I've had the great fortune of living in some wonderful areas for agriculture... Florida, Texas and now Georgia. Each proudly lays claim to certain crops that they uniquely declare as being the best when grown in their state. Nowhere is that truer than here in Georgia and their love affair with peaches.
And it is with great trepidation that I say this to my fellow GA residents:
Your peaches are delicious, yes. But the best peaches I have ever tasted, hands down, continue to be grown just a little bit father west in your neighbor state of Alabama... Chilton County, Alabama to be exact.
I grew up in Alabama and some people might accuse me of being biased because of that fact. But those that know me well know that I don't look at the state through rose-colored glasses. Alabama is a state that boasts some wonderful culinary treasures, beautiful topography, a unique passion for college football that is unrivaled nationwide worldwide and ultimately, some of my fondest memories of being a child, adolescent and young adult. It's home to the majority of my family and will always have a part of my heart. But it's certainly not utopia... and since this is a food blog, I'll leave it at that.
So, that brings us back to conversation that is appropriate for a food blog - peaches. I'd love to be able to go with the grain and act like I'm a Georgia-Peach-Gal. It would certainly make me popular 'round these parts (and moving as much as I have, I could use a friend or two around here #justsayin). But I call 'em like I see 'em. And I see the peach predicament a little differently.
There's a famous rib joint in Alabama that has a saying about their ribs... "Ain't nothing like 'em no where."
If you ever have the privledge to enjoy a summer-ripe, free-stone, Chilton County peach, I have no doubt you'll be wondering... was it ribs or peaches they were really talking about?
(the pie above was made with the last 8 peaches from my annual Chilton County harvest. Many thanks to my sister-in-law for procuring them for me!)
Peach Pistachio Streusel Pie
50 g shelled pistachios (about 1/2 cup or 120 g unshelled), finely chopped
70 g whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1/2 cup)
100 g brown sugar (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
8 medium, ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 disc Perfect Pie Crust
Preheat oven to 350°.
Stir together pistachios, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add oil and stir with a fork until mixture forms small clumps. Set aside.
Gently mix peaches, brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.
Roll unbaked pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim and crimp edge. Spoon peaches into crust and top with streusel.
Put dish on a baking sheet and bake until topping and crust are well browned, about 1 hour. Let cool before serving.