I entered this pie in a local Peach Dessert Contest. The same one I entered my Peach Pie with Ginger Streusel last year. This year, I won Second Place! I so enjoy winning. I don’t mean to be cocky but it feels really good knowing that something that I created, gets acknowledged by others that, yes, it is pretty yummy. Last year, it was a Peach Pie only contest. This year, I went against Peach Sorbet, Peach Cookies, and Peach Cream Tart, along with other Peach Pies. This win got me on the front page of the local paper, again! It’s so fun.
Since my Ginger Streusel didn’t win last year, I decided to try a traditional peach pie with a twist of some sort. I started by looking up some recipes in my cookbooks and on the internet. I noticed that a few recipes substituted bourbon for the vanilla extract. I thought that was interesting. So, I went to my liquor cupboard. It’s actually an old piece given to us by my husband’s Uncle Mickey. We call it the Mexican bar. It used to live in U. Mickey’s shed and there it just collected dust. One day, my husband asked him for it and he agreed. We have treasured it ever since. It’s a beautiful hand carved piece made for storing bottles and glasses. As I went through the bottles stored in the Mexican Bar, I came across two bottles of Tuaca. Ever hear of it? It’s a fruity and sweet liquor that comes from the Tuscan region of Italy. My husband, Carmen, was very fond of it and would often offer it after dinner to our guests. Along with the Tuaca, I changed the ratio of sugars, adding more brown sugar than white. It became a very sweet pie that didn’t distract from the fruitiness of the peaches. I named it “My Sweetie Pie” in honor of Carmen for his sweetness, his love of Tuaca and my love for him.
1 Tbl. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 lb. Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening
1/3 cup + 1 Tbl. Ice Water (possibly 1 to 2 Tbl. more if needed)
Cream or Milk and additional Sugar for top crust
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sugar
3 Tbl. Cornstarch
3 Tbl. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Tuaca
1/8 tsp. Salt
3 Tbls. Unsalted Butter
For the Pastry Dough: Cut the Butter and Vegetable Shortening into 1/2 chunks and freeze. After they are frozen, begin with the dough. Place dry ingredients in food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds. With the processor off, scatter the Butter and Shortening on top of Flour mixture. Pulse 1 to 2 seconds until the Butter is a pea size. With processor off, drizzle 1/3 cup + 1 Tbl. of ice water on top. Pulse until there are no dry patches and it begins to clump into small batches. Don’t let it gather into a single mass. Add more Ice Water if needed. Divide dough in half. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Roll dough into a 13 inch round and fit into a 9 inch pie pan. Roll the other half into a 12 inch round for the top crust. Refrigerate both.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine well all Pie Filling ingredients. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour into pie shell. Dot with 3 Tbls. Unsalted Butter cut into small pieces. Brush overhanging edge of bottom crust with cold water. Cover with the top crust and seal the edge, trim and flute. Cut steam vents. Lightly brush the top with Cream and sprinkle with Sugar. ( I decided to make a wide weave on the top crust. I used the width of my ruler to cut strips that I placed on the top and the wove them in place and continued to seal, trim and flute the edges.)
Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake until juices bubble through the vent, 25 – 35 minutes more. Let cool completely before serving.
I have gotten many compliments from friends who have tried this pie. One person said that he loved peach pie and that this was by far the best peach pie he had ever tasted. Made me warm inside. It’s either that good or he was very hungry. Either way, I accept the compliment and am very grateful. It’s not one of my easy recipes. This takes a lot of prep and time but for the right occasion, I think it is well worth it. I hope you try it.
Eat well, drink well and live well. Until next time.