Peach & Blackberry Pie

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I’m still waiting for some cooler September temperatures to arrive to Rome, but in the meantime I may as well enjoy the summer fruits that are still available at my local market. The peaches yesterday were stunning and I couldn’t help myself, so I bought a dozen!  Once home though I thought maybe I’d bought too many and was worried they’d over-ripen before we managed to eat them all. I then decided to make another comfort food favourite, and make a deep dish peach pie. I added some blackberries to add some tartness to the flavour.  I prepared too many peaches for the size of this pie, but that was OK because I used them to make a crumble!

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Peach & Blackberry Pie

PASTRY

  • 250-300g plain flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 125g butter (chilled, cut into cubes)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

FILLING

  • 6 large ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 130g white sugar
  • 50g packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 punnet of blackberries
  • Pinch salt
  • 30g butter
  • 60ml milk (for brushing pastry)
  1. In a medium bowl, add 250g sifted flour, sugar and salt. Using your fingers rub in the butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and egg yolk, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Mix well and knead until well combined. Add extra 50g flour if dough is sticky. Wrap in plastic kitchen wrap and refrigerate for at least 30min before using.  (I doubled the recipe).
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to line the inside of a pie tin or dish, diameter 22cm. Ease dough against the sides and the bottom.  Trim the edge allowing about 1cm hanging over rim. Bake in oven at 180°C  for about 20min or until pie crust is golden. peach1
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Score peaches lightly underneath with an ‘X’.  Add the peaches to the boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and run under cold water.  Peel peaches and cut into 12 wedges and then cut them in half across the middle, and place in a large bowl.
  4. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. (Set aside 1 tablespoon of white sugar).  In a small bowl, combine remaining white sugar, brown sugar, cornflour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir well, and add to peaches.  Stir quickly and gently until peaches are covered.  Put peaches into a colander over a saucepan or bowl.  This is important to drain excess juices, and ensure that the bottom pie crust remains crunchy after pie has baked. (Save juice).  Leave peaches sitting for about 20min and then place into pre-baked pie shell. Arrange blackberries on top of peaches. s
  5. Prepare pastry for the top of the pie as you wish.  You can cover the pie with one disc, piercing pastry with a knife to allow air to escape. I covered mine with two pastry layers.  Firstly, I cut wide strips and laid them onto the peaches vertically & horizontally weaving each strip under and over the previous pastry strip.  Press strips onto the bottom crust. Brush milk over the pastry, sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  6. Bake pie in oven at 180°C for 20-30minutes.  Remove from oven and cover pastry rim with foil, return pie to oven and continue baking for another 35min, or until pastry top is golden and the fruit is bubbling. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  7. With remaining pastry, roll out and cut out leaf & flower shapes using plunger cutters utilised for cake decorating.  Bake as you would sugar cookies,  being careful not to burn them. Present your pie with the shapes arranged creatively on top. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a generous scoop of good quality vanilla gelato!

** You can heat the juice drained from peaches.  Stir, bringing to boil, allow to thicken and serve over a slice of pie.

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