It’s been a while.
Bear with me for a little life update.
If you follow my facebook presence, you know that tlc suffered a big setback in May, due to my own idiocy, bad Internet in Turkey, and my tendency to not back anything up. Thanks to the old WordPress-hosted version of the blog and the glory that is this Internet archive, I managed to recover or re-post everything except my two most recent recipes.
So if you’re looking for the banana bread two ways or the mouth-watering deliciousness that was the big crumb coffee cake–I’m sorry. Hopefully I’ll remake them one day, but for now, I’d like to just move on and keep churning out new things. If you’re looking for the originals, however, this is the brown butter banana bread, this one is the Earl Grey banana bread, and here is the coffee cake. I wish I had written down the tweaks I made somewhere else, but really, I lost everything with all three recipes.
The fact that I only lost those two posts, though, is 1) a miracle considering how much more I could’ve lost, and 2) an indication of how deeply neglected this blog was for most of this year. I still baked and cooked plenty between January and now. Birthdays, dinner dates, and study breaks always brought me back to the kitchen. But nothing ever quite made it into written form.
Simply put: I had a rough winter. And after that rough winter, I had a magical, incredible, inspiring 9 1/2 weeks in the beautiful city of Istanbul.
Studying abroad in Turkey was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a place that will forever find its way into my dreams–a place that I miss every day.
What I wouldn’t give for another sunset along the Bosphorous; for another cone of thick, creamy, rich pistachio ice cream from Ali Usta; for another smile and cup of çay from the heartwarmingly welcoming family of the Ortaköy Mantı Evi.
Unfortunately, a side-effect of studying abroad was, as I mentioned, terrible Internet, which meant I couldn’t even upload photos for a throwback post if I wanted to.
Follow that spring up with losing my old blog and a lackluster summer with nearly nobody to bake for, and it isn’t surprising that I lacked motivation.
That is, until this pie.
It started at the boyfriend’s house earlier this month. We went fruit-picking at a nearby farm, and found ourselves facing the fattest, sweetest blackberries I’ve ever seen in my life, followed by line after line of yellow and white peach trees.
Peaches and blackberries? Now that’s a combination begging for pie, we mused.
We headed back to his house and immediately started on the dough, using the ever-reliable smitten kitchen’s recipe.
Next: a mixture of yellow and white peaches, blackberries, and basil, all freshly picked that day. Two kinds of sugar, a splash of vanilla and lemon, some cornstarch for thickness, and the requisite pinch of salt. 45 minutes in the oven, and then…
Pie. Sweet, warm, fresh pie with an earthy, herby touch that makes you want to bury your face in it as soon as it comes out of the oven.
We dug into it after a few hours of cooling, pairing each slice with a generous scoop of ice cream.
When I made it again a couple weeks later, tempted by the extra-ripe peaches quickly browning on my kitchen counter, I only had a tiny box of store-bought blackberries to work with. Nowhere near the same effect.
Blueberries were thrown into the mix, the lemon was swapped with lime, and after many fingers tested the mix, I had the very satisfying recipe you’ll find below.
Round 2 of my new favorite pie, this time latticed and shared with a friend in her brand-new apartment.
The filling is forgiving and very much dependent on the fruits you have handy, so I highly recommend adding and stirring and tasting until you get a sweet, juicy flavor with just the slightest hint of basil underneath.
And move quickly–the season is almost up!
Until next time, here’s wishing you sunny days, cool nighttime breezes, and an abundance of summer fruit before fall sneaks up on us.
- 1 pie dough, enough for the bottom and top of a 9-in pie (try Smitten Kitchen!)
- 4 medium peaches, very ripe (white, yellow, or a mix)
- 3 cups fresh blackberries OR 1 cup blackberries, 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 - 4 T white sugar (depending on how sweet the fruit is)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 5-6 medium basil leaves, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 egg, whisked (optional)
- Coarse/sanding sugar (optional)
- Slice your peaches thinly, then combine all of the fresh fruit in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla, then stir gently with a spatula so that all of the fruit is coated.
- Add 2 T of white sugar, all the lemon juice, and the chopped basil leaves, then stir well.
- Taste the filling, and add the remaining 2 T of white sugar as needed.
- Add cornstarch and stir well, making sure there are no lumps of starch anywhere.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Prep a 9-inch pie plate with your dough of choice. Roll out half of the dough, big enough so that you have some dough hanging over the edges of the plate.
- Using a slotted spoon, add your filling to the pie plate, spreading the fruit out evenly. Make sure you don't pour too much of the filling juices into the pie, or it'll get soggy and sticky.
- Roll out the remaining pie dough. You can cover your pie however you want; just make sure you cut some air holes if you decide to completely cover it.
- If you want, brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle the top with sanding sugar. This will give your pie a nice glaze and sparkle. (I often skip the sugar, but definitely use the egg.)
- Put the pie plate on a cookie sheet, then bake it for 15 minutes at 400F.
- After 15 minutes, reduce your oven temperature to 375F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Let cool for 3-4 hours before slicing and serving.
- Don't forget to taste as you go! The sweetness or tartness of the fruit should guide you. If it doesn't entice you, feel free to tweak the quantities until it does.