the time I patched the last hole in my first of many awkwardly rolled out pastries, I had embarked on a nearly twenty year long love affair with all things wrapped in butter and baked with love.

Cored, Sliced Apples

Pies are my specialty. If I get invited to a potluck, I arrive with fresh pie in hand. If I’m heading over to a friend’s for a low-key birthday celebration, you bet I have her favorite pie waiting in the wings.

Red Onion

Pie is fairly universal. You don’t encounter many people who would say no to a slice of pie. Regardless of taste and temperament everyone has a type of pie they would gladly eat any day of the week. Even if you were born without a sweet tooth (is that even possible?) I doubt you could resist the charms of a gorgeously golden Chicken Pot Pie.

Apple Sausage Galette

Whether you live for this flakey indulgence or you approach pie with a hesitant fork this week’s recipe is bound to catch your eye. Prepared to be amazed by this enticing salty-sweet Apple Sausage Galette. At the center of this tawny, homey treat is a generous layer of spiced Cortland apples, which sit atop of a bed of sautéed red onions. The whole mess is enveloped in a rich nutty whole-wheat pastry crust and, to up the naughty factor further, sprinkled with a crumbling of honey garlic sausage. With so many winning attributes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason not to invite this crisp buttery guest to your next get together.

Apple Sausage Galette

Soulfully rustic and an intriguing compilation of contrasting tastes and textures, this Apple Sausage Galette is a pastry fanatic’s dream come true.

Apple Sausage Galette: Serves 4

PASTRY:

¾ cup pastry flour

½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour

½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

½ tsp salt

¼ cup cold water

FILLING:

½ red onion, sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 honey garlic sausages, castings removed

3 Cortland apples, cored and sliced

¼ brown sugar

1/8 cup pastry flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp cinnamon

Pinch of cloves

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1/8 cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425°

For the Pastry: Combine flours, and salt in a large bowl.

Add butter and cut it into the dry mixture using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add water and stir until the dough starts to come together.

Touching the pastry as little as possible, form the mixture into a ball and flatten into a disc.

Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of a half an hour or up to 48 hours.

When ready to use, remove the pastry from the fridge and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Place on a cool well-floured surface.

Using a floured rolling, pin roll out pastry in a circular shape until it is 1/8 of an inch thick.

For the Filling: In a medium skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add onion and sprinkle liberally with salt.

Sautee for approximately 10 minutes until translucent.

Remove from heat and set aside.

If necessary add more oil to the pan and add the sausage.

Cook until browned then remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl combine apples, spices, sugar and flour.

To Assemble: Place a layer of onion onto the waiting pastry leaving a 1 ½ inch border along the edge.

Top with ½ of the sausage and ½ of the rosemary.

Add apples and sprinkle with the remaining sausage and rosemary.

Wrap the edges towards the center.

Brush pastry with milk.

Slide onto a pizza pan and place in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350° and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.