Peach and Blackberry Ginger Pie

Almond scented pie crust

This is the same crust that I used for the Blackberry Lemon Chess Pie. It's a very versatile crust, and the addition of the almond meal adds a nice subtle hint of nuttiness as well as helps brown the crust.

This recipe makes two single pie crust pies (or enough for one double crust pie).

Adapted from More Best Recipes (America's Test Kitchen) by the editor's of Cook's Illustrated

2 1/2 cups of unbleached AP flour

1/2 cup of almond meal or almond flour

1 tsp of kosher or sea salt

2 Tbsp of sugar

12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) of cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup of leaf lard (see note) or trans-free shortening

1/3 cup ice cold vodka

1/3 cup ice cold water

1. Put 1 1/2 cups of AP flour and 1/2 cup of the almond meal into a food processor with the salt, sugar. Pulse a couple of times to blend and then add the butter (sliced into 1/4" pieces) and the lard or shortening cut into 4 pieces. Process the mixture until dough/paste lump starts to form - about 15 seconds or so.

2. Add the rest of the 1 cup of AP flour to the mixture and pulse a few times to break up the dough. If the dough is still clumped up, open up the processor and break it up a little bit with your fingers or a fork and then pulse a few more times. You want the mixture to look sorta like cottage cheese lumps.

3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and sprinkle the vodka and the water over the dough. Using a large spatula fold the liquid into the dough. The dough should be a little sticky, but don't worry about that. You'll be adding more flour when you roll it out to compensate.

4. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Note: Leaf lard is different from the lard you find at the grocery store. It's refined (but NOT hydrogenated like the grocery store stuff). It's also a much higher grade way better for you. Don't use the grocery store stuff. Stick with a trans-free shortening if you can't find leaf lard, but if you can, it's worth tracking down. You'll make amazing flaky crust with it because it melts at a higher temperature (allowing for more air pockets in the dough. Air pockets = flakiness). Check with a local butcher and see if they can order it for you. Or split an order with a fellow baker and mail order a batch.

For Pie Filling & Assembly

3 lbs of peaches

1 pint blackberries

2 tsp of vanilla extract

¼ tsp almond extract

¼ cup diced candied ginger

6 Tbsp arrowroot starch or tapioca flour

½ cup brown or demera sugar

¾ cup white sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 egg, separated

1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

2. Roll out one of the pie dough disks with a generous amount of flour (use as much flour as you want, as this dough is sticky) and fit into a 9” deep dish pie tin, leaving a 1” overhang of crust. Brush the bottom and sides dough with an egg white wash (1 egg white beaten with 1 Tbsp of water until frothy).

3. Wash, slice and pit the peaches into a bowl.

4. Add the blackberries along with the vanilla and almond extract, candied ginger, flour, sugars and salt.

5. Gently fold them all together with a large spatula and pour them into the prepared pie crust.

5. Weave a top over the crust and brush with an egg wash (1 egg yolk with 1 Tbsp of water beaten until frothy). Place the pie on a large sheet pan to catch drippings (I suggest lining it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

6 . Bake for 20 minutes at 425˚F and then lower the temperature to 350˚ for 1 hr and 15 minutes or until the pie juices are bubbling. If the crust looks like it might be browning too fast, put a pie shield or wrap aluminum foil around the sides of the pie to prevent it from burning. Make sure the pie juices are bubbling in the center of the pie. Allow to cool a bit for the filling to thicken before you serve.