Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning we totaled over 12 inches of snow. Schools and businesses were closed, so what the heck, we called a family pow-wow and declared our household observe an official snow day.
Snow bound and mind clear of normal weekday responsibilities, one can find time to clean out an unruly closet, work on that cluttered basement, catch up on some household bill filing, dust…
Forget that, let’s bake a peach pie.
Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve baked a pie?
Baking in Colorado’s high altitude can sometimes be a challenge. About 20 years ago, using my mom’s no-fail pie crust recipe, which failed, I remember throwing my hands up in the air surrendering and swearing never to make another.
So what the heck, let’s give it another try.
Let’s start with the flour I’m going to use. When I was back in Kansas I picked up a sack of Hudson Cream Flour.
The flour mill is about 20 miles west of the wheat farm where I grew up, located in Hudson Kansas, population 125. It is one of the last independent flour mills left in the United States.
Hudson Cream Flour is made using a “short patent” milling process, a method that was much more common a century ago than today. The difference is that in short patent milling the wheat is ground more times and sifted with finer-meshed sieves than in standard milling. Also, the short patent process sifts away more by-product, leaving only the heart of the wheat kernel. The result is a flour that is smoother in texture and produces baked goods that are consistently light and fluffy. (I didn’t know that part, it’s on their web site and for more information please visit http://www.hudsoncream.com/contact.html)
Before we go any further, take a look at what my Mom gave me for Easter. Take a closer look and you’ll see her dress is real live authentic old-time Hudson Flour flour sack. Is that just “way” cool or what?
Not only did I pick up the sack of flour, I also found these peaches at Smith’s Market. Vanilla Peaches? Who could resist a jar.
So using my Mom’s pie crust recipe and that Kansas Short Patent flour, let’s get started.
Mom’s No-Fail Pie Crust:
- 2 C. flour
- 1 C. Crisco (Thanks to Buffalo Dick I used lard)
- 1 tsp. salt
Add ice water to form a consistency for a ball of dough. Makes two crusts.
Using my Little Red Corvette and it’s dough hook, I blended the ingredients. Removing the dough to my work space, I formed it into a ball, added a bit more flour and ice water to achieve just the right consistency, then rolled it out into a large round. (by the way did anyone notice little Alfred Hitchcock Goofy Cat in the background?)
Carefully lay the dough into your pie plate then using a knife, trim the excess from around the edges. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch edges to form a ripple design, poke bottom of dough a few times with a fork and you’re ready for your filling.
I sliced about 4 – 5 of those vanilla peaches.
I topped the peaches with a crumb mixture from a friend’s “Aunt Wilma’s Peach Crumble Pie” recipe.
Popped it into the an oven preheated to 375 degrees and baked for about 50 minutes, or until bubbly and the crumb topping had started to brown.
OK, so here’s the good news. My pie crust was very nice. The bad news is, if I plan to get obsessed with making pies, that means I’ll have to increase my gym time from 3 hours a week to 25 hours a week, which means I’ll have to quit my job.
Here’s the recipe for the crumb topping:
1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Mix dry ingredients and sprinkle over pie. Drizzle with liquid.
5 Tbs Water (I used liquid from the jar of Vanilla Peaches)
Just look at that vanilla ice cream melting over that warm peach pie. Mmmmm. But really I’m posting this photo to show off that creamy crust. Hudson Cream Flour, you are my hero! My first successful high altitude pie crust, kudos to you.
That crumb topping almost makes it look more like a cobbler, doesn’t it?
Wait…wait…wait, I’m not done yet, we’ve got to talk about the ”twisties”. When I was growing up on the farm, I swear my mom made a pie, if not two, every single day. With her practice of wasting nothing, here’s what she did with that extra dough that had been trimmed around the edge of the pie plate.
Roll it out, cut into strips, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, twist up the strips, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. A tasty little treat.
Peach Pie and Twisties
It’s What’s For Dessert and Snacks.