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Culinary SOS

Let's Save the Peaches

July 03, 2002|CINDY DORN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEAR SOS: I have a peach tree with at least 100 peaches on it! Do you have any great peach recipes?

ELLEN HUTKIN

Tarzana

DEAR ELLEN: It's hard to improve upon a ripe peach right off the tree. But here is Joan Ruggles' pie from 1998.

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Send requests to Culinary SOS, Food Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 or e-mail to: cindy.dorn@latimes .com. Please include your last name and city of residence for publication.

Summertime Peach Pie With Crumb Top

Active Work Time: 30 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours

CRUST

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, ice cold, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup shortening, chilled

1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons ice water

Combine the butter, shortening, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs.

With the processor running, add 1 tablespoon of ice water. Continue adding water, 1 drop at a time, with the processor running, until the dough begins to form a mass. You might not use all the water. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill about 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough and flute the edge. Chill 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the pie shell with foil, then fill with pie weights, beans or rice. Bake until the crust is light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Remove the weights and foil.

FILLING

10 large peaches

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

Blanch the peaches in a large pot of boiling water about 30 seconds, then plunge into a bowl of cold water. Peel and slice the peaches into a bowl. Add the sugar, almond extract and cornstarch.

CRUMB TOP

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon and stir until crumbs form.

Fill the crust with the filling. Pile the crumb topping over the peaches. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Bake the pie until the top is golden, the center is set and the filling bubbles around the edges, 60 to 70 minutes. (If the crumb top begins to get too brown, cover with a tent of foil.)

8 servings. Each serving: 509 calories; 443 mg sodium; 39 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 76 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.79 grams fiber.

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