Dani Goes South.

pie

The Peach Truck's Fried Peach Hand Pies

SweetsDani ColombattoComment
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Two weekends ago, we went to Ben’s parent's’ house about an hour outside of town, and picked roughly 45 peaches to take home off their booming peach tree. The stars (and nature) seemed to perfectly align, as I was recently sent an early copy of The Peach Truck Cookbook to share a recipe or two from. In my humble opinion, there are a few things that make a cookbook amazingly inspiring. First, being the story. I feel like with cookbooks, we often get so lost in the recipes, I see people flipping through the forward or the pre-recipe stories that are full of subtle, beautiful inspiration. Then, we have photos that make you want to eat all of the foods through the book, using only your face. Finally, we have wisdom. PASS ME THOSE HELPFUL TIDBITS. I’m like Ms. Pacman with helpful tidbits! I’ll eat them up all day long whilst avoiding those ghosts. Everyone has methods that are uniquely theirs, honed by culture, tradition, hell, even the way we operate our bodies.

The Peach Truck cookbook offers all the aforementioned things that add up to an inspiring cookbook in spades. Truly, one I’ll covet each peach season for years and years to come. What I really enjoyed about Jessica and Stephen’s story, is that among the elements that made me dream of an idyllic farm life, they were not shy in talking about the stark struggle of farming. Beautiful in both its bounty, and its brutality, I found this book to be such a lovely metaphor for life. Certain trees look like they’re thriving, only not to deliver what was visibly promised. Other trees look like they’re struggling for life, and then give the best fruit of the season. They came onto the Nashville scene where people had already-established, long-term relationships with the farming community. They had to slow-grow it. Make connections. Put themselves out there, even when they were unsure of the outcome. Metaphors for life, wrapped in the most delicious fruit of the season. Very clever, indeed.

The recipes in this book are so stunning, I had the hardest time choosing what to make first. Ultimately, the fried peach hand pies won the household vote (of 2). Perfect pie dough half-moons get folded over bright, gently spiced peach compote, which, by the way, would be incredible on biscuits, scones, waffles- INSERT PASTRY HERE - You’ll be glad you have extra on hand.

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Key Lime Vanilla Bean Pie With the Butteriest Graham Cracker Crust

SweetsDani ColombattoComment
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Not all desserts are created equally, am I right? I've mentioned before that I don't have the hugest sweet tooth, so when it comes to dessert, I'm surprisingly persnickety. First of all, when it comes to me actually making a dessert, I am reeeeeally good at talking myself out of doing it, and maybe making pasta instead. Measuring? Ick. Team eyeball-it like an old world Italian g-ma all. Day. Long. Cake decorating? Do I not have enough anxiety to contend with?! I do not require unicorn horns on my treats, nor do I want a rainbow bagel, and if I ever purchase fondant, well, then we'll know I've really lost myself. All of this said, I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who love sifting and measuring, who perfect their piping to a T. In truth, I envy you!! I want to take quite a few pages out of your book...(and leave the ones regarding cake pops and fondant). 

I digress...

I began this by saying not all desserts are created equal, and I stand by this. However, there are a scant handful of treats that have captured my heart, and you best believe I'll attempt to make them kewt and new just for yew. Under this sweet lil' umbrella resides my longtime bud, key lime pie. Creamy, tart lime custard married to crumbly graham cracker crust- what's not to love? Well, how about juicing one million tiny limes? Yeah. I'm not into it, either. So, with saving you and I from that in mind, I give to you: Key lime pie, hold the keys.  

As though that's not already cutting down on our heavy lifting, aside from the oven, this is a total food processor situation- graham cracker crust, filling, and all! There are benefits to this, beyond cutting down on dishes (which is high up there on the silver linings roster for your girl, and if you don't have a dishwasher, I've been there MULTIPLE times, and I applaud you all day every day).

First off, the aforementioned food processor sitch makes for the crumbliest, most buttery pie crust. Truth be told, when I first made this, I mumbled "shit" repeatedly to myself, while taking it out of the pie plate because I was certain I over-pulsed the crumbs, and made a base of essentially, sand, meaning that the whole thing was sure to crumble. Much to my surprise and delight, it held PERFECTLY, and the butter permeated throughout every crumb. So essentially, my "shit's" took an immediate 180 and made their way to "fuck yes-ville". I really love when that happens in culinary situations. Like, almost more than anything. This is the pie crust to reignite any lost love of graham cracker crust, AKA, the unsung hero of pie-town. So, in addition to the food processor giving our crust the pulverizing strong-arm it needs, it also whips our custard into perfectly fluffy shape, ensuring the smoothest filling ever. The vanilla bean is the sleeper hit of this whole shebang, though. It scents the pie beautifully, and frankly who the hell is mad at a vanilla bean fleck-studded pie?! Guys, I don't say this outright often, but this is JUST. SO. GOOD. I'm clearly chatty; let's make this already!

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