Sometimes things don’t work out according to plan. While this can be a good thing, more often it’s not. And if you’re a bit of a control freak like me, it’s even worse.
When small things go wrong, it’s okay. Dinner plans fall through, e-mails get bounced back, hold times when on the phone with companies are far longer than expected. These things make us angry for a few moments, cause us to lose our cool for the blink of an eye, but then life moves on and so do we because we want to, because we have to.
Then there are the big things. Traffic jams, car troubles, illness, weather events. When they come out of nowhere, and they almost always do, our lives are temporarily and sometimes even permanently changed or completely upended. They throw us off our games and total recovery is questionable at best. We spend parts of our lives hoping these things won’t happen, but they will at some point. How we deal with and recover from them is entirely up to us.
I had a few baking disasters this week, definitely small issues, but frustrating nonetheless. One, far worse than the other, involved caramel overflowing in the oven and burning on the bottom of it. At least the smoke detector didn’t go off and Mom was there to help me clean up the mess because without her I may not have dealt as well as I did.
With all of this, I needed a solid recipe so I could make a baking comeback, have some kitchen success, and a recipe to post for you all no less. I turned to my favorite pie, the pie I can’t stop talking about, the pie I know you’ve been waiting to see adapted from Bobby Flay, my favorite chef. That’s right; it’s time for the Peach Blackberry Pie.
It’s the best pie, and one of, if not the best, dessert I’ve ever made, and I happily make it over and over again. It’s also the first pie I ever made.
The crust on this Throwdown winning pie is the best and has its own page here on my blog. I barely need filling with this crust that has made me a pie crust believer. Then there’s the filling. Tons of fresh peaches (I used all yellow because that’s what I had on hand, but white, yellow, or a mix will work) and the last of my Dad-picked blackberries. There’s just a little sugar that never masks the flavor of the fruit, which is enveloped in a rich juice with spices and some alcohol, adding an amazing depth of flavor. The alcohol is optional but really improves the pie.
There are tons of amazing desserts here on the blog, but with peaches and blackberries at peak season right now, you seriously have to make this spectacular pie. Everything will go right as it is supposed to and it will make all the things that go wrong at least a little better.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup pure vegetable shortening, cold
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- 4-7 tablespoons cold water
- 6-7 large peaches, peeled and sliced about ½ inch thick
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons peach or apricot brandy (any brandy you like would really work)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons cassis
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk (I used skim milk)
- Make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add shortening and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse to combine. Add more water as needed, until the dough comes together when pressed. It should not be overly moist. Dump the dough onto plastic, wrap it up, forming it into a disc. Refrigerate it for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine blackberries and cassis. Allow to sit and marinate while you prepare the rest of the pie. In a large bowl, combine peaches, granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brandy, and cornstarch. Stir until thoroughly combined and a thick juice is formed. Add the blackberries to the peaches, draining out as much of the cassis as possible.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pie dough so it is large enough to fit your pie plate. Once rolled, place in your pie pan, pressing it in and making sure there are no holes in the dough. Roll the other half of the dough so it is large enough to cover the pie. Reserve it. Place the filling in the pan lined with half of the dough, again draining as much of the juice as possible. Add some, but not much of the reserved juices on top of the peaches. Too much liquid will result in a runny pie (though I tend not to have as much of that problem with this pie). Scatter the cold cubed butter over top of the filling.
- Place the top crust over the pie. Crimp the edges together, making sure the top and bottom form a tight seal. You may form a decorative pattern of your choosing. I do not remove any excess dough because it’s way too tasty. Cut several slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to be released. Brush the top with milk or cream using a brush or your fingers. The milk should be in an even coat and there should be no pools of liquid. Sprinkle the pie generously with the turbinado sugar.
- Place pie pan on a foil lined baking sheet as it will bake over. Bake for 80-90 minutes, until the crust is golden brown (this is why the turbinado sugar is used) and the juices are bubbling vigorously. If the crust is getting too brown, cover it with foil. Cool the pie at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. It may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, though the crust will become a little soggy, or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. One quarter of the pie may be thawed at room temperature for several hours or placed in a 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes or until warmed through. The oven is the best method for thawing.