I have been absolutely ridiculously covered in pie crust for days. I am struggling, wrestling, in a full body gladiator throwing down with this idea of the perfect dairy free pie crust, and it started with the very simple act of bringing home what turned out to be one of the greatest peaches I've ever eaten in my life.
Now I am a HUGE peach lover. In fact, I defy you to find me anything quite as satisfying as biting in to a perfect midsummer peach at its peak of sweetness and having your arm bathed in its heady nectar from fingers to elbow. But this peach was amazing in a way that uniquely stands out in my mind. I remember exactly the very last time I experienced a peach that was this level of perfection. I was 17, walking back from a farmer's market at Fisherman's Wharf, and was wearing a *cough*veryquestionable*cough* light pink jacket ( since it is always just a little bit chilly in San Francisco) with a peach in my hand that was bigger than my fist. When I bit into it, the texture... the juice.... it absolutely transported me to a new plane of bliss, and as the amber nectar rolled off my palms, down my sleeve and soaked through the cotton fabric by my elbow I remember thinking little other than "My god". That pink jacket? I still have it. It's hanging ( long retired) in a special spot in my closet, its right sleeve still lightly stained with peach juice.
The peach I had last week however, blew this one away! It was smaller than the one in San Francisco, unassuming, and just like before I had no idea what I was in for before my teeth broke the delicate skin. It was breathtaking. I felt positively drunk on the lush, ambrosia-like sweetness.The blush of color, the depth of flavor, it was instant euphoria. Positively, poop of angels. And as soon as it was gone I knew I had to get my hands on some more. The next day I went back to the store, wild eyed with longing, and bought 12 more pounds of these peaches. Yes. 12 pounds. Once I realized how deranged that was I set about to making these lovelies into some pies. That way at least I would look like I bought 12 pounds of peaches with a purpose in mind and that I hadn't in fact just taken a one way trip to crazytown.
The problem of course was a pie crust recipe. I didn't exactly have a dairy free one lying around, so I set to work experimenting. I'd make a pie crust, fill it with these ridiculous peaches, bake it, taste it, and eat if up if it didn't work out. Maybe share a slice or two, if I was feeling generous. Even if the pie crust was super lame these peaches, from the land of the unicorns, were more than enough to make a plate or three worth your time. Four pies and a squash quiche later ( hey you need some salt in there somewhere to balance out the sweet!) I wish I could tell you I've reached a conclusion. That I've found a pie crust that's as explosively overwhelming as the peaches under which it rests. But I can't. I'm really close. I can feel it. Inches away from the finish line. But I'm thinking that maybe it could use some more study. Juuuust six or more test batches, to get it so it's perfect.
Peach season after all, only comes around once a year.