Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dr Frankenstein's Peaches: The Most Pretentious Name Ever For Fresh Peach Pie

Somehow I had several hours yesterday after offering to bring a dessert to our dinner group tonight and before going to my work meeting in which I completely forgot to even think about what to make. I love making desserts, but we're trying to cut way back and get into shape, so my opportunities for making them need to be cut back to when they can be made for at least some kind of occasion, and then shared so there aren't any leftovers around. 
With that in mind, plus the abundance of ripe and delicious stone fruit, I considered options that met the following criteria:
-Good several hours later
-Didn't require ice cream etc to be its best
-I actually like it (sorry, traditional peach pie. it's not you, it's me.)
-No regular pie crust (see previous, plus I hate making it, so.)

After some smartphone googling, I came up with a blank - and took matters into my own hands. 

Obviously a pro food photographer here

Fresh Stone Fruit Cream Pie With Gingersnap Crust
The crust recipe is Martha Stewart's for a gingersnap crust with a bit of a tweak for what I had on hand. If you don't feel like turning on the oven, a store-bought graham cracker or shortbread crust would be good too.

1 3/4 c gingersnap crumbs (crush with rolling pin in a bag - I'm not sure how many cookies it was pre-crush, sorry.)
5 tbsp butter, melted
Salt: 1/2 tsp if your butter was unsalted, a sprinkle of sea salt on the top of the crust if it wasn't.
Drizzle of molassas
Cold water, a few drops

1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
1 c heavy whipping cream (half the pint carton)
2 tbsp sugar, or more if you'd like it sweeter
1 tsp vanilla or almond or whatever flavoring of your choice, or 1-2 tbsp brandy

Sliced peaches, plums, or whole berries, amount depending on how fruit-piled you want it to be. I think I used 6  peaces and 4 tiny plums.
Redcurrant or apricot jelly, for glazing, if desired - 1/2c melted with 1 tbsp water, strained if there are any fruit solids. Not necessary, but it does make it look pretty and keeps the fruit from looking dried out or aged if you're waiting a few hours to serve. 
Lemon juice, a slosh, for tossing with cut fruit that may brown

For the crust:  Preheat oven to 350. Mix crumbs,  molasses, butter, salt as using. If it'll press into a crust as is, leave it, if not, add a tiny bit of cold water until it will. Press into 9" pie plate, put in the freezer for a few minutes to firm, and then bake for about 10 minutes or until set. Cool before filling, or the cream will melt!

For the cream: Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until light and smooth. Add heavy cream, and whip until soft peaks form. Add flavorings as desired and whip to combine and until cream is fairly stiff and holds its shape. If crust is cool, pile it in and smooth it on. Arrange fruit however you like on top - I did concentric circles of slices facing the same direction, which is super easy and very pretty, but piling it on freehand could make for a more rustic look. If using, brush on jelly glaze.