There is something truly wonderful about a thoughtful gift. I am so in awe of gift-givers who can always manage to find that one thing that fills the recipient with so much joy that it renders her speechless and leaves her a little teary-eyed. It’s really an under-valued talent, one that seems increasingly rare in today’s world of instant gratification and shiny things. It’s so easy to get the latest snazzy or sleek little thang, but to find a gift that is truly thoughtful is like finding the holy grail. It takes a special person with a big heart to expend that kind of time and energy. So thank you, thoughtful gift-givers of the world, for making the rest of us feel so loved while simultaneously putting our own gift-giving to shame.
One of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received is this pie box. For pies on the go. It’s one of those gifts I didn’t even know I wanted, let alone would never have guessed that such a magical item existed.
I feel like my pie game has really been upped thanks to the addition of this latest trapping in my collection of pie-items. It makes me wonder what other clever baking accoutrements might be out there that are similarly perfect in their utter simplicity, practicality, and style. Maybe I’ll take up collecting beautiful pie baubles of various kinds in my ripe old age. We’ve all got our thing, right?
I plan to put my pie box to good use given that I’m no longer slaving over hot books writing papers that no one reads and actually have free time again. Every time I use it I will smile and think fondly about the sweetest friend who somehow knew just exactly what my life was missing: a picture-perfect little wooden box with a leather carrying strap fit for pies and independent ladies on the go.
Blackberry Peach Crostata with Savory Crust
Recipe from Edible Rhody
For the Crust
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow stone ground cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, diced
Approx. ¼ cup ice-cold water (more if needed)
Place the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and thyme in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the dough resembles peas. Add the water and pulse until the mixture forms a dough. Wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Note: If you don’t have a food processor big enough to fit all of the ingredients, just pulse the cornmeal, salt, and thyme until the thyme is well incorporated, then transfer to a medium bowl, add the flour and sugar and whisk together. Cut in the butter until the the butter pieces are the size of peas, then add the water a few tablespoons at a time and use a spatula to scoop the dough and press together. Keep adding water and scoop/press with the spatula until the dough is evenly moist. Gently press together into a ball and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
Second Note: If you don’t have a food processor at all, just vigorously chop the thyme into tiny pieces and proceed with making the crust in a bowl.
For the Filling
2 medium ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups blackberries, washed
2 tablespoons sugar (brown or white)
1-2 tablespoons of butter
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a large round until it is about 1/4″ thick. Fold in half, then fold in half again, transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, and unfold. Gently arrange the peaches onto the dough, leaving a 2-inch border at the edges. Arrange the blackberries on top of the peaches. Fold the dough around the fruit, leaving some fruit visible, and press down gently but firmly. Dot the exposed filling with butter (about 1-2 tablespoons), and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on the top oven rack for 25 to 35 minutes, checking often after 25 minutes. The crostata is done when the crust is evenly golden and the filling bubbles and browns slightly. Let cool before slicing and serving.