I’ve been out of the loop this week and last, as I’ve been back home in British Columbia visiting family and friends. I seem to have had a stroke of luck too, as my last day in Whistler was socked in with smoke from surrounding wildfires, some of which being out of control. Had I gone this week rather than this last one I would not have been able to do the alpine hiking and outdoor sightseeing that I’d had planned. Lucky for me!
Time flies when you’re having fun and I’m a little shocked that it’s already over considering how long I looked forward to it… but such is vacation, and life in general usually!
I’ll include a few photos from the trip at the end of this post.
And a couple of ‘before and after’ shots from the wildfire smoke…
Cherry + White Peach Pie
The Pie Crust:
2+1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice cold water
-In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment blend together the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the butter has become small little bits throughout the flour, no larger than small peas.
-Add the water in a slow stream and increase the speed of the mixer by about one or two notches.
-Paddle the dough until most but not all of the crumbs begin holding together. At this stage remove the dough from the bowl and work it with your hands on a lightly floured countertop until it does hold together. You’re looking for a nice crumbly dough that holds together, not a wet and sticky dough that has a smooth texture.
When making breads smooth is good, when making flaky pastries rough is good.
-Flatten the dough out with your hands into a rough flat pancake shape, wrap with plastic and toss into the freezer while you make the filling and preheat your oven to 425 F.
1+1/2 to 2 lbs fresh, in season cherries
2 small white peaches, diced
1/2 lemon, just the juice
2 TB sugar
3 TB cornstarch
-Pit all of the cherries and be sure to use an apron or at least a tshirt you don’t like too much. It will spray all over you, even with a cherry pitter!
-Toss together the diced peaches, cherries, and all other ingredients, mixing well so there are no lumps or small pieces of dry cornstarch. Be sure it’s well mixed.
Building the Pie:
-Remove the dough from the freezer (if you’ll be making the dough in advance, which is fine, place in the fridge instead so it doesn’t freeze), and cut it into two equal portions.
-Dust a countertop lightly and roll out each piece of dough to a flat disk 9-10 inches across in all directions.
-Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate (I use glass so I can see if the bottom is cooked well) and place the first portion of dough inside, pushing lightly across the bottom with your hands to seal the dough to the plate.
-using a small round cookie cutter (or the bottom edge of a piping tip, which is what I used here) cut out small holes from the second portion of rolled dough, which will be your decorative top.
-Give your fruit filling another quick toss, and then dump it into the pie plate.
-Top the pie with the holey remaining portion of dough and seal the edges together with a bit of egg wash (1 egg with a splash of water, whisked). Pinch the edges of the pie together to create a fluted looking edge or whatever design you want, then egg wash the entire top of the pie and sprinkle some additional sugar on top.
-Place in the oven for anywhere from 45-60 minutes and then remove to cool. Best if cooled one hour or more so the juices have time to set up a bit. This will make it easier and much nicer looking once you cut into it. Keep at room temp 12 hours or refrigerate for 48 hours. Will begin to dry out a bit if left much longer.
Here are a few of the better images from my trip up to Whistler, BC as well as a before-and-after shot to give you a hint of the severity of the wildfires. If you’re interested in the hike- this particular trail route is called High Note and runs from the peak of Whistler mountain across the ridges going east, then loops around to the north side of the ridges and ends back at Roundhouse Lodge. The final stop being a detour down to Harmony Lake with Blackcomb Mountain in the background. Click here for more information about the trail.
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