Juicy Peach Pie with a Lard Crust
Ever have that pang of dissapointment? With your career, with motherhood, with life in general? Sometimes things just don't turn out the way you want them to, or it's just a run of dissapointments. It's hard to overcome this feeling but finding that small silver lining can help pull you out of the funk. I was thinking about how I would explain this juicy peach pie. How would I explain that the juices overflowed and it didn't turn out as pretty as I imagined. The bottom became deliciously soggy from all the extra juice and everything oozed out when I cut into it. It's not the perfect image of pie that you see time and time again on instagram, blog posts and foodgawker. But after a bit of soul searching, I think what really matters is the taste. It tasted amazing. The top crust was as flakey as can be. The peaches were sweet with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg and the bottom crust... well actually I adore a soggy bottom.
About once a month or once every two months I get into a funk. Disappointed with my career path, my ability to be a compassionate mom, a good wife. It's in these moments that I wish I did more. Accomplished more. Worked harder. But the exhaustion kicks in and you jut feel like you can't anymore. It's hard to dig out if these feelings. How do you feel good about yourself again? And I realize It's perspective. Why am I not valuing what I already have and what I've already accomplished? I'm not a religious person, so god and prayer don't really work into this equation. I need to answer my own questions. And for this I think I found the answer in pie. Pie makes the best metaphors!
I had high hopes for this pie, dreams of the perfect slice and the perfect shot. On the surface it was shiny and golden brown. But boy was I disappointed when I cut into it. Like my career and motherhood, I had expectations. I'd be working for a big network, producing big budget campaigns or I'd hold my babies in pure joy as I rocked them to sleep or as they got older, I imagined being the mom who'd play and read to them all the time. But when reality hits, none of those fantasies happened. I struggled. Working in television is hard. Being a mom while working is even harder. "I wasn't good enough"... crept into my brain. I'd think about it before I went to bed or on my long commutes home.
But like this pie, I had to taste it to realize how good it really was. As I cut into it, I can feel that the insides were spilling out. The first slice looked like a crusty cobbler or crisp. It didn't hold it's shape. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't perfect. But that first taste....the top crust crisp and flakey. Peaches were sweet, and warm with cinnamon. And the bottom crust was soggy. But in a good way. It soaked in all those juices and that didn't bother me one bit. I did it. I made a great tasting pie, and isn't that the point of baking? It's not about perfecting the look, but the taste.
And the same could be said about my life. I have to delve into myself to realize that I have accomplished what I had set out to do. I'm an Asian writer/ producer/ editor in an industry mainly dominated by men. I've done this for over 10 years and won numerous awards for my work. It's not too shabby. I'm raising two...mostly well behaved children who eat their vegetables and make me proud on a daily basis. Children that run to me when I get home and still want to hold my hand when we're out. So I've realized that this life tastes a lot better than it can sometimes look. And that's all that really matters.
I was going to start this post writing about the lard crust and how I've been wanting to try using lard for forever. But I'm going to leave it at that. I tried it. It made a gorgeous crust. Tender and flakey as hell. I'm a lard crust convert. This pie is honestly amazing. Slice into it and be proud of everything that comes out.
Juicy Peach Pie With Lard Crust
For the Crust:
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Lard
1 Whole Egg
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
5 Tbsp Ice Water
For the Pie:
5 cups sliced peaches
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold butter
1 egg beaten
1-2 tbsp water
Make the Crust
In a food processor, blend the flour, salt and baking powder together.
Add the lard and process until the flour and lard is a sandy consistency. Pour into a large bowl.
In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, vinegar and ice water.
Add the liquid slowly into your flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
When the dough comes together remove it from the bowl and cut it in half. Shape each half into a round patty and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Make the pie
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
In a large bowl combine the sliced peaches and lemon juice, gently toss together. Place the sliced peaches in a colander to drain. This step is suppose to eliminates some of the juice so your pie so that it won't be soupy after it's cut. I probably was a bit overzealous about making this pie and didn't let it drain enough before combining the rest of the ingredients. But it's still tasty!
Place drained peaches in a large bowl.
In a medium size bowl combine the flour,cornstarch,sugars,cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Pour the flour mixture over the drained peaches and gently fold them together.
Once thoroughly chilled, roll out the crust and place into your 9 inc pie dish.
Trim any excess crust.
Pour peaches into the bottom pie crust and dot with butter. Place the top crust over the peaches and flute edges. Brush with the rest of the beaten egg and cut 4 slits in the top crust to vent steam. Sprinkle course sugar atop the pie.
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and sake an additional 30-35 minutes until crust is brown and juices bubble up through the slits. If your pie edges brown to quickly, cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil and continue baking.