Monday, June 10, 2013

Can't Believe I Won!

About a month ago my good friend Brisa dropped off an entry form for the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market Pie Baking Contest and the $5 entry fee with direct instructions to enter. I thought about it, checked the calendar to see if we had anything else going on that day, sat down and completed the entry form and sent it in. I have to say Brisa knows me, she knows I never have cash, and if she hadn't included that 5 dollar bill with the form I probably never would have entered! I had to include the name and recipe of the pie I was going to make. I decided to make a peach and raspberry pie with a pecan crumb topping, named "Betty's Peach Delight." I never imagined that I would actually win - especially when I saw the other 17 entries. There were some beautiful, delicious looking pies. Many were big 10 inchers, in gorgeous, fluted, ceramic pie pans and here was my little country pie, in an 8 inch disposable aluminum pan. My hopes were not high. As Ian and the girls and I stood under the shade of a potato vendor listening to the winners being called my hopes sank further - I thought maybe I could pull off third ($75 cash prize) but as they announced 3rd, then 2nd place I was ready to go. When they called my name I was shocked, it actually took me a 1/2 second to register that they had called my name! The mayor of Beverly Hills, who had been one of the judges handed me a large check, we posed for a photo opp, then he asked me what inspired my pie. I shared that it was named after my grandmother, who was an avid baker and culinary inspiration. I hope I sounded good because I think it's going to air on Beverly Hills public access television! Here are some pictures and the wining recipe - I hope you try it because it is truely delicious!

Betty's Peach Delight
For the crust:
11/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
5-7 tablespoons ice water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt, cut int the butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Slowly dribble in the ice water a couple tablespoons at a time, tossing the dough to distribute. You know you have used enough water when the dough just stays together when squeezed. Firmly press the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap, flattening dough into a thick, pancake shape as you wrap. Refridgerate for 30 minutes.
While dough is chilling prepare the filling and topping, preheat you oven to 450 degrees.
For the filling:
6-8 peaches, peeled* and sliced to equal about 4 cups
2 tablespoons corstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 pint raspberries
Toss peaches with the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and sugar, then gently fold in the raspberries. You can let this sit while you prepare the topping.
For the topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup toasted and roughly chopped pecans
Combine flour and brown sugar, cut the butter into the mixture leaving the butter the size of large peas. Toss in the pecans. Set aside.
Assemble the pie:
Roll your crust to fit a 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Pour in the peach-raspberry filling, cover with the topping, making sure it goes to the edges of the crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking until the top is golden brown about 45 minutes. Enjoy!
*To peel peaches you can fill your sink with hot water and soak them in the basin for about 15 minutes. Some peach varieties are easier to peel than others, you may need to dip each one into a pot of simmering waer for a 30 seconds to a minute to get teh skins loose. Ask your farmer if the peaches are freestone or clingstone - the freestone are much easier to peel!

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