You Asked For It...Winning #PieWeek Recipes
Last week we shared photos from NPR's in-house regional pie contest hosted by our Pie Week pioneers at The Salt and Morning Edition. Whether it was the lighting, or a summertime sweet tooth, many of you requested that we reveal the recipes.
First and second place winners Jessica Pavone in NPR's development office and The Picture Show's Claire O'Neill handed over their now award-winning recipes, and even shared the back story on these tasty treats. Enjoy!
I grew up in the Northeast, in a Jewish-Italian clan; I'm a Yankee through and through.
Bubbe Pavone's Honey Caramel Peach Pie
Recipe adapted from Gourmet
- 8 to 9 medium-size ripe but firm peaches (let them ripen overnight in a brown paper bag with the top folded down)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ tablespoons of unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon and sweep method)
- 3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup mild honey (such as clover)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Your favorite pie crust (l like a butter and shortening crust)
- 1 tablespoon of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of Demerara sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Blanch peaches in boiling water to loosen skin; peel and cut into ½-inch-thick pieces.
3. Toss peaches with cornstarch, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
4. Bring ½ cup sugar, honey, and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Boil without stirring, swirling saucepan occasionally so that sugar melts evenly until it is dark amber—the color of an old copper penny. (This is a David Lebovitz trick.)
5. Remove pan from heat and add butter. Pour over fruit and toss.
6. Roll out 1 piece of dough and lay it on the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.
7. Transfer filling to pie shell.
8. Roll out remaining piece of dough. Cover pie.
9. Brush pie top with heavy cream and sprinkle Demerara sugar. Cut 3 vents in the top crust with a paring knife.
10. Bake pie for 20 minutes at 425°F. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake until crust is golden-brown—about 50 minutes more. Cool pie to room temperature.
Fortunately, the world of pie is not geographically bound.
I was drawn to this Southern recipe because I love peaches and I love to make caramel—an exacting procedure that leaves no room for error.
In baking, following every step to the letter is important. But following your instincts is important too. I hate a pie that's too sweet or cloying, or one whose composition is really uneven. The peaches in this pie offer a natural solution to both problems. They provide a wholesome sweetness and a nice textural balance.
Jessica Pavone bakes under the nom de sucre "BubbePavone." Visit bubbepavone.blogspot.com for more information.
"There was a pie contest at work for our upcoming #pieweek coverage. The idea was to pick something regional — and though I initially had very ambitious plans for something pecan-y or savory, I got lazy/cheap at the last minute."
Claire O'Neill writes the foodzine "The Runcible Spoon," where this recipe is also available.