Peaches – Under a Cake and in a Pie


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.

Peaches & Cream Pie


August 17, 2010

from The Harrow Fair Cookbook, by Moira Sanders and Lori Elstone with Beth Goslin Maloney

  • Makes: Makes 1 pie.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 cup lard, chilled and cubed

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

1 large egg

2 tsp. vinegar

ice cold water


1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. quick-cooking tapioca (I used cornstarch)

pinch fine sea salt

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 tsp. vanilla

4 cups pitted, sliced fresh peaches (the recipe specifies peeling but I didn't bother, and used a little more than 4 cups


1To make the pastry, stir together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the lard and butter and blend with a pastry cutter or food processor until it's blended with some pieces of fat the size of small peas.

2In a small dish or measuring cup, stir the egg and vinegar together with a fork, then add cold water to make 1/2 cup. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each into a disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

3When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F.

4In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, tapioca and salt. Whisk in the cream and vanilla. Toss the peaches in the cream mixture and set aside for 15 minutes at room temperature.

5Roll out one disk of pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate, trimming pastry to 1/2-inch past the edge of the plate. Spoon the filling into the shell.

6Roll the remaining crust out to a 9-inch circle and lay atop the filling (cutting slits or holes for steam to escape) or cut into 1-inch wide strips and make a lattice crust. Trim the edges of the top pastry to match the bottom, and crimp the edge with your fingers or a fork. If you like, brush the top of the pie with cream, and sprinkle with sugar.

7Bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden and bubbling (if you like, place the pie on a baking sheet to catch drips). Cool to room temperature before slicing.


About Julie

You May Also Like

26 comments on “Peaches – Under a Cake and in a Pie

  1. bluejeangourmet
    August 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    There is lard in my fridge right now & Texas peaches ripening on my counter. I AM MAKING THIS. and have I told you lately that I love you? Look at that gorgeous lattice-work, woman!

  2. Carolyn
    August 18, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Pie looks delicious. Can we have Pierre’s cake recipe?

  3. The Blue-Eyed Bakers
    August 18, 2010 at 4:55 am

    This is the 3rd peach pie recipe we’ve stumbled upon in the last few days. Clearly it’s a sign. We’re making this immediately!

  4. Jennifer Jo
    August 18, 2010 at 5:46 am

    So how was the pie with the cream? Was it custard-y? Please say more. I’m picking up a half bushel each of nectarines and peaches today.

  5. Brigitte
    August 18, 2010 at 7:05 am

    That is my pastry recipe. Well actually, my “old” university roomate’s recipe. It has never failed me!

  6. JulieVR
    August 18, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Sorry guys! I should have clarified – it wasn’t particularly custardy… creamy, yes, but as there were no eggs to firm it up it wasn’t like peaches sitting in set custard. The juices were creamy, like melted ice cream oozing out when you cut a piece..

  7. JulieVR
    August 18, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Carolyn – you’ll have to ask Pierre for his cake recipe!

  8. Luann
    August 18, 2010 at 7:48 am

    My mum uses that kind of pastry recipe – it seems to be able to handle a lot of rolling – not that she needs to worry about that – that’s my problem! She also makes a rhubarb cream pie that sounds very similar. Needless to say she lives on a farm but here in Alberta. Now I want pie for breakfast!

  9. JulieVR
    August 18, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Interesting – there was a rhubarb cream pie on the very next page! I was debating between the two…

  10. Vivian
    August 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Please, please pass on the rhubarb cream pie recipe!! I HAVE to do something with the overabundance sitting out in the corner of the garden!

  11. Cheryl
    August 18, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I was drooling over that recipe in the book as well. I’m still torn on the egg in the crust though.

  12. Erica B.
    August 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Ooooh now I have another cookbook on my I-want-it list, and it’s not even 11:00am and I want pie 🙂

  13. Fiona
    August 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I made a similar pie crust last Thanksgiving. Raves. I think it was the best pie I have ever made. Rhubarb and cream sounds delicious!

  14. Katharine
    August 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    What a beatiful pie! My favourite dessert: fruit pie a la mode with a great pastry. Yours is why.

  15. Kris
    August 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Sounds absolutely yummy! My mom used to make an apple pie with cream and it was creamy, gooey and sweet. I loved it. Unfortunately she got all healthy on me and *gasp* threw away the recipe. I wonder if I could adapt this recipe…

  16. Rambles with Reese
    August 19, 2010 at 1:58 am

    This looks absolutely delicious Julie! I’m so glad you added the recipe for the pie crus too!

    Hoping you’re having a lovely summer!

  17. bridgit
    August 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I was really hoping for a peach cake recipe… I guess I’ll just have to scrounge one up. I made a peach pie earlier this summer and added fresh grated ginger. Many dessert plates were licked… just don’t tell my mom. Here’s the recipe.

  18. bridgit
    August 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Whoops. Looks like html comments are not supported. The recipe is here if you’re interested: http://tomcook.net/wp/cookin/2010/07/ginger_peach_pie/

  19. Barb
    August 20, 2010 at 9:43 am

    JVR you rock! Your post inspired me! After at least a 15 year hiatus from pie making (my crusts were always tough and awful despite usage the famed Tenderflake recipe), I made this yesterday to rave reviews. I live in Kelowna, so I went out first thing in the morning to buy peaches, lard, butter and cream. I think my success was due to using the food processor to prepare the crust, the half butter / half lard combo and keeping the fat, water and dough as cold as possible. My pie plates are pretty old and small, so the recipe made two pies! Penticton is having a peach pie contest tomorrow at the farmers market (a fundraiser for the St. Vincent de Paul Food bank) and I’m seriously considering making another pie to enter!!!!

  20. Jennifer Jo
    August 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Julie, Sad to say, this pie bombed. The verdict isn’t final, since the pie was still warm when we ate it. It may miraculously firm up, but seeing as there were copious quantities of liquid, I kind of doubt it. (I used the tapioca and now I’m wondering if that was a typo. Should it have been 1 tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon? I think it could’ve used 2-4 tablespoons of the tapioca.)

    Also, next time I’ll use twice as much sugar and might switch to brown.

  21. JulieVR
    August 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    So interesting the difference between results of the same recipe! I used cornstarch – the original recipe says tapioca, not a typo – and it was perfect. Very juicy when it came out of the oven, and I thought it wasn’t going to work, but it firmed up very nicely. And I thought it was perfectly sweet – this would depend on the sweetness of your peaches, too. Sorry it didn’t work out for you! Apparently the recipe has won many first place ribbons at the Harrow Fair!

  22. Jennifer Jo
    August 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I’m not ready to throw up my hands yet. I’m watching it cool and thinking that by tomorrow morning it might be a different animal.

    (And just so you know, any recipe flops [on my part, of course] are totally redeemed by that red raspberry ice cream.)

  23. Dave
    October 30, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Wow – looks fantastic! But not before I enrol in Moira’s pastry class, because otherwise I would be tempting the wrath of Hestia and Edesia.
    Great blog, well-designed, with great recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.