I had to walk past all the conventionally grown produce to get to the organic section. Though I would never buy a peach that wasn't organic, I picked them up and smelled them anyway. Nothing! I could have been holding a fuzzy ball of styrofoam, for all my nose knew! And people buy those things!
Anyway ... got my fragrant little beauties home and decided to wait a day or two to make the pie just so I would have more time to enjoy looking at--and smelling--them. I believe they are called "Elegant Lady," a yellow-fleshed freestone named for its elegant balance of sugar and acid. They have a deep red flush (or, some might say, a crimson blush) on the thin, not-too-fuzzy skin with just a bit of yellow showing.
And these fabulous family farmers must be very good at timing the picking. You can tell a peach that has been picked too soon by its "green shoulders" around the stem end. Not a single peach in the entire display had green shoulders. I don't want to give these up! I contacted the distributor to see how long they'll be available. The nice man, Homegrown Organic Farms director of marketing Scott Mabs, told me they would probably be finishing up by mid-August.
About the pie: gorgeous, isn't it? You've got to make one! And tell me all about it. Eating vicariously is better for my waistline. C'mon, talk to me about pies!
Peach Pie(Makes one 9-inch pie, 8 servings)
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 large) peaches
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (No, that "1/8" is not a typo!)
1/8 teaspoon mace or nutmeg (I want you to taste the peaches!)
1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line 9-inch glass pie plate with pastry, trimming overhang to about 3/4 inch. Place in refrigerator.
2 On a piece of parchment, roll out second disk of dough just like the first. With a straight edge and a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 10 even strips about 3/4 inch wide. Transfer, on the parchment, to a rimless baking sheet, cover with plastic or parchment, and refrigerate while preparing filling. All-butter pastry is fussy about being kept cold!
3 Peel peaches (or not, if they're thin-skinned and smooth like these) and slice into a large bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure). You'll have about 6 cups of sliced peaches. (I slice them like this: Quarter peach, cut each quarter into 4 wedges, cut wedges in half.) In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices; add to peaches and mix gently but well. Pour into pie shell.
4 Working from the center, lay 5 strips of dough across the pie in one direction. Fold back every other strip halfway. Place a long strip of dough in the center going the other way. Unfold the folded strips over the crossing strip. Repeat with remaining 4 strips. Trim the overhanging strips even with the bottom crust and crimp the edge.
5 Place a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in the middle of the oven to catch any drips, and place the pie on the baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 350, and bake for an additional 35 minutes (juices should be bubbling). Cool on wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.