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.

Green Salad with Bacon & Peaches

Green Salad with Bacon & Peaches

I arrived home from Nova Scotia to an empty refrigerator.  Panicked, I moved to my cupboards only to find them as barren as my fridge.  I then succumbed to jetlag and shamelessly broke down and ordered sushi.  The next day dawned and all I had to show for the $30 I spent the night before was some sad day old sushi.  I knew I could not survive on takeout forever, my pocket book couldn’t handle such abuse, but I really didn’t want to go to the grocery store.  Grocery shopping in Toronto can be an extreme sport.

Peaches

Have I ever told you how much I hate grocery stores?  Well, I hate them!  I know it’s an odd thing for a foodie to say, but I do.  I love markets (I love that Toronto has so many of them), but I think grocery stores are the devil.  They’re always freezing, the staff is disinterested, other shoppers are oblivious (especially on Saturdays) and I always seem to select the worst possible cart.

Peach with Pit

My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about it.

But what else could I do, eat old sushi?  So I mustered up my courage, took a deep breath and threw myself into the fray… I should probably mention I’ve been on a war movie kick lately.

Red Pepper

I didn’t even have a list.  I was determined to give each isle one shot to inspire me or seduce me with an exceptional buy.  There was no plan; I was more or less blindly pulling things off the shelves.  When I got home I surveyed my loot and scratched my head.  What on earth could I make with all this stuff?  Well, the answer was this salad.  I started with some gorgeous Ontario peaches and the rest wrote itself.  A base of peppery greens, a red bell pepper, a bit of cucumber, some raw cashews and, of course, bacon.  Incidentally, I actually found the bacon in the fridge.  I can always rely on my beau to replenish the all important bacon supply.  Dish soap on the other hand…

Chopped Cashews

The dressing was made with a dollop of my aunt’s homemade strawberry jam (made with Nova Scotian strawberries), some rosemary, and garlic.  I married these bold flavors with some flax seed oil and balsamic.  I watered the jam down a touch to give the dressing the proper consistency.

Bacon

Not surprisingly my beau was a bit apprehensive about the peaches, but he came around and wound up liking the salad quite a bit.  I, on the other hand, think I’ve found the salad of my dreams!  I really dug this salad!  Peaches and bacon laced with punchy accents of rosemary on a bed of peppery greens; what could be better?

Green Salad with Bacon & Peaches

Give this salad a try before the peaches go out of season.

 

Green Salad with Bacon & Peaches: Serves 2

2 cups mixed greens (I used baby spinach and arugula)

1 peach, stoned and sliced

¼ red bell pepper, sliced

1/6 cucumber, sliced

¼ cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped

4 slices of bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped

Strawberry Rosemary Vinaigrette:

1 ½ tbsp strawberry jam

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup flax seed oil

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small bowl whisk together jam and water.

Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined.

Place all salad ingredients (except the cashews) in a large bowl and pour in the dressing.

Toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed and coated with dressing.

Serve salad sprinkled with cashews.