I hate soggy cereal, I hate soggy sandwiches and I really hate soggy pies, crisps and crumbles. I didn't think there was a way to avoid the flood of juice that flows when baking fruits like strawberries and peaches, until I learned this easy trick.
My French mother-in-law is quite a cook. Over the years, I've asked for her recipes, but she cooks mostly from memory. I've tried to look over her shoulder and take notes, but she's too quick. When I want to know how she does it, I go to the source, Larousse Gastronomique. I've eaten clafoutis in many forms. (Please don't tell my mother-in-law, but I've made it with ripe summer peaches before. Delicious!) No matter how many variations I try, the classic, with unpitted cherries, remains a favorite.
You could make these no-bake peach tarts because you can't bear to turn on the oven on a hot summer day. You could make them because you're gluten-free or raw or vegan or paleo or whathaveyou. Or, you could make them because the combination of ripe peaches, ginger, and coconut is simply irresistible.
Disposable aluminum pie pans are flimsy and don't bake crusts as evenly as glass or ceramic pie plates, but they sure are convenient for giving pies away to lucky friends and family. One of our readers shared an ingenious tip for a simple way to hack an aluminum pie plate so it is sturdier and bakes better crusts.
Q: My office is having a bake sale to support a school supplies drive for homeless and low-income kids in our area. We've always had great participation with our bake sale fundraisers in the past, but since we've recently had temps in the 90s and 100s, I don't know if people will be as willing as usual to turn on their ovens for a good cause.
I'm usually a traditionalist when it comes to pie. For example, there is no need to mess with the greatness that is a slice of warm peach pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But ice cream is a different matter. With ice cream, I believe in experimentation, being adventurous, and putting chunks of buttery pie crust into a peach-rippled ice cream so that it tastes like you are eating a slice of summer pie.
Being able to make a perfectly woven traditional pie lattice is a feat unto itself, but it's not for everyone and it's not for every pie. These proud and magnificent crusts show that you mean business. Pie business. A couple of these designs are simply made by cutting shapes into the pie dough with a cookie cutter — easy peasy!
Summer fruit is like an open invitation that pie season has begun. Bakers start making their crusts, and discussing whether or not butter or Crisco or lard is the secret ingredient. And as much as I love pie and adore making it, sometimes simplicity rules. Sometimes it's nice not to fuss over the dough or the crimping, and instead just pile seasonal fruit into a baking dish, scatter some simple crisp topping and throw it in the oven.
I work two farmers markets each week here in Seattle, and recently I stumbled across a few little pints of tayberries. I scattered them on my morning yogurt, but there is, perhaps, a better way to use them — namely, in a pie!
As a devout chocolate lover since birth, I've never totally warmed to the idea of fruit desserts. Occasionally I'll enjoy an old-fashioned strawberry shortcake or classic tarte tatin, but in the summertime I rarely seem to make pies and baked goods using our beautiful Georgia produce. All that changed a few years ago, however, when a pastry chef friend served me my first hot, fluffy blueberry clafoutis. It was truly love at first powdered-sugar bite.