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rustic white peach and raspberry pie

Beams of morning sunlight glimmer through the thick expanse of trees outside my window, casting dappled shadows that dance across the soft carpet. My body feels stiff from having spent the last two nights on the couch with a sick little one; fortunately, she is smiling now and seems to be feeling a bit better this morning. Her blonde hair is tangled; her skin still smells of the lavender lotion I massaged into her legs and feet before she fell asleep last night. My other two girls still sleep, in spite of the old floor humming slightly as I move to quietly pour cups of steaming coffee, and my husband fetches a frozen pop for our sick girl. Loki, our newly adopted kitty, cautiously explores each nook and cranny, still familiarizing herself with the scent of our home. She pauses to watch a bird land outside the window, and her eyes dart back and forth with intense focus. After a few moments, she approaches me and leaps onto the couch where I sit writing; her eyes implore me to stroke her soft fur, and as we nuzzle against each other I am rewarded with a warm, prolonged purring as she fixes her brilliant green eyes on mine.

As I listen to the morning stillness, I hear small footsteps heading down the creaky wood stairs, and a door squeaks open in another area of the house. The others are finally waking up. I think of this small pie that has been gone since yesterday, when I eagerly savored the last piece for breakfast. The flaky pie crust firmly encased ginger-laced slices of juicy white peaches and a handful of plump raspberries; a dollop of creme fraiche spooned on top added a tangy note that perfectly countered the sweetness of the fruit. The very epitome of summer, this is the kind of breakfast, alongside a fresh cup of very strong coffee, that feeds my soul.
Rustic White Peach & Raspberry Pie
This is an intentionally smaller version of the pies I often bake. This recipe makes a cute miniature pie that would be a simple, yet impressive, dessert or breakfast for a few lucky guests. Don't skimp on the spices; the generous amount of ginger, in particular, that I've used in this pie complements the peaches wonderfully, and will permeate your house with the most comforting aroma as the pie bakes. I'm already daydreaming about a pear ginger combination this Fall....
Yields: 4 or 5 slices

For the pie crust:
Make my all-butter pie crust and add just a dab of pure vanilla bean paste to the dough as you cut in the butter. Use only 2/3 of the dough disc to make this pie.* Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. Reserve the remaining dough for another project.

For the filling:
3 ripe white peaches, washed, halved, pitted, with each half sliced into fourths (no need to peel)
1 dry pint raspberries, gently washed and patted dry with a clean towel
3 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp all-purpose unbleached flour
1 heaping tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
Heavy cream, for brushing
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

In a large bowl, use a spoon to gently toss all of the fruit and filling ingredients together until combined. Take care not to break up the fragile berries as you stir. Set the filling aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

After the dough has chilled for about 30 minutes, roll out on a well-floured surface. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Pour the filling into the middle of the dough, and use your fingers to gently fold the dough up and around the fruit, pinching any cracks together as you go.

Brush the pie with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Rotate the pan around halfway through the baking time.

Serve warm with either creme fraiche or freshly whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. Or, enjoy with a big scoop of my Honey Ricotta Ice Cream.

*Reserve the last 1/3 of the dough disc for a mini pie (re-wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator). Sometimes I let my kids roll out the remaining dough and use cookie cutters to make simple little pie crust cookies.