Even though it feels like I am cooking more these days, trying out new recipes, I have also consciously been making much smaller portions. It’s been fun, actually, scaling down recipes so that the end results are just meant for two.
Simplifying the steps has also been an outlet for being creative – no crusts for quiches, for example, but make them in an individual sized ramekin with organic eggs, cream, gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese, bits of leftover broccoli or asparagus tips, baked in a bain marie until they are golden brown, poufed up and slightly jiggly in the middle. Come to think of it, a crustless quiche is similar to a souffle, isn’t it? It’s so much fun to be served an individual souffle on your plate!
This afternoon, I had three fresh peaches left from the farmer’s market in the fridge. They had to be used up because they were beginning to show bruises and I thought that making a small scale peach crostada would be perfect. So, I reduced recipes for homemade crust and chilled the butter and crisco in the freezer. Then I took out the Cuisinart and measured a cup and a half of flour, spun the chilled butter (3/4 stick unsalted) and 1/4 cup cold Crisco using the pulse button until the flour mixture was mealy looking. Added a teaspoon of Maldon salt. Then about 5 tablespoons of ice water added gradually while continuing to pulse. The crust dough came together into a ball and was a little sticky when I took it out, but with just a smattering of a little more flour, was smooth as a baby’s bottom. Wrapped in parchment paper, it went into the fridge for over a half hour. During that time, I peeled the peaches – they were ripe enough so that the skin almost zipped off with a sharp paring knife; sliced them up into a small glass bowl, added a mixture of flour (a tablespoon plus; teaspoons of cinnamon, nutmeg and stevia (in place of sugar) respectively.
When ready to bake, I took out the Silit pad and floured it lightly, rolling out the crust with a very light touch because it was so tender to the touch – I folded it into quarters so I could lift it into a prepared tart pan, opened it up again and spooned the peach mixture into the center. I folded the crust into overlapping folds towards the center, brushed the crust with an egg wash and sprinkled the crust with turbinado sugar.
In a 400 degree preheated oven, I slid the pie in and set the timer for about half an hour. Turned the pie around almost towards the end to brown evenly. Left it in the turned off oven so that the crust would be crisp and not undercooked in the parts of the crust I could not see. There’s nothing worse than underdone crust to a pie that looks this glorious!