As Easy As Peach Pie In 100 Degree Weather - To Market, To Market…Seattle Blog at - 117512

To Market, To Market…Seattle

As Easy As Peach Pie in 100 Degree Weather 
Aug. 7, 2009 6:29 pm 
Updated: Oct. 26, 2010 8:50 pm
What was I thinking, you ask? I was thinking that I finally  have a fully installed oven, after 3 months without. I was thinking, heat be darned, I have 6 pounds of peaches. I was thinking I needed to put together a thank you gift. I was NOT thinking about pie crust. Pie crust is a delicate balance of starch and fat. You work it too much, it ends up chewy and dense. You don’t work it enough, it is dry and floury. You try to make it in 100 degree heat, it is a melty mess. But, I didn’t think about that, so I started with the peaches.
Peach pie was Mom’s favorite to make. I thought of her as I scored the peaches and dropped them into the pot of boiling water. They smelled like summer, and were just perfectly ripe. I had to keep myself from gorging out before they landed in the pot. They were farmers’ market finds, perfectly ripe and flavorful. I love living in Washington during stone fruit season. The skins slipped off easily, I sliced, and set them to drain, with a dousing of lemon juice. No sugar for these syrupy lovelies. Then, I started the crust.
Ruth’s Grandma’s Pie Crust came highly recommended from a great friend and confident pie baker, with one note – use half butter and half shortening. Easy. Right? Well, the mixture never got to that perfect crumble, the butter started melting as soon as it hit the bowl. I ended up with half greasy mush and half dry ingredients. I patted and schmeared it into rounds and grimly refrigerated it. Rolling them out was even worse – the butter melted in seconds and the crust stuck to the mat, the pin, my fingers. I ended up mushing pieces of it together in the pie plate. I had to soldier on. The peaches were ready, there was no more butter to try again, and it was getting late. I had promised the contractor a dessert delivery. What was I thinking?!? I filled the shell and patched together some scraps of dough around the edges. One word: Rustic. I chilled it while I preheated the oven (what harm can a 375 degree oven do to an already 100 degree house) and baked it off with more fear and prayer than anything I have ever made. What a crazy first thing to try to make. Maybe in my 3 months off from cooking and baking, I had forgotten how.  I was sure it would be a failure.
But, it turned out AMAZING!!! It was tender, flaky and delicious. It browned evenly and cut beautifully.  I will never use another pie crust recipe.  Thank you, Ruth’s Grandma. If all of my operator error and record high temperatures couldn’t keep it from turning out, this is a golden classic for sure.
Do you have NEVER FAIL recipes in your back pocket? Ones that work come fire or flood? I would love to hear about them and try them out in my new digs. Hopefully, they will be less stressful than this peach pie.
Peeling Peaches
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Naked Peaches!
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No Sugar Needed!
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Peach Pie!!!
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Peach Pie Thank You Platter!!
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Breakfast Pie
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Aug. 7, 2009 8:16 pm
Wow you are very brave! I can't convince myself to make dinner in 100 degree weather let alone bake a pie! I thought about it a month ago when I scored some peaches but decided eating them raw was good too :) I'm glad it worked out for you :) I'm going to have to try that pie crust. I really suck at pie crust :)
Aug. 7, 2009 10:20 pm
Well now that we are back to more reasonable temperatures I am in the mood to bake a pie. At the height of that rediculous heat wave, my kitchen was at 103 degrees. Not to bright to turn on an oven when it's like that. We all love peach pie and now it's a virtual peach bonanza out there. I'm going to give Ruth's grandma's crust a shot also. Your pictures are mouth-watering and I need a napkin.....
Aug. 8, 2009 10:52 am
You peaches look lovely! I have never thought about making my own pie crust, I just saved your recipe and will try maybe during the holidays. Thanks for sharing with us!
Aug. 8, 2009 5:03 pm
Absolutely divine! Love the pix. 100 degrees and I'm supposed to cook? Really. Oh you are such a dedicated soul to do this in that heat! Makes me not fuss so much about not having an oven. Gotta try the pie dough recipe. Good read. Thanks!!
Aug. 10, 2009 12:11 pm
Brava to you, Christy! For not giving up and for sharing your peach bonanza. I bet that was one happy contractor. Loved your "breakfast pie" photo, too. Doesn't everyone eat pie for breakfast? You've inspired me to buy peaches this week at my farmers' market.
Aug. 10, 2009 5:59 pm
I've only made 1 pie crust, and it was Ruth's Grandma's...turned out fabulous! Your pie loks so delicious. Our peach tree that last year gave us 2 dozen cans and 5 zilpoc bags frozen (plus assorted fresh eating ones) has given us about NINE peaches this year.... :( So sad.... We had a BAD frost in April and it killed a lot of the peaches in the area.
Aug. 10, 2009 9:18 pm
There is nothing like fresh pie in the summer. Good job getting your crust to work out. I usually try to bake earlier in the day before it gets to warm. The half shortening and half butter recipe is my favorite crust recipe.A marble slab to roll you dough out on that you could have cooled would have helped your crust problem.
