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June 21, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Just peachy! Time for fresh fruit pies

NEW CASTLE — The peaches sat on the kitchen table for a few days.

But when they were fully ripe, I knew the wait was worth it.

They tasted exactly the way eating a peach out of hand should be — juicy and delicious.

Peaches are my favorite fruit, and not surprisingly then, peach is my favorite of all pies.

So I dug out some recipes and located a few more featuring summer’s fruit bounties.

A freshly-baked pie just out of the oven is one of those memorable aromas.

I also encountered some tips for making and storing fruit pies.

For a double-crust pie, it’s important to cut slits in the top crust so steam can escape during baking.

To make the top of a double-crust pie prettier, brush the unbaked top with milk, water or melted butter or margarine and sprinkle lightly with sugar. You can also lightly brush the unbaked top with a beaten egg or milk and just omit the sugar.

To catch any juices that may bubble over the edge, place a baking sheet or pizza pan underneath the pie.

Fruit pies can be frozen. Make sure they are cooled completely, though. Then, place in a freezer bag, seal, label and freeze for up to eight months. Thaw, covered, at room temperature. What a nice treat to have a fresh fruit pie in the middle of winter.

For extra measure, we’ve also included blueberry pie and a plum pie with crumb topping.

Continuing on the topic of fruits, I also located one of my Jameson Junior Guild cookbooks and found a few more gems like apricot ice cream salad and an oldie-but-goodie — strawberry salad that uses crushed pretzels.

And even though this has nothing to do with fruit, I couldn’t resist including the chocolate chip cake that was once served at the Tavern and is the recipe of longtime owner Cora Durast.

What can’t you resist?

Share those special recipes at Culinary Conversation. Your friends and neighbors want to know what’s cooking.

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