After chickening out and making an ice cream pie last week, I finally bit the bullet and made a double-crust pie. I’d found a good all-butter crust recipe online, and Trader Joe’s had a terrific price on four pounds of peaches. It was time.
The crust rolled out easily and quickly, and I improvised the fruit filling. I wanted to try a thickener, something I’d never done before with a fruit pie. I only had cornstarch on hand since I’d give away the tapioca flour before my recent move. I knew I wanted some bourbon flavor in the pie so instead of using water to thin the cornstarch I used Jim Beam. I minced some ginger, added sugar and lemon, and I was ready for peaches.
I blanched the peaches to make them peel more easily, then cut them into thick slices or chunks. I added them to the ginger mixture, mixed in the cornstarch and bourbon, and dumped it all into the crust.
To save on electricity and avoid too much heat in the apartment, I used our toaster/convection oven. Knowing it would be hot and knowing I would bake pies this summer, I made sure it could fit a pie when I chose it. I did not, however, think about fruit pie spillage until I was about to put the pie in the oven. I quickly covered the rack in foil, folding it up like a cup around the pie plate. (My next goal is to find a perfectly square metal tray for the oven that will fit a pie plate. The broiler plate that came with the oven is a bit too small.) The foil and the fact that I used a 10″ pie plate instead of a 9″ plate, meant the pie was a tight squeeze into my oven. (That photo got lost.)
In the end, the pie was good but has a lot of room for improvement. There was too much bourbon, and the ginger flavor was lost. Next time I’d use less bourbon and more ginger. There was a bit too much liquid, so the crust was slightly soggy, but not terrible. And the top crust didn’t brown enough to my taste. I blame that last point on the oven. It was pretty cramped in the oven, so air couldn’t circulate and brown the crust as it would in a full oven. Plus, the excess liquid may have steamed the pie a bit.