When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rustic Peach Pie (gluten-free, vegan)

Ahh, the last weekend of summer holidays -- how is it possible that we're here already?  Those feelings of wistfulness associated with the realization that our leisurely days together are coming to an end keep creeping into all of our hearts today; it's hard to say goodbye to what has been a wonderful summer. But there is some excitement and an eagerness to discover the new adventures September will bring all of us, too, as we fill backpacks with school supplies, organize new schedules, and imagine what we will learn and become through our upcoming experiences.  I find these transitional times of year always seem to hum with promise.

We've been enjoying these last few official days of  freedom with shenanigans in the yard and pool and family barbecues together featuring some of our favourite summertime foods.  Yesterday we spent a really nice afternoon and evening here at home with Matt's brother Nick and his wife Krista, whose lovely (and fun!) wedding we attended just a couple of weeks ago.  Because I had a basket of beautiful, ripe peaches sitting on the counter in the morning, I decided to make rustic peach pie for everyone for dessert, and it was a perfect finish to the dinner Matt cooked on the grill.  This sweet treat is quite easy to make, but impressive in flavour!

Rustic Peach Pie

For the crust:

2 cups blanched almond flour
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp water

For the filling:

6 good-sized peaches, peeled and thinly sliced*
1 tbsp arrowroot flour (you may need a little more if your peaches are especially juicy)

+ 1 tsp coconut sugar for sprinkling on the crust

*To easily remove the skin from the peaches, plunge them into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then remove them and plunge them immediately into a bowl of ice cold water.  The skins will then simply peel away as you rub them under your thumbs.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking soda.  

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and water until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until you achieve a uniform ball of dough.  Place the dough in the freezer to chill for approximately 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F.  Prepare the filling by placing the sliced peaches in a mixing bowl and sprinkling them with the arrowroot flour.  Stir the peaches gently until the arrowroot flour is well incorporated.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat work surface.  Place the chilled dough on the paper, then place another piece of parchment paper over top and roll out the dough.  You should end up with a circle about 12 inches wide; the pastry will be thin and the edges will be uneven.  Remove the top piece of parchment paper and then transfer the bottom piece and the rolled out pastry to a baking sheet.

Tumble the peach mixture into the centre of the pastry, leaving about a one and a half inch border of crust all the way around.  Gently lift the parchment paper all the way around the circle to fold the edges of the crust over, just to cover the edge of the fruit.  (The centre of the pie should not be covered.)  If the pastry breaks at all, simply smooth it back together with your fingers, as the dough will be quite sticky and easy to repair.

Sprinkle the edges of the pastry and the peach filled centre with coconut sugar, then place the pie in the preheated oven.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.  

This peach pie is delicious served slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream on top.  We all agreed it was just the thing to help us bid a fond farewell to those wonderful, relaxed summer evenings for now.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.