Cats, Cooking, and Life!

Peach Pie

What it is about pies? We've made 3 in the past 3 months. And in the five years before that? None. Anyway, pies are best with fresh fruit and summer wins that category.

This time, it's peach pie. At a nearby farmers' market, a local peach grower had some great-looking organic peaches, so we bought a couple of boxes for eight dollars. I was surprised to learn a local peach grower existed as I didn't think the local climate was suitable.

In any case, the peaches were firm, ripe, a little lighter in colour and somewhat smaller than our typical supermarket peaches. We made sure to sample one before starting the pie to find out how sweet they were. Turns out they were about medium sweet and tasted good. Once we adjusted the sugar in the recipe, they would make a dee-lish pie. And we were right.

You'll need pastry for a two-crust pie. See the ingredients and instructions in our recipe for our rhubarb and strawberry pie.

The Wonder Woman made rolled out the crust for this one. She had seen it done a couple of times so knew the techniques involved.

Another pie-making tip we learned from the Admiral Catnap (retired) was to prepare the filling ahead of time and store it in an airtight bag in the fridge. This makes rolling the pastry and assembing the pie very fast, as time is of the essence when working with pastry -- gotta keep it cold. And all that is required is to dump the contents of the bag into the pie. The process showed us how juicy the peaches were because the three hours in the fridge turned the mixture from just moist into pretty much a soupy consistency.

Makes one 9 inch pie.

Filling ingredients

  • 1 l (4 cups) of peeled, pitted and sliced peaches. See the tip below for how to peel peaches.
  • 180 ml (1 1/4 cups) white sugar
  • 60 g flour (1/2 cup) flour
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) of nutmeg or cinnamon, or a combination of the two
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 60 ml butter, in chunks
  • more white sugar, to sprinkle on the pie just after baking.

Put it together

Combine the peaches, sugar, flour, spice(s) and lemon juice.

After pouring the filling into the bottom crust, dot the chunks of butter on top.

Put the top crust in place and press the edges of the crust together with a fork. Slash holes in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 60 minutes. Be sure to place a cookie tray underneath to catch any drips. This can be very juicy and potentially very messy pie.

Place the pie on a rack to cool, and sprinkle white sugar on top while still hot for a sparkly look.

Once cooled enough to eat, tuck in.  Ice cream or whipped cream are good accompaniments. Yum!

Bow-Tie Calico gave a less predictable response.  She approved of the peaches but not, it seems, of the pie.

Tip: to peel the peaches

Prepare two large bowls of water, one boiling, the other ice water

On one end of the peach, cut an X in the skin

Put the peach into the boiling water for about 30 seconds

Move the peach to the ice water for at least 30 seconds. This stops any cooking that may have started.

Use a table knife or small sharp knife to peel the skin. It almost slides off by itself.

Ginger Sparkle Cookies

This is an old family favourite of mine, passed down from the Admiral Catnap (retired), same as the Strawberry-Rhubarb pie.  Well, not exactly the same recipe because I altered it a bit.  But don't worry, I will tell you both versions so you can make up your own mind whch to make.  Either way, you'll end up with a great tasting cookie that will disappear faster than you can say "thank you Admiral Catnap (retired)."

One of the main alterations to the Admiral's recipe is the addition of candied ginger.  Not just any will do, though.  We looked many places for ginger strong enough for the ginger taste to outweigh the sugar.  Turns out the bulk bins at a local supermarket had the best.  Here in the Calico Kitchen, we all love the taste of ginger.  And you don't need to worry about this overpowering the taste of the cookie because even the strongest candied ginger we found was subdued after combining with the rest of the ingredients.

Another change was omitting some sugar.  There was just too much in my opinion and even the revised recipe tastes very sweet.  But, take your choice.  It'll be fabulous either way.

Here are the ingredients for the modified recipe.

The dry ingredients:
  • 250g (2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cloves
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) baking soda
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

The wet ingredients:
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) butter
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) molasses
  • 1 egg

  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) candied ginger, chopped finely
  •  white granulated sugar in a bowl for rolling

The original recipe has the following changes:

  • Add 250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar, packed, to the wet ingredients
  • Use white flour instead of whole wheat
  • Omit the candied ginger


Preheat the oven to 180 C (375 F).

Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl, cream the wet ingredients together.

The wet ingredients after some mixing

Add the dry ingredients and the candied ginger to the wet ingredients and mix well. 

The dry ingredients added to the wet ingredients

This will get very thick.  This is OK.

After mixing.  Nice and thick with ginger chunks

Using your hands, shape the dough into 2 cm balls.  Then roll the balls in a bowl of granulated sugar -- this adds the sparkle!.  Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Alternatively, you can grease a cookie sheet instead of using the parchment.  The cookies should be at least 5 cm apart.

Roll the balls in sugar

Use a fork to flatten the cookies.

Flattening the cookies on the baking sheet

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.  After they're done, remove to a rack and cool slightly.

Makes about two dozen cookies.

If your house is anything like ours, these will disappear soon.  I had intended to take some to the office but there were none left the next day!

Next time, I'll double the recipe and see if that helps with having enough leftovers to share in the office.  But that's probably wishful thinking.

And what does Bow-Tie Calico think?  Well, see for yourself.