Today was brought to you by the letter P: Peaches and Pie and Pierre.
I Prepared a Pretty Perfect Pie this morning. We were talking about pastry, and not five minutes after deciding on a topic yesterday I received a brand-new cookbook, one that instantly took a place of honour beside my bed (yes, this is why we only have one child). The Harrow Fair Cookbook was inspired by the annual agricultural fair in Harrow, Ontario that began in 1854. In this book are recipes for everything from blue-ribbon pies to farmstand salads, fritters, ice cream, fried chicken and preserves. It’s so directly up my alley. The authors, sisters Moira Sanders and Lori Elstone, wrote the book because they have such fond memories of attending the Harrow Fair as children. Their book is based on the principle that what we eat today should be as natural as it was 156 years ago, when the fair was established. If it includes pies like this first-place-ribbon-winning-peaches-and-cream beauty, I couldn’t agree more.
After the show I went to Pierre’s to Plan a Project. Remember Pierre?
He Picked some Particularly Perfumed Peaches around Penticton last week, and since I Planned to Pop in, he Pulled a Peach cake out of the oven, baked in a cast iron Pan.
Can you tell I have a Preschooler?
So that Pierre – he’s a pretty good cook. He topped whole, peeled peaches with a sweet, crusty cake batter in a cast iron skillet and baked it until it was puffed and golden and reminiscent of an inside-out Dutch baby. The peaches emerged warm and soft, and the chunks of vanilla-scented cake fell away onto the plate and were not long for this world.
So that was breakfast round 2, and not even late enough in the morning to count as elevenses.
Round 1 was pie, remember? If Pop Tarts can be categorized as breakfast (which is not to say that I agree that they should be), what’s wrong with peach pie? I typically use my Grandma’s pastry recipe, but I tried a formula from from The Harrow Fair Cookbook that called for an egg and some vinegar (it won’t add flavour, but will relax the gluten), and it was pretty fantastic. And I chose a peaches and cream pie, meaning a cup of cream was added to the peaches and sugar before pouring the lot into the pastry shell and lidding it – the result wasn’t so much custardy as creamy – the juices oozed out like melted ice cream when you cut a slice.