|Aren't my friends good sports?|
This is a pie for peach season--I think any book club would be happy to devour it while discussing a Key West mystery! More on the discussion in a bit, but first the recipe...
I wait every year for the peaches in Connecticut. I buy mine at Bishops farm markets, a bushel at a time. You can also slice the peaches and add the sugar, and then freeze them in a 6 cup quantity. When you are ready to make the pie (when you're feeling sad that peach season is over,) warm the peach mixture over a low flame and then add the rest of the ingredients and proceed as written.
This recipe is based on one I found in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. I always use my father's pie crust because it's so easy. And I adjusted some of the flavorings, deleting the nutmeg and increasing cinnamon. I also added a quarter cup slivered almonds to the topping.
Ingredients for the filling
Six cups ripe peaches, sliced
Three-quarter cup sugar +1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon salt
One half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon melted, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup cornstarch
Peel and slice the peaches. Stir the sugar and salt into the bowl. Let this sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with the almond extract, lemon juice, melted butter, and cold water. Stir until smooth. Stir this mixture into the peaches.
While the peaches marinate, make your crust.
I recommend this easy version of my father's crust.
Then on to the topping!
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground in food processor
1/2 cup rolled oats, whole
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
One half stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Pulse together all the topping ingredients in the food processor until crumbly.
Spread the topping over the pie. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Lay one sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top. Bake at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes. Bake until the crust and topping are golden. I took the foil off for the last 10 minutes, going for that extra crunch
Let the pie sit for four hours at room temperature before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. (Everyone did, even the chocoholics.)
Now, hmmm, which book to choose for the discussion? My friends and I had a very interesting chat about tarot card reading over pieces of this pie. Did we believe in tarot or horoscopes? How far should a friend go to protect another friend's confidence? (You'll remember that Hayley Snow's dear friend Lorenzo is a tarot card reader. Only he seems to have lost the ability to see his own future in FATAL RESERVATIONS.) Here's more on that book, a blog about the evolution of Lorenzo, and some of the recent reviews.
But if your book club meets around the holidays, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS would be a perfect choice--Christmas in Key West!
Near Valentine's Day? Try MURDER WITH GANACHE.
And here are book discussion questions for TOPPED CHEF, DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, and AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, which would be good choices for any time of year!
Leave a comment about which book you'd choose--I'll be giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter!
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