13 July 2011

The Power of Kittens ... and A Pie



They are such innocents, these two. They claw their way up the sides of the beds to see what's up top and then mew, mew, mew until one or the other is brave enough to jump back down. They toy with each other's tail and scamper sideways across the carpet, stumbling now and then like drunken sailors. They stop at sudden movements of wind chimes, curtains, or my feet and stare intently, before going on to other things. They jump at their mother and play at 'attack' with her until she whips them with her tail and jumps the fence out of their 'nursery room'. They race back and forth and all around ... and then they sleep curled around each other like a little living yin and yang. They have completely captured the hearts of all the neighbor kids, who make small pilgrimages to see them ( "Briefly, please!" ).


They are magnetic ....













This past weekend, Silent Bob and I went camping and left the family cats and the kittens in the care of the neighbor kids... each day, they came and fed the older cats, making sure that mother cat had an extra ration of milk and water drizzled over her dry food and a tiny can of wet food to fortify her milk supply for the kittens. Then, the kids played with the babies for a bit. Daisy and Opey were well cared for and the kittens were happy and more social when we arrived home. What good and responsible kids we have for neighbors! Real peaches ...



I'm so thankful that I have made a pie as a special thank-you for the kids and their parents ( A second pie is in the oven for SB and I to have while we watch the All-Star baseball game!).  This is a peach-blueberry pie. It's warm right now and I have vanilla ice cream in the freezer. I'm taking pie and ice cream down the road and delivering dessert for this evening's family dinner. It's great to have such fine, caring, and fun neighbors - it's what a good neighborhood is all about. It's amazing what two little kittens can do for cementing neighborly relations. They are magnetic ...



Peach-Blueberry Pie

Crust Ingredients:

2 c. flour
⅔ c. plus 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening or butter
1 tsp. salt
7 - 8 tbsp. iced cold water

Filling Ingredients:

5 large peaches, pitted and sliced into ¼-inch crescents
1½ c. wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp. fresh lemon  juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. peach brandy
⅓ c. brown sugar
½ c. sugar
¼ c. flour
2 tbsp. cold butter
egg white, beaten - for glazing and sealing crust

Notes on Recipe: I use peaches that are slightly under-ripe, as they keep their form when baked. I don't peel the peaches, because I like the added fiber of the fruit and I love the pinky color that bakes out into the sauce. I like a 'juicy' pie so the flour/butter is minimal here and the pie juices are just thickened slightly. You can add more flour if you prefer.

Making the Pie:

1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and cut the vegetable shortening into it  until the mix resembles gritty sand and there are no pieces larger than a pea.

2. Add the ice water a tablespoonful at a time and fluff into the dough mix with a fork. When the dough leaves the sides of the bowl, add the last tablespoon or so carefully, so your dough isn't 'gloppy'.

3. Turn the ball of dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap up tightly and press the dough ball together. Refrigerate for at least a half hour.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the peaches and place them in a deep bowl with the lemon juice, tossing to cover.

5. Mix the sugars and flour in a small bowl and set aside.

6. Place the blueberries, vanilla, and peach brandy over the peaches.

7. Prepare a rolling surface by sprinkling generously with flour. Divide the chilled dough in half and roll the bottom crust out. Place it in the bottom of a deep-dish pie pan. Brush the surface all over and up the sides with the egg white and dot the bottom of the pie with the butter.

8. Pour the sugar/flour mixture over the peaches and blue berries and toss gently to coat all, being careful not to break up the berries. Scrape all the fruit and sugar slather into the pie pan and arrange in a pretty heap over the butter clumps.

9. Re-flour the rolling surface and roll out the top crust. Place over top the fruit and seal the crust edges, trim any excess to within an inch of the pan edge and then roll the top crust under the bottom crust edge. Crimp to seal.

10. Brush the surface with more egg white wash. Sprinkle the top with a bit of white sugar. Poke holes in a pretty pattern with a fork and bake.

Bake time:  425° F oven for 15 minutes and then turn oven temp down to 375° F and continue baking for another 45 minutes

Yum!  Leftover pie for breakfast!

8 comments:

  1. How sweet are the faces on those kittens! And how on earth did you get them to pose?

    The pie looks delicious! I can't believe it's time for the All-Star game!

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  2. wowowowow!... that pie!... now that's a real pie... I love your crust and the filling, so simple and so sweet... much like those stupidly cute kittens!

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  3. Oh, how precious! I have two adult cats who still act like kittens. I wish I was your neighbour so I could have pie. I'm too lazy to make one for myself right now, lol.

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  4. Awww, look at those adorable kitties with their sweet little faces. And those BLUE eyes. Hmmmm...you can keep the pie, I'll take the kittens! lol

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  5. Oh I love cats and kittens and yours are absurdly cute!! My cat is a boy, so we won't be having any baby kittens, but I always dream of having a couple.

    Your peach pie is beautiful too... and peach season is coming along, so I am stocking up on recipes. This one is going into my must-make folder. Thank you for sharing, Susan.

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  6. Your kittens are beautiful! I love to watch kittens play.

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  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I love fruit pies in the summer, and the combo of peaches and blueberries looks fantastic!

    (And for me, it'll be a "celebration" pie, since I'm a National League fan.)

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  8. A sweet story and a sweeter dessert. Peaches mixed with blueberries is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

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