Vegan Peaches & Cream Pie.

Last year I had the pleasure of acquiring some very sweet, very juicy peaches. My favorite variety ended up being a 49er peach that had a beautiful red starburst on the inside with a yellow-red blush on the outside. They were a revelation. I went a bit overboard and after making a delightful Peach-Vanilla Jam with Bourbon, I knew at least a few pies were also in order. As always, it’s a wonderful day for pie. 😉

First, inspired by one of my local favorite eateries, Good Girl Dinette, came this Licorice Peach Pie. I made this pie with cane sugar only, no brown sugar and then added licorice powder. Licorice powder is made from licorice root, dried and then pulverized into a fine powder. I wouldn’t say it was the best peach pie that I’ve made, but it was unusual and tasty. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to play with flavors and try something new, which I love doing.

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A Mix of Things for the Blog that Time Forgot.

Greetings long lost blog. Did not intentionally take a month off, but summer is packed with busy. Good busy and work busy. Lots of farm trips for the the most exceptional produce one has ever tasted. Thrifting and brewery visits. Planning my next Maui adventure which will be here in less than a month. So many things have kept me away from here and I’m a little sorry for it, but not sorry because that is how life gets. For anyone reading, I will never abandon my blog without a word. Just couldn’t do it to The Jolly Fox or to anyone reading.

So, here is a smörgåsbord of things I’ve been making. Some of them I made months and months ago, others just recently. Next time I’ll be around with a recipe, hopefully. Probably for pie, cobbler or something of the like. It’s been pie mania around here since, well, forever I guess.

Blood Orange Sour Cream Bundt Cake w/ Blood Orange Swirl.
Blood Orange Sour Cream Bundt Cake w/ Blood Orange Swirl.

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Peche.

Peche! My favorite non-english word for peach. Thanks France!

Recently I had the pleasure of returning to M&M Peach Ranch where some friends and I picked Bing cherries earlier this summer. Their Ryan Sun peaches ripened up at the end of August so a visit was in order. We took the longish drive out to Lake Hughes and delighted in picking the most delicious organic peaches. It was an absolutely lovely day, with lovely friends.

Mich!
Phil!

Before going home, we pulled over to frolic in this beautiful field of flowers. It was pure joy. 🙂

Photo by Phil Warren.
Me and my friend Mike. Photo by Phil Warren.

I went home and decided that my peaches ought to end up in a peach and blueberry buckle infused with tempeh bacon (inspired by Eat the Love of course!). They also ended up in a delicious Apple-Peach Pie w/ Bourbon and Rosemary Crust (recipe below). The remaining peaches that were not eaten were blanched, peeled and frozen. I think this new ice cream recipe from my favorite non-vegan baker extraordinaire may be order—veganized of course! 😉

The buckle is easy. Just roast your peaches with tempeh bacon and a drop or two of liquid smoke per Irvin’s instructions found here on his original post. Make the topping listed on Irvin’s site, subbing out the butter for Earth Balance and omitting the salt. For the cake, I just used the buckle recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky, which is great. Don’t bake according to those instructions though, as they are a little different. You won’t be inverting this buckle as that book instructs you to do. Just use the batter in place of the non-vegan version and voila, BUCKLE in your mouth.

Apple-Peach Pie w/ Bourbon and Rosemary Crust

It’s hard to see the peaches in there with the apples, but I promise they are there in all of their juicy splendor!

Ingredients:

1 recipe of your favorite pie crust with one tbsp chopped fresh rosemary incorporated into the dough—I like the one from Vegan Pie in the Sky and Martha Stewart’s made vegan. Martha’s is the first crust I’ve ever made in a food processor. Kind of easy! I still like making it by hand though 😉

2 ½ c apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 ½ c peaches, blanched, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp bourbon

1 ½ tbsp unbleached all purpose flour

½ tsp cinnamon

½ c unbleached cane sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar

splash of fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake for about 10-12 min. Lower heat to 350°F and continue to bake pie for about 30-40 min.

Peach-Blueberry Pie w/ Lavender & Coconut Scented Crust.