Aug. 11, 2009 6:51 am
So glad it turned out fantastic! It sounded really messy but... so worth it. Nice pics too!
Aug. 11, 2009 7:35 am
The peaches look delicious. Thanks for sharing. I made peach salsa last week!
Aug. 11, 2009 2:46 pm
I had to read the blog...your title brought back memories of peach pie when I lived in Georgia in the early '80's. My in-laws were visiting. I had made fried chicken, potato salad and peach pie for their supper before leaving for work....was dreaming of an ice-cold meal after a hot day a work.....and my mother-in-law proudly presented me with a evening meal of HEATED chicken, potato salad and peach pie! It was 105 degrees! Only the iced tea was cold. But the peach pie was excellent, both hot and cold. Thanks for the memory.
Aug. 12, 2009 9:05 am
My Grandmother Ruth had a special pie crust recipe that worked fantastic in hot weather! Her trick was to put the water over ice cubes, then into the fridge or freezer until it formed an ice crust. Just make sure to chill plenty of water, I fill a large water glass with the ice/water to make sure there is enough liquid. Then use 1/2 lard and 1/2 Crisco shortening. (1/3 c fat to 1 c water 1/2 tsp salt). And cut it mix it with a potato masher! Up to 4T water per c of floru. Adding the ice cold water stops the fat smearing around and makes it great even in hot weather (it also keeps GREAT up to 2 days in the fridge before rolling). Use PLENTY Of flour on the mat. She loved the Tupperware rolling pin i bought her. She was born in 1897 and this was a great thing she said to be able to chill the dough when rolling. She always filled it with crushed ice/water and then froze it.She was an amazing lady :)
Aug. 12, 2009 10:26 am
MaeveCooks - That is some great advice. Hopefully Seattle will never again have 100+ degree weather that coincides with my non-stop need for baking! But, I still will use that icy cold water tip.
Aug. 12, 2009 12:09 pm
I grew up in the deep South making pie crusts when there was no air conditioning. (YIKES, can you believe it?). The trick is to keep the ingredients COLD. The butter and shortening go in the freezer until almost frozen. The water is in a big bowl loaded with ice. When it's mixed up, put the dough in the fridge for an hour. Bring it out and work fast using a chilled rolling pin. These hints still create a better crust even with air conditioning!
Sally Wilmarth 
Aug. 12, 2009 12:13 pm
What a great article, I want to run right out & buy peaches. I have a suggestion, use ice water, but then to work with the crust that really doesn't help, for that you need a good air conditioner!! I feel your heat we live in east texas.
Aug. 12, 2009 4:33 pm
I wonder if you could use the grill like an oven with success...It would be great not to heat up the house. I know people bake things in their grills all the time. Worth a try for me. Thanks for the entertaining article and great pictures!
Aug. 13, 2009 10:18 am
I have used that same recipe for years but add 1 Tbsp. of cider vinegar. I always use yellow crisco but will try 1/2 butter next time. No fail recipe! susan
Aug. 14, 2009 12:40 am
An oil pie crust can be made in any weather! That is the kind I always use. It is also easy to mix up. You will need to use wax paper to roll it out.
Oct. 26, 2010 8:50 pm
This pie crust recipe sounds yummy..I have my own version of the 1/2 veg.shortening & 1/2 butter..but i use 1 beat up egg, vinegar and ice water...always tender <3~
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About Me
I started cooking at a young age and have had great experiences travelling and studying food around the world. I enjoy searching out new things and trying to find the "best of" my family and friends' favorite foods.
My favorite things to cook
I try to shop as much as I can at farmers markets. I really enjoy cooking with fresh, wholesome, local ingredients and I love exploring the products made by specialty meat, cheese, oil, vinegar, and wine producers both locally and from farther afield.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family has solid German and Scottish roots. The traditions coming out of my grandmother's kitchen are for hearty, frugal dishes: pot roasts, chicken and dumplings, rouladen, and Friday fish dinners are what I remember most.
My cooking triumphs
My mother was very sick one Christmas when I was still in gradeschool, probably 12 years old or so. We had the whole family (about 45 relatives) coming over for dinner and I told my Mom I would take care of it. For two days, I worked and cooked - running upstairs to ask Mom what to do next, then coming down to whip potatoes, make stuffing, prepare the molded salad, and dress the crown roast of pork for the holiday dinner. It all came out right, nothing was ruined and everyone ate well. I will always remember how good it felt to make my Mom and family so happy and proud. That is what really hooked me on cooking.
My cooking tragedies
As a young cook, I often would try to make things before I read a recipe or really understood the chemistry of the cooking or baking task. I once made the most wretched pot pie - a lard crust, undercooked gravy instead of white sauce, frozen peas as the only vegetable, turkey from a holiday that was probably a few days too old to eat. I served it to my sisters - it tasted horrible and gave us all upset stomachs. Thankfully, they have forgiven me and continue to support my cooking adventures.
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