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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Simple Peach Pie for One

It's summer, and the trees are heavy with fruit. One of my favorites is the delicate and fragrant peach, and this simple little pie takes advantage of both those things and not only that, it's pie!
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 TBLSP shortening or vegan butter
1 ½ TBLSP ice water (or half vodka)

1 TBLSP granulated sugar
½ TBLSP all-purpose flour
1 very ripe fresh peach, sliced and diced
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vegan butter

            1 TBLSP almond milk
            1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Make the Dough
  1. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then add the water/vodka and mix until it holds together in a very soft dough. (Vodka is a pie-maker’s trick. If you use it the crust will be a little lighter. In such small quantities, though, you may not notice the difference. The alcohol burns off, so you don’t taste it, but, like the water, it evaporates and leaves little fluffy openings in the dough.)
  2. Form the dough into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Just squish it together until it holds.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle or square.
  4. Put the dough, still flat, in the refrigerator for an hour or two (overnight is fine). I use the same waxed paper that I roll it on (speeds clean-up), slide it onto a plate, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. You might prefer plastic wrap if you have a lot of stinky things in your fridge.

Make the Filling
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a ramekin
  1. Combine all the filling ingredients in a small bowl.

Assemble the Pie
  1. Cut out a section of dough large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your ramekin, with about a half-inch extra at the top for folding over.  You may have to do some trimming to avoid thick places.
  2. Toast the empty bottom crust in the oven for 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dough. It doesn’t need to be cooked through, just develop enough sturdiness to support the wet fruit.
  3. Cut the remaining dough into a round that will cover the top of the ramekin. Or you could cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, or make lattice strips and weave them. If you do the lattice, weave it on the waxed paper and transfer it to the top of the pie as a unit so the bottom crust doesn’t get soggy while you weave over the top of the filling.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust.
  5. Place the crust or assemble the lattice on top of the pie. Crimp the edges to the ½ inch of extra dough from the bottom crust.
  6. Brush the top crust with almond milk. I just slopped some into a small bowl and did it with my fingers, so there’s no need for fancy equipment here. Sprinkle the crust lightly with the sugar, just enough to make it sparkly. If you made a solid crust on top, prick it with a fork in several places.
  7. Put the ramekin on a baking sheet (it can get messy), and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let it cool on a rack before selecting the utensil by which you will destroy this treat. 

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