Ok, the weather has gotten cooler this week, but when I made this pie with my baking-prone friend, Sara, it was hot as the dickens. And humid! We met at the Carroll Gardens farmer's market in Brooklyn on our bikes and ogled the piles of peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, corn and peppers. Sara had done some calculations involving oven temperatures, the angle of the sun, the percentage of humidity in the air and her apartment's lack of A/C and come to the conclusion that a no-bake pie was in order. We found perfectly ripe peaches and fresh mint at the market and then hopped on our bikes for a sunny, sweaty ride to her place.
It's Too Hot to Bake Peach-Strawberry Pie
recipe by Sara Dierck
By using a graham cracker crust that hardens up in the freezer, and a stove-top filling, this pie won't make the kitchen and house unbearable when the temperature climbs. For a final touch, we whipped up some heavy cream with Grand Marnier and a bit of sugar. Don't skip the mint - it's cool and fresh!
Graham Cracker Crust:
1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 1 cellophane package plus about 2 full crackers)
6 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons butter, divided in half
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided in half
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
Make the crust:
Have a 8 or 9 inch pie pan ready. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until fine. Combine in a small bowl with the melted butter and sugar, and mix with a fork until incorporated. Press into the pie pan with your fingers, evenly distributing, smoothing out with the bottom of a glass if you'd like. Put pie pan in freezer until ready, or for at least 20 minutes.
Make the filling:
Cut the peaches into slices. It's okay to leave on the skin. Melt half the butter (2 tablespoons,) in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peaches to the pan and stir to coat. Add the Grand Marnier and stir occasionally until the peaches are cooked, about 5 minutes.
Strain the peaches in a sieve, reserving the liquid. Set the peaches aside to cool.
Pat dry the strawberries if wet, and cut any large ones in half. In a food processor, puree the berries.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt. In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch mixture with 1/2 cup of the reserved peach liquid. Add the strawberry puree with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and butter.
Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. Continue stirring for one minute more.
Pour a third of the strawberry filling into the chilled graham cracker crust. Arrange half of the peaches on top. Add another third of the filling, and follow that with the rest of the peaches. Pour the remaining filling into the crust, smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Serve with whipped cream and a small bit of mint.
photo by Sara Dierck