(Serves 8 to 10)
Every September we look forward to the delicious peaches from Palisade, Colorado. I like desserts that I can make ahead for entertaining, so I set out to find a method for making peach pie and freezing it so that the fresh flavor of the peaches is preserved yet the crust doesn’t get soggy after baking. After much research, I decided that the best method is to freeze the crust and filling separately. At the bottom of the directions we explain how to make the pie if you want to bake it immediately. Use this freezing method for any fruit-filled pie.
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut up into small pieces
3 tablespoons shortening (we like to use Crisco), cut up into small pieces
1 large egg
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 1/4 pounds medium-sized ripe peaches, peeled and sliced 1/4 to 3/8-inch thick
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (depends on sweetness of peaches)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon mace
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up into small pieces
1 egg, beaten (for egg glaze)
To make the crust
Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cover and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix the dry ingredients. Add the cut up butter and shortening and process 5 to 10 seconds until the dough has the texture of rough cornmeal. Add egg and 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse 2 to 3 times. Add ground nuts and 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse 2 to 3 times. Watch the dough carefully and stop the machine as soon as the dough starts to clump together. It will look rough and lumpy and there may be pieces of butter and egg. If it looks too dry and crumbly, sprinkle in a little more water and pulse 1 more time. Pinch the dough together with your fingers; if the dough holds together, it is done. Do not allow the dough to form a ball on the machine blades as it will be overworked and tough.
Turn dough out onto a piece of wax paper. Form the dough into 2 balls of the same size, wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (or up to several hours). On a lightly floured work surface, roll one ball of dough into a 12-inch circle. Sandwich the pastry round between two pieces of wax paper set on cardboard backing or large cookie sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze (if using a cookie sheet for support, wrap dough in foil, then set on sheet; remove cookie sheet once crusts are frozen).
To make the pie filling
In a large mixing bowl, toss the peaches with the cranberries, lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and cornstarch.
To freeze the filling
Center a 12-by-24 inch piece of foil over a 9-inch pie plate. Mound the peach mixture on the foil over the pie plate and pat it down into the dish. Sprinkle the pieces of butter over the top. Fold up the foil, pushing out the excess air to seal. Leave in the pie plate and freeze. Once frozen you can remove the pie plate and leave the filling in the freezer.
To assemble and bake the pie after freezing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Thaw the pie crusts for about 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t thaw the filling. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the crusts. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water). Place the peach filling (frozen) inside the crust. Cut steam vents in the top crust, moisten the edges of the bottom crust, then place on the top crust. Fold the edges of the top crust over the lower one and pinch to seal. Mold the edges into a fluted rim. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, raise pie to center of oven, cover pastry edges with foil and continue baking for another 35 minutes or until bubbly and light brown on top.
To assemble and bake the pie immediately
Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the crusts. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water). Place the peach filling inside the crust. Sprinkle the pieces of butter over the top. Cut steam vents in the top crust, moisten the edges of the bottom crust, then place on the top crust. Fold the edges of the top crust over the lower one and pinch to seal. Mold the edges into a fluted rim. Bake for 10 minutes in bottom third of oven at 425 degrees, followed by 35 to 40 minutes in the center of the oven at 350 degrees. Place foil on crust when it looks like it is browning too fast.
(Serves 6 to 8)
Great to serve around the holidays – the red cranberries and onions together with the green lettuce and avocado are very festive!
1/4 cup cranberry juice concentrate, undiluted
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Put the cranberry juice, vinegar, mustard, pepper and olive oil in a medium jar and whisk until well combined. Cover and set aside.
Tear salad greens into bite-sized pieces and place in large salad bowl. Add the avocado, onion and cranberries. Toss with dressing and serve.
Make Ahead: Dressing can be made several days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.
Variation: Toss the greens with 3/4 of the dressing. Divide between individual salad plates. Cut the avocado into slices and arrange on top of the greens. Top with the red onion slices and sprinkle with the cranberries. Drizzle remaining dressing over the top (as needed).