There is something very therapeutic about going into the kitchen and making a fruit pie from scratch. It’s like I’m playing Little House on the Prairie or something. It’s kind of cozy. Yeah, I know it’s the middle of July and I’m running my air conditioner 24/7, but now is the time when peaches are is season. A warm fruit pie with vanilla ice cream melting over the top is hard to beat in any weather. Especially when it’s Alton Brown’s homemade vanilla ice cream.
My husband had bought a huge bag of peaches a couple of weeks ago from a fruit stand and asked me to make him a pie. The whole baking a pie from scratch might have really sent me over the edge in this sweltering heat if I hadn’t had a major step already done and in my freezer–the crust. I make several pie crusts at a time and freeze them so I can have them ready when the pie notion hits. I talked about it in this blog post right here.
Here are a few pie notes:
-This pie is not very sweet. You could definitely increase the sugar to 1 cup if you like it on the sweeter side, which is the way I usually prefer most of my desserts. For some reason, though, I really liked this not so sweet. It was a great balance with the ice cream.
-I like using cornstarch in my fruit pies as a thickener instead of flour. I have better success that way. Maybe that’s just me.
-If you want your pie to slice nicely, you are going to have to let it cool for a good 30-60 minutes. And if you will not be taking a hundred photographs of it, then go ahead and slice it about 15 minutes after you remove it from the oven. It will probably fall a part a little, but still be hot enough to melt the ice cream. Yum.
About the ice cream. Alton Brown’s vanilla ice cream is the bomb. I love it. It’s so smooth and creamy–the texture is perfect. Alton really nailed it with this recipe. I’m not going to retype the recipe here, but I have just a few notes:
-I strain the base through a fine wire mesh strainer. Anytime I am making a custard I do this. There will be little bits of eggs that have scrambled that will need to be strained out. I don’t care how careful I am when tempering. It always happens.
-I use 1 cup and 3 tablespoons sugar. His recipe calls for 9 ounces. I put in a little extra.
-I can’t tell you how important it is to chill your base a good 8 hours or overnight and half the next day before freezing in the ice cream maker. The texture of the ice cream will be dramatically better than using it at room temperature. I always make my ice cream bases the day before I freeze them.
-I have made the chocolate version approximately four times already this summer using my beloved dark cocoa powder and the same amount of sugar as the vanilla. Each time I make it, it’s gone in the blink of an eye. This is the only photographic evidence I have of the chocolate:
It’s that good, people.