Last week I found myself with a mound of peaches that had all gone ripe at the same time. This situation clearly called for a peach pie, and since I only had one pre-made pie crust and absolutely refuse to do any baking that requires a rolling pin, I decided to make a peach crumb. Much to my chagrin after the fact, I decided to use Emeril Lagasse's Ruston Peach Crumb pie recipe. The debacle that ensued convinced me once and for all to only use recipes on sites that have reviews, because I seriously doubt Emeril ever made this as written on the Food Network website. I have a Peach Soup Pie instead of a Peach Crumb Pie, and while it is very tasty, it's a bit messy to eat. Read on for what I did and how I would improve the pie.
According to Emeril, you need:
1 1/2 c Water
1/2 c Flour
3/4 c Light brown sugar; (packed)
2 tb Cornstarch
1/2 Stick Butter; cut small
1/2 ts Salt
1 Unbaked 9" pie crust
3 1/4 ts Cinnamon
3/4 ts Nutmeg
2 lb Peaches; peeled, pitted, and cut into wedges
1. Start off by preheating your oven to 350. Then settle down to peel and cut your peaches. The peaches should be soft, and for heaven's sake, please don't use frozen. The flavor won't be the same. I suspect that Emeril used frozen, or at least not very ripe ones, and thus miscalculated how much liquid would be required.
2. In a saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, and pepper, whisk until smooth. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool for a few minutes, and then pour over the peaches.
3. Now, here is what the recipe states, verbatim, for the next part:
"In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon, remaining nutmeg, sugar, flour, pecans, and butter. " (oh yeah, I omitted the pecans because I didn't have any-that would not account for any of the deficiencies noted here, however.) Notice anything? I did! The recipe didn't specify that you weren't supposed to use all the sugar. So, how much sugar should go in the topping to make crumbs? I estimated 3/4 cup.
4. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, smoosh the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the peaches into the pie crust and sprinkle the crumbs over the top.
5. Bake for about an hour. Remove and cool. Enjoy your peach crumb soup.
Observations: If you use fresh, juicy peaches, you can probably cut the quantity of syrup you make by at least 1/2 cup. The cornstarch in the syrup does not thicken the pie sufficiently, either, so I would add some tapioca to make sure the filling "gels" nicely. Lastly, the crumb topping is ridiculously tiny. It needs to be doubled at the very least, and actually since I really like the crumb part, I'd triple it and reduce the peach quantity a tad.
Thanks, ** a lot,** Emeril.