Monday, August 24, 2015

Blushing Princess Peach Pie!

          Nintendo has officially dubbed August "Princess Peach Month"*, so I couldn't pass up doing something special for the "Super Mario" franchise's leading lady! (I do wish she'd get a whole celebratory year though...). I've had this pie in mind for a while now and figured this was the perfect time to do it. Besides the crown on the top, what makes this pie special is the "blushing" part which is obtained by the addition of those little cinnamon "Red Hots" candies. "Sweet!" "Here we go!"

* In 1982, President Reagan declared July "National Peach Month" but since then it has shifted to August (both July and August are prime peach picking times).
"Soo peachy!"

Note: This recipe calls for "fresh from the garden!"–er, from the tree or store–peaches, but you can substitute canned peaches if you need to. I would suggest getting three 29oz. cans. Start with two, drained, and then add the third, drained, if needed to fill up the pie.

"Yay! Peach! Let's go!"

Blushing Princess Peach Pie

Ingredients:
2 9" Pie Crusts
(I recommend making homemade, using this recipe here, or doubling the recipe found here. You can use store bought, but you need enough for top, bottom, PLUS the crown decoration, so...making it is better, though you might be able to scrounge enough from any cut-away excess.)
6-8 Fresh Peaches (or, see note above)
1/2 Cup Sugar + extra for dusting
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Dry "Minute Tapioca" (optional, to absorb some of the juices)
1/4 Cup Red Hots Cinnamon Candies (or other tiny cinnamon candies)
3 Tbsp. Graham Cracker Crumbs (optional, to prevent the bottom from getting too soggy)
1 Egg White
1 Tbsp Water

Important Items:
9" Pie Pan
Plastic Wrap
~1" diameter Circle Cutter
Small amount of Aluminum Foil

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water, plop in several ice cubes, & have it ready nearby. Cut an 'X' into the bottom of each peach & then, one at a time, place the peaches into the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the peaches to the ice water. Beginning at the 'X' peel the skins off the peaches (it should come off relatively easy). Cut the peaches into about 1/2" wedges & discard the seeds.
2. In another large bowl whisk together the sugar & cornstarch. The tapioca is to help absorb liquid while baking, so if you'd like to add it, do so now (it will create little jelly bits though, just FYI). Add in the peach slices & Red Hots & fold together until the peaches are totally coated with the sugar/cornstarch. Sit aside until needed.
3. Make your pie crust dough & half it, & then take a small portion from one half. Spray your pie pan with non-stick spray. Roll the largest dough portion between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap into a circle about 1/8" thick. Peel the top piece of plastic off & pick the bottom piece up with the rolled dough on it. Invert it into the pie pan & gently press the dough into the pan so that there are no air holes underneath. Lay a piece of plastic wrap out again & roll out the next largest piece of dough to the same thickness.
4. Fill the pie with the coated peaches & red hots & situate them so they are relatively flat–no bits poking up crazily. Lay the second dough circle on top & cut away any excess dough & add it to the remaining dough portion. Fold the top edge under the bottom & crimp/flute/fork to close. Roll out the rest of the dough &, using a sharp knife or metal spatula, cut a 3-pointed crown about 3 1/2" wide x ~4 1/2" tall & place it on top of the pie (I forgot about the horizontal line on Princess Peach's crown that runs under/between the gems! You can create this by cutting the crown horizontally into 2 pieces & then laying the pieces on the pie, or by simply making a deep horizontal depression in the crown cutout once it's on top of the pie).. Gather the excess dough & roll it out again. Cut 3 circles, cutting 1 in half & gently pressing another into a wider circle. Place the wide circle in the center of the crown & place the half circles on either side of the crown. Put the remaining circle on top of the wide one & cut 2 strips of dough to put against the inside edges of the half circles (refer to the photos in this post). Cut slits in the pie around the crown & then place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
5. Heat your oven to 375ºF. Whisk together the egg white & water & brush onto the top & edges of the pie, getting into all crevices. Sprinkle sugar over the egg wash (I used turbinado which is a raw sugar with larger crystals, but regular granulated sugar is fine too). Place the pie in the oven & bake for about 45-60 minutes. If the crown, especially the middle gem is browning more than the rest of the crust, before the pie is done, cut a little piece of foil & place it over top. Once the filling is bubbling (visible through the slits) & the crust is a light golden brown, the pie is done! Remove from the oven & let cool atop a cooling wrack or a towel. Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. "Lovely!"

"Yes! Peach!"
"Woo! Yay!"
"Oh yeah! How nice! Lucky me!"

* For more food inspired by the "Super Mario" franchise, try these Yoshi Doughnuts* 

(All quotes in this post are from Princess Peach in various "Mario" games.)

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