Sunday, July 22, 2012

The season of peach pie is upon us!




             I’m so predictable.  I have, in the past couple of weeks, gotten several emails asking if I was going to do a “peach pie of the year.”  It all started a few years back with my grandmother’s peach pie, and just took off from there.
            I was trying to think of a new twist, when I came home with a log of chรจvre (fresh goat cheese) to use as an appetizer.  It turned out that I’d picked up honeyed goat cheese.  The sweetness of the honey was perfect with the tart goat cheese.  I had the peaches and wondered how the goat cheese would work in it.  The answer: beautifully!
            I wanted to make it again but didn’t find the honeyed goat cheese where I was shopping.  Instead, I used honey as the sweetener in the pie.  It was even better.
            I used a tart pan with a removable bottom, but this recipe is perfect for a deep dish type regular pie pan.  Peaches at the farmers’ markets are juicy and ripe, although smaller than usual because of the heat and lack of rain. (I'd love you to think I'm SO smart to know that, but a friend whose father is a peach farmer told me.)  
            I garnished it with fresh raspberries, but honestly it was be just fine without them.  If you like, a fluff of whipped cream might be good as well.
This is really best if eaten just slightly warm, but could be baked earlier in the day and reheated briefly in the oven.  In the unlikely event that there’s any left over, refrigerate it, but bring it back to room temperature to serve.  

PEACH-CHEVRE TART

6 or 7 very ripe peaches
Unbaked pie crust for a 10” pie
1 log fresh goat cheese, 3- or 3.5-ounces
2 eggs
1 cup half and half (or whole milk)
½ cup honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large pinch kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350o.   Fit the pie crust into a 10” pie or tart pan.  Peel, seed and slice the peaches into the crust.  They should mound just slightly higher than the edge of the crust.  Pinch off pieces of the goat cheese and tuck down among the peach slices. 
            In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined.  Pour over the peaches, being careful not to overflow.  Bake for around 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between the edge and center comes out clean.  Let rest for 20 minutes before serving, or let cool and serve at room temperature.  Serves 6 to 8.
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