I think when you eat a lot of something growing up, you either end up loving it or hating it. Luckily, I ended up loving peaches. I grew up next door to a peach orchard (“next door” being a loose term, they were about a mile away), and I have vivid memories of visiting the packing house. I can still feel the cool, damp air that smells the way our farm house’s unfinished basement did. We used to get huge crates of bruised peaches- the ones that weren’t quite perfect enough for the grocery store. The joke was on them, they tasted just as good.
So what do you do when you have copious amounts of peaches sitting out to ripen all over the kitchen counter? Well you make pie, silly. And when I talk about peach pie and growing up, I have to back up for a minute and introduce to you to a new character: SUE!.
She’s my mother. It’s ‘SUE!’ because this is how everyone says her name. She is wildly popular among her fans. It’s also how my dad says her name when she is not-so-wildly popular (on rare occasion) with him.
Because it could take literally volumes of written work (and probably years of therapy) to fully analyze and understand SUE!, I will only give a few anecdotes so that you may try to understand what it means to be SUE! And then, just maybe, things will make more sense.
- SUE! cooked (successfully) for a hungry farmer and two unappreciative children without the use of common spices for entirely too long. You know those challenges on Top Chef where they take away pretty much every basic pantry ingredient, and then expect the chefs to whip up something delicious using food from a vending machine, all with one hand tied behind their back and only a dorm-room camping stove? SUE! would rock this.
- SUE! is intrigued by technology. She also is a lover of cell phones and picture text messages. (Don’t tell me you’re surprised that her cell phone is bedazzled.) Unfortunately, she is surprised every time the phone does its job and connects her to someone. It goes something like this: ring, ring, ring. Me: hello? SUE!: OH!… Hi Amy! I didn’t expect to get you on the phone! (She says this regardless of whether I pick up or it’s my voicemail.)
- SUE! is a prolific photographer. The Christmas we bought her a digital camera we were worried she wouldn’t want to make the change to digital. Oh, how wrong we were. During photo-worthy events, her average photo-per-hour hovers around 100. And then she likes to plug the camera into the TV and relive the event with you. Her average photo-per-hour-review rate is much less than 100 per hour, meaning that reviewing the event takes longer than the actual event. She then spends hours building intricate Shutterfly photo books to give to everyone in attendance.
- SUE! taught second grade for something like 300 years. Markers of every color can be found in my parents’ house, along with glue sticks, glitter, and enough themed-wrapping paper and gift bags to last the next decade. Her handwriting is the epitome of perfection, and everyone around her always wipes their runny nose, washes their hands, and says please and thank you. Or else.
- SUE! could kick Martha Stewart’s butt. No, really. She is a gym rat, and attacks working out with fervor only found in pre-pubescent boys who are dying to make the football team. She will happily show you her muscles.
I have completely forgotten the point of this post. Oh yes, Peach Pie. So SUE! is basically like that mom in Leave it to Beaver who shows up at your back door for no good reason holding a beautiful pie. And this is the pie she brought. The ease-of-cooking versus deliciousness-of-dish rating is off the charts. If you’re feeling particularly thoughtful, you can even make the pie and take it over to your lucky friends’ house raw, and let them cook it whenever they like. Then they have delicious, warm pie that they feel like they cooked. This is what I did the other day. (and why there’s no picture of this recipe.) It was the birthday of a friend of ours, and beings that he’s a good southun’ boy, I figured peach pie was appropriate. They gave me the clean pie plate back about 12 hours later, so I’m guessing it was tasty. Neither SUE! nor I will tell if you use a grocery store pie crust. Enjoy!
SUE!’s Peach Pie
Click here to print this recipe.
Serves: 8 (or less)
Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
6 – 8 large ripe peaches
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup flour
1 pastry dough recipe
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Use your favorite pastry dough recipe and roll out the pie shell. Place in the pie dish and crimp the edges.
Bring a stock pot of water to a boil, and submerge the unpeeled peaches for about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. (This makes peeling the peaches a snap.)
Peel and quarter the peaches, and place them in the unbaked pie shell. The peaches shrink while cooking, so you want the raw pie to be very full.
Mix the sugar, butter, vanilla, flour and egg thoroughly. Spoon the mixture over top of the peaches.
Bake on the middle rack of your oven at 350 for 1 hour with a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie to catch any drippings.