It is no exaggeration when I say that I waited with bated breath for at least five days until I was actually able to test this recipe. I’m finding so much inspiration all over the place and, if you read my previous Fourth of July post, you know I have a huge love for Georgia peaches. Everything’s sweeter down here, from the tea to the produce, so why wouldn’t our peaches be THE BEST? The proper way to tell if a peach, let alone most fruit, is ripe is to smell it. I was at the store the other day, rifling through the peach selection, when a man commented on the fact that I smelled every piece of fruit I picked up. I simply chuckled and replied that “it’s how you’re supposed to do it”. Seriously, though, if you aren’t at least doing that, you’re missing out on the best produce.
I should probably make mention that I am not a fan of baked fruit desserts. Whether it’s pies, cakes, tarts….you name it I had a tendency to put my nose up to it. Working in fine-dining worked that out of me, for the most part, but I found myself still finicky about them when I started this blog. ALL OF THAT HAS CHANGED. It’s funny what you can teach yourself when you aren’t paying attention. Through the labor of love that has been my baking, I have found a new appreciation for desserts as a hole. I believe the common denominator is that I, personally, hand-made them. I didn’t just buy this from the store, I poured myself into the creating every bit of it. If you ask me, that’s enough to change anyone’s outlook.
- 1 and 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Granulated Sugar (plus a little extra to sprinkle later)
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup Ice Cold Water
- 1 beaten Egg
- 2 peeled, pitted and sliced Peaches
- 2 cups sliced fresh Strawberries
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
PREHEAT OVEN TO 425 DEGREES
The filling is the simplest part of an already easy dessert. Simply place your peaches and strawberries in a medium bowl. Next you’ll add the sugar and vanilla and give it a stir, making sure to coat the fruit well. I admit, I didn’t use as much sugar of vanilla. I dialed it back a bit because the fruit I was using was sweet enough on it’s own and I didn’t want the added sugar take away from the bright flavor of the fruit. Do whatever makes you the happiest.
Now it’s time for the crust. I have purposely incorporated the butter differently in my last two recipes because I want to find the way that works best with me. If you’ve ever seen the term “cutting butter”, it basically is calling for you to finely mix in the frozen butter into the flour mixture you’re using. There have been a couple of ways that I’ve seen to do it. One is with a pastry cutter. I, however, do not own one so that is out of the question for now. The second way is the way I chose for this recipe. This calls for cubed, frozen butter and the use of your hands. I think I’ve mentioned the fact that I find getting messy while cooking amusing, so I was all for that. You will want to cut the butter until small pea-like pieces form, then add the chilled water roughly a tablespoon at a time. Continue this until a dough begins to form. Once you’ve reached this point, hand-knead the dough in the bowl and form a small ball. Placing the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, begin to flatten and make into a fat disk, finally wrapping it with plastic wrap and leaving in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
Once the dough is ready and properly chilled, place it on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, careful flatten the dough into a circle (or the semblance of one). Transfer the dough to a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and prepare to add the toppings!!
Carefully arrange the fruit in the desired patterns. Make sure to leave about a one 1-2 inch space free of fruit to make the crust. Once you’re satisfied, fold the dough over the sides of the fruit and pinch any loose ends together. Using the beaten egg, gently brush the crust. This allows it to turn the most delicious brown and gives it the proper crunch needed. Sprinkle the extra sugar on top and place in the oven for roughly 25-35 minutes. cooking times vary by oven, so just keep a vigilant eye. My mother has a piece and tried an apricot glaze over the fruit and really enjoyed it. She likes her desserts slightly sweeter, in this sense. My best friend, however, enjoyed the tartness that I produced by not adding the full amount of sugar and extract. This is all made to your taste. The most important thing is that you enjoy the final creation.
These dessert and pastries are truly becoming a labor of love for me. I hope you try them and see exactly what I mean when I say that these are staples for anyone’s cooking repertoire. Enjoy friends. This is from my heart to your table.