A very long time ago, when my extended family still lived in Malleshwaram, one weekend on a visit we ended up being fed pie at The Only Place. It was peach pie. I fell in love. No, really. But somehow, I don't think I've ever eaten much peach pie since, even when I lived in phorens and whatnot. I did however acquire an addictive love of stone fruit, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and my bestest favourites, donut peaches, which I ate by the bushel in Spain. So I was thrilled when I moved to Delhi and realised how much this fruit was around in May and June, and planned faithfully to gorge each year. But it never happened. This year I finally went and bought kilos of peaches and ate em with great delight, and then, when I had my first ever monthly dinner party last night and six peaches getting too ripe to handle, I figured it made the most sense to bake a peach pie.
2.5 C of maida
Ah foolish me. It was an ill-fated meal. For starters, the gas ran out and I haven't had time to go and sort it out all week. Then it is some insane temperature and insane humidity, and I had to replan the meal and make it on my induction stove, single file and closely watched, which meant spending most of the day slowly turning liquid to match the air. It also meant that, after my excitement at finding that Joe had a peach pie recipe up led me to swear to use only his crust, I was wrestling with butter heavy flaky pie dough THAT WOULD NOT STOP BREAKING! It was either frozen or collapsing, and eventually I just did what I could to put it in the tart shell before patching it up with more bits and pieces. I did everything he said, I kept sticking it back in the fridge and freezer but to no avail. I nearly stopped taking pictures because I was so sure it would flop.
And then, after dinner I brought it out and it crumbled as I tried to cut it and I cursed quietly. But then we all took a first bite. Holy Mary Mother of Jesus. I cannot wait to make this again. Though I might just can some peaches of my own and wait till September. Or roll it inside the bedroom with the ac on!
2.5 C of maida
250 g of butter, kept really cold and chopped into cubes
4-6 T of ice cold water, depending on how it goes for you
LOTS of cling film and flour to dust
1 kilo peaches, peeled and sliced. (Next time I might try chopped because the slices kept sliding out)
1 C light brown sugar
4 T cornflour
First toss the cubes of butter into the flour and then slash at it with two knives till it looks like breadcrumbs, even if some of them are huge breadcrumbs. Add water bit by bit till it forms into a ball, albeit crumbly and dodgy. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. The more the merrier. I froze the damn thing cos our fridge is collapsing in the heat. Remove from fridge. Make into two pieces, one a little bigger than the other. Allow them to soften a bit. Lay a big sheet of cling film on your countertop. (I have a silpat mat, which is what I used.) Cut another big sheet and keep it ready. Slather the laid out one with flour. Put the smaller piece of dough on it and slather with more flour. Cover with other sheet and roll gently till it's as big as you want it to be. Lifting the two sheets put it on a plate or something big enough and stick that mofo back in the fridge. (This would be less painful in winter I imagine, but no peaches.) Repeat process with the larger piece for the bottom. Leave them in there for an hour. Peel and slice your peaches. Toss em about with the sugar and then put the whole thing in a colander, with a bowl below it to catch the juice and leave it in the fridge for half an hour. When time's up, preheat oven to 200C. Remove the rolled out dough from fridge and let it warm up a titch. Pour collected juice into pan and reduce to syrup. TOTES worth it. And not just cos Joe sez so. Now put the bottom half into your pan. I was terrible at this so I leave you no advice but prepare o patch it up. Toss peaches with cornflour till it disappears. (I forgot this step and didn't have enough cornflour so tossed em in it in the pie shell wince.) Put peaches into shell and pour syrup over it. Cover with top, trim and decorate. You can see all I did was pinch it off at the edges of the pan. Cut the steam vent slits and bung it in over for about 40-50 min. It'll bubble up through the vents and the pastry will get flaky and brownish. Allow to cool. Impress the pants off everyone.