Pint-sized peach pie (and plenty of P's)

As it turns out, peach pie packs a palate-pleasing punch for passing from summer to autumn pathos-free. Make it pint-sized, and your pants will be praising its pluses too.

Perfection personified.

Pint-Sized Peach Pie
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
700 grams (1 1/2 pounds) peaches

1/2 of your favourite pastry recipe, chilled and ready to roll
(i.e., enough pastry to fill the bottom of a regular-sized pie plate)

1-2 tablespoons whipping cream

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and spices. Set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice water. Blanch the peaches, 3 at a time, for 1 minute each. Immediately transfer the blanched fruit to the ice water until cool enough to touch. Peel carefully using a sharp knife.

Pit the peaches and cut them into thin, bite-sized wedges. Add the peach slices and lemon juice to the dry ingredients above and toss to coat. Let the filling stand for 30 minutes, until juices form.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and have a loaf pan ready.

Roll out your pastry into a rectangle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your loaf pan, plus a little extra. Transfer the pastry to the loaf pan, carefully easing it into the corners without stretching. Leave an overhang around the perimeter.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop the peach filling into the pastry shell. Drizzle a bit of the reserved sauce on top and discard the rest to avoid a runny pie.

Fold the overhang pastry up and over the filling, crimping it to hold the peaches inside. Don't worry if some of the filling is exposed. On the other hand, if your filling is completely covered, be sure to make a few decorative cuts in the pastry for steam to escape. Lightly brush the top with whipping cream (or an egg wash).

Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate and check progress, then return to oven until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Mine took about 40-45 minutes in total.

Notes: To make a pint-sized version of your favourite pie, simply halve your filling and pastry recipes.

Source: Spiced Peach Pie at Epicurious.com, originally published in Bon App├ętit, July 2000.

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