My friend, the uber-talented Kate Gabrielle, recently sent me her recipe for Peach pie and I knew I just had to try it. I wanted to add strawberries to capitalize on the summer's bounty of fruit.
My first attempt was a bit of a doozy. I made the Peach-Strawberry pie for my parents who have various health issues. My father is border-line diabetic so I had to make this pie with Splenda Sugar Blend instead of real sugar. Now that is easy enough as it's just an ingredient switch. However, my mom is very sensitive to seeds as they bother her digestive tract and can make her really sick. Each strawberry contains about 200 or so seeds embedded in the skin. Most of a strawberry's color is on the outside too. So I had to carefully peel about 20 strawberries by hand, making sure that I removed all the seeds but also that I didn't dig too far into the flesh so I could keep the strawberry's natural red color. This was no easy task and by the end of it my hands were strawberry-red.
Why didn't I just make a low-sugar peach pie instead? Because I like the challenge. The pie turned out pretty well. It was very tasty, however the peaches and strawberries contain a lot of liquid causing the pie to be rather soggy with juice. The cornstarch couldn't quite do it's work and the fruit was swimming in it's own juice.
The important thing is my parents really appreciated the fact that I made a dessert for them that they could both enjoy. I was happy that I could make the pie with their health concerns in mind.
Afterwards, I talked to Kate Gabrielle about the sogginess issue and we both came up with the solution of sugaring the fruit, letting it sit and then draining some of the excess juice. Both of us do this with vegetable pies and salt, so why wouldn't it work with fruit?
So for my second attempt at the pie, I made it for my beau who doesn't have any dietary restrictions so I was free to make it the way I wanted to. I let the peaches and strawberries sit with the sugar for a while then drained it. I decided to let them sit a little more and drained them again. When I finally baked the pie and let it cool sufficiently, the liquid was now more of a sauce.
The pie was a success and a perfect summer treat. Next time I will try it with both pie shells and a bit more fruit. But for now, here is the final recipe...
4-5 Peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 pint of Strawberries, hulled and halved
Sugar to taste
Cinammon to taste
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the peaches and strawberries and add to a bowl with sugar to taste. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain some of the excess liquid. Let sit for a little while longer and drain once more. Add cinammon and cornstarch and incorporate well. Add mixture to the pie shell. You can par-bake the pie shell in the oven for 5 minutes if you want. This helps it hold it's texture a bit better to the juicy fruit. Make sure you poke a few holes in the shell with a fork. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden on top. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes otherwise you will not be able to serve it (it will be all gloopy and fall apart).