The first thing I want to say is forgive the ugly photos. This is a pie I threw together a couple of years ago. It turned out pretty amazing, but I’ve never gotten around to taking some better pictures of it. The coconut scentedness was not entirely on purpose. I wanted to make a wheat crust with coconut oil, but I had run out of the refined (the kind with no coconut smell or taste). I only had virgin coconut oil on hand, so whatever, I used it. I thought it added a delightful dimension to this pie. Nowadays I typically like to use a combination of virgin coconut oil and Earth Balance Coconut Spread.

The crust recipe doubles just fine if you want two pie crusts. Making the crust as is, will yield one bottom crust plus enough scraps to make some leaves or decorations.

Peach-Blueberry Pie with Lavender & Coconut Scented Crust

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1 c whole wheat flour

7 1/2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (you’ll need this to be solid, but not refrigerated)

1/4 c Earth Balance Coconut Spread

1/4 c unbleached cane sugar

pinch sea salt

1 tbsp ice cold water

1 tbsp vodka

Filling:

3 c yellow peaches, blanched, skins removed, and cut into slices

2 c blueberries

3/4 c unbleached cane sugar

2 heaping tbsp arrowroot powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 heaping tbsp dried lavender

Method:

To make the crust, combine the flours, sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil and spread in tablespoons or chunks. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the coconut oil and spread until you start seeing fine crumbs. Add the ice water and vodka. Stir until a dough starts to come together. If you need more liquid, add more ice water 1 tbsp at a time. Take your ball of dough and flatten it into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour or until you’re ready to use it.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Take the crust from the fridge and roll it out to fit your pie plate. Use the remaining dough to cut out shapes for the top. Poke the crust with a fork for ventilation. I didn’t have pie weights back when I first started making this pie, so I don’t think you’ll need them. Use them if you have them, or if you want to use dried rice or beans as weights, go right ahead! Remember to line your crust with parchment if you’re using weights of any kind. Bake crust at 450°F for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

For the filling, place the fruit in a big mixing bowl. Add sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon and lavender.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake pie for about 10 min at 450°F. Lower oven temp to 350°F and bake pie  about 35 min or until filling is hot and bubbling.

 

Millions of Peaches, peaches for me.

Movin’ to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches!

At least I think that’s how the lyric goes. Does anyone remember ‘The Presidents of the United States of America” band? I was never really a big fan, but “Peaches” was always a good song. Mostly because peaches are awesome and they really should have their own song. I would write a song about them if I wrote songs, but thanks to the Presidents, I don’t have to. Good lookin’ out guys.

Summer is the season for peaches and all stone fruit. They are at their very best right now, wearing fruit sized tuxedos and trying to charm us all with their vibrant colors and delicious tastiness. I picked up some white peaches at the farmer’s market and they were truly some of the best peaches I have ever eaten. They were organic, but still very big and had a wonderful sweet aroma….like if you closed your eyes and took a deep breath in through your nose you might find yourself on a giant floating peach full of friendly insects and some kid named James.

I decided to go back to the farmer’s market and buy some more white peaches. I brought them home and had planned to make a yummy jam or something with them, but instead I ended up making Balsamic Peaches. I used a very simple recipe from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen, which is easily one of my top 5 favorite vegan cookbooks of all time. You make a simple marinade of balsamic vinegar, agave and freshly squeezed orange juice (Mr. Terry is all about the freshly squeezed and it’s totes worth it). You marinate the peaches for a few minutes and then saute them in the marinade. The result is a delicious warm dessert or breakfast. Mr. Terry also suggests serving these with Cashew Cream. I took his advice and whipped some up in my good pal, the Vitamix. As a finishing touch, I sprinkled on just a little bit of cinnamon sugar. The peaches are already very sweet, and the marinade is sweet, so I didn’t want to overdo it with the cinnamon sugar.

Balsamic Peaches w/ Cashew Cream & Cinnamon Sugar

More about our friend, the peach:

These little wonders originated in China and are considered part of the almond family. I think that’s why the pits look like almonds!
The only major difference between a peach and a nectarine is that peaches are fuzzy and nectarines are smooth. You can substitute nectarines for peaches in most recipes.

Peach in French, is peche!