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No Pie Until You're Packed!

No Pie Until You're Packed!

By Liz
July 29, 2010
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The kids are off to French immersion camp for two weeks, and packing can become a long drawn-out saga. Zoey simply could not pack until we bought a new suitcase; something bigger than the green one but smaller than the duffle. She insisted on three pairs of shoes. Kate needed at least 28 envelopes to write letters from camp. Where were the AA batteries? Help! I needed a break, so I decided to bake a pie. It started out as a way to just be somewhere else in the house and do something I enjoyed, but then I devised a devious plan: The pie could be a bribe -- no kid would get a piece of pie until they were packed!

For this purpose, I needed a pie they'd really want to eat. Peach Blueberry Streusel Pie seemed perfect -- fresh peaches and blueberries, with a cinnamon-laced butter and brown sugar crumble. Irresistible and, I hoped, motivating!

First, make your crust. Start by mixing the dry ingredients together and then cutting in the butter. I use a pastry cutter, but you can also use a food processor with a metal blade and just pulse. If you use a cutter, scrape the blades frequently with a butter knife.

You want the butter to be the size of coarse crumbs. Then, sprinkle on 3 of the 3-4 tablespoons water.

Mix with a fork and, if the dough isn't coming together, add a half tablespoon at a time and stir until the dough begins to hold together. Add just the amount of water you need; no more or your dough will get sticky.

When your dough is starting to form bigger clumps, just reach in and form it into a ball. Then, pat it flat and you're ready to roll!

Roll the dough from the middle to the outsides, rather than from one edge to the other edge, and don't roll off the edge. This helps keep the dough nice and even, and keeps the edges from flattening out.

When the size looks about right to me, I like to get the ruler and measure the dough to make sure it's 12 inches all around.

Looks good. Now, gently fold the dough in half, then in quarters.

Then, simply place the dough into the pan and unfold.

Press the dough in, trim any excess and fold extra dough under and behind. Then, scallop the edge using your fingers.

The last step for the pie crust is to press the dough gently into the bottom of the pan and also along the sides to secure it in place.

Now, put your crust in the fridge and start on the filling. Mix the sugar, cornstarch and ginger together in a large bowl and set it aside. This pie is nice and sweet, so if you prefer a more tart fruit pie you could try cutting back on the sugar to 1/2 cup.

Next, peel and slice your peaches. This task seems to vary depending on the peaches. Some are firm enough to peel with a peeler.

For firm peaches, cut the flesh away from the pit.

For riper peaches, score the peach in half around the pit, hold firmly and twist. The peach should yield and twist off the pit.

Sometimes the pit can just be pried out at this point. If not, score the half with the pit and twist into two pieces, exposing the pit for easy removal.

Then, peel the sections with a paring knife and you're ready to slice. Lay the pieces round side up and slice.

Juicy! This is going to be very motivational pie, I can tell. Now, measure your 1 cup of rinsed blueberries and zest your lemon. I used my new microplane® and was amazed at how it took just the very outer layer -- this is a tool I highly recommend for grating and zesting! One lemon easily yielded the 2 teaspoons needed.

Now just pile your peaches and blueberries and zest into the bowl with the sugar mixture.

Mix gently yet thoroughly, moistening all of the dry ingredients.

Pour the filling into the pie and pat it down to fill the crust and even out the top.

Beautiful! Now, just mix the crumble topping ingredients together. I started using a pastry cutter, but I abandoned the cutter when it started to get a little sticky and found it easier to just rub the butter in with my fingers.

Your crumble topping should look like this, with little clumps about the size of peas. If you have a few bigger pieces, that's just fine.

I really hated to cover up those peaches, but I knew that this crumble topping would add an extra incentive for my soon-to-be-busy packers. Just sprinkle it on and your pie is ready for the oven.

Once the smell of cinnamon and fresh peaches began to fill the air, I swear the mood began to shift. My "no pie until you're packed" pie seemed to have an ironic effect: Now I was re-energized to help with packing! OK, let's go to the store to get batteries and note cards, and to the mall to get one more pair of shorts ... No, we're not buying a new suitcase, honey ... 

With such a juicy reward, packing will be done in no time!

I hope you bake this fabulous Peach Blueberry Streusel Pie. With peaches abundant and relatively inexpensive, now is the time. I'd love to hear about your experience, or your plans to bake. I'd especially love to know if you bribed anyone with your pie!

Stop back in a few days when Becky makes an Italian pasta salad with fresh tomatoes ...

Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.

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