Recipe: Savory Peach Pie with Duck and Cherries

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Pie-A-Day #10

I was looking at a flat of beautiful peaches thinking, “How can I make this into a pie that isn’t a simple peach pie?”, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  So my mind moved to contemplate the duck, so much in the news these days for it’s liver.  The duck does have some pretty delicious parts besides the liver, like the legs for example.  Especially when they are prepared “a confit”, or cooked at very low heat submerged in their own fat long enough that the flesh attains a luscious velvety texture.  So now I had the basic idea for the pie.  It was going to be a Peaches and Duck Pie.  But what about the crust?  Serendipity placed Adrienne Kane in the studio with me today.  Her book United States of Pie is a lovely look at regional pie with some very tasty recipes.  She spoke about a Cornmeal Crust.  Aha!  Now I have a Peach-Duck Pie with Cornmeal Crust.  But of course I had to change it up just a little.  I only had white grits at home, so I threw a bit in the vitamix and ground it up into flour.  And instead of the shortening I used duck fat.  It’s a White Cornmeal Crust made with butter and duck fat.

And yet, it doesn’t seem fully formed as an idea even as I pull the duck meat off the bones and peel and slice the peaches.  Until I gaze across the counter and see a bowl of bing cherries.  That’s it!  The link I need between the duck and the peaches will be cherries both the fresh bings and a couple from the jar of Cherries macerating in Muscat wine.  The cherries have been soaking in the alcohol so long that they are just blobs of cherry muscat flavor wrapped around a pit.
Now I need some spice.  Cinnamon would be too sweet.  The baharat is full of bugs.  How about chai spice?  The combination of warm, sweet spices with the bite of black pepper should be perfect.  But just a touch.

And the shape of the pie?  It will be a gallette, the ultimate compromise between double crust and not.  But to give it some structure and make the shape more regular I will make the gallette in a pie pan.  Huzzah!  Now all I have to do it make the darn thing.