While I was away in Puerto Rico my cousin Tanya and her dog Harriet came to visit and stay with my mom. Pretty wonderful, right? Harriet is a nut. She is a maltipoo with an attitude. And a great love for food of all kinds, veggies, meat of course, Angeli bread is a great favorite and apparently Peach Pie.
I asked Tanya what kind of pie she would like for her goodbye and thank you send off. I was pleased to hear her say “Peach Pie, double crust, and by the way use the lard I brought from NYC for you.”
Let’s pause for an aside here. A few years ago when I was visiting Tanya in Manhattan we went down to the Union Square Greenmarket and I saw Jennifer from Flying Pigs Farm who I had interviewed in the past. I bought some rendered leaf lard to take home and threw it in Tanya’s freezer. Of course, I forgot it there. Cut to a year later when I am again in NYC and again go down to the Greenmarket, see Jennifer again and again purchase more leaf lard. You know what’s coming, right? Yes, I left it with the other container in the freezer. They procreated. A friend of Tanya’s went to NYC and was charged with bringing me home the lard. She did. I never got around to picking it up. Tanya brought it home so upon return from the pig capital of the world, Puerto Rico I finally had some lard in my freezer. And not just any lard. Beautiful, sweet, clean tasting yummy lard.
I bought perfect pie peaches at the Cloverfield Farmers Market near KCRW. Hi acid beauties that were nice and firm. I made what has become my standard crust, but split the fat half butter and half lard. Peeled and sliced the peaches, adding just a bit of sugar and a little squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt for punch, using flour to thicken. I tucked the fruit into the crust and made an extra thick edge of dough.
It was so interesting to watch the difference of the lard crust as it baked. It took longer to brown let you could watch the crust start to become flaky even when it was very blond. I’ve said before that my unbaked pies always look more beautiful than my baked pies. That is, until this one. It was beautiful. The kind of pie you’d put on a windowsill to cool. So I set it on the edge of the kitchen table by the window to cool and went into the living room to watch the end of The Letter with Bette Davis with cousin Tanya. When the movie was over, I went into the kitchen to check on the pie. Half the crusty edge was gone. I was flummoxed. Where did it go? Then it dawned on me. Harriet had climbed up on the chair next to the table and gone to town. As you see she was very neat. And the crust must have been quite filling because she only ate half of it, or maybe that was just because she couldn’t reach the rest.