Rosé Peach Pie

Fresh peaches as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

George Hirsch's Rosé Peach Pie

Makes 8 servings

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1 recipe pastry for George’s Favorite 3, 2, 1 Pie Crust, see below

George Hirsch Lifestyle Peach Pie

There are three main ingredients in a Pate Brisee, basic pie crust: 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part liquid. 

Flour forms the structure of the crust, fat adds flavor and a flaky texture while the liquid binds the dough. 

Chill the fat (butter, margarine, shortening, or lard) and liquids (milk or water) before you begin. Chilling keeps the pie crust flaky and prevents the fat pieces from melting into the flour and becoming tough. Next, mix the flour, cut the chilled fat into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands. The resulting mixture should have fat lumps no larger than the size of raisins. If making pie in the summer time cool off the flour by measuring your flour and refrigerate one hour before making dough.

Pour in the chilled liquid just until the flour is absorbed, mixing gently with a fork after each addition. You should be able to gently press the dough into a ball. Mix the dough as little as possible: you don't want to cream the lumps of fat into the flour, as a crust without lumps of fat will be dense, not flaky. Note that humidity will affect how much liquid the flour will absorb.

Split the dough into two equal parts. Pat them into balls, flattening them slightly, and wrap them in plastic wrap. The dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is preferred. Chilling lets the flour absorb all of the liquid, lets the dough relax and become more elastic, and keeps the fat in separate pieces which will give the crust a lighter texture when it is baked.

To make the pie shell:
Dust a clean, dry surface with flour; caution to not use too much flour or you will dry out the crust. Remove and unwrap one of the discs of dough from the refrigerator. Flatten the dough slightly with your hands and dust the dough lightly with flour before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin. Start rolling at the center of the dough and work outwards.

Working quickly, roll the dough into a circle a quarter inch thick. The size of the dough round should be wider in diameter than your pie pan; the amount will vary depending upon the depth of your pie plate. Use a dry pastry brush to sweep away any excess flour.

Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and roll it out, over the pie plate. Without stretching the dough, press the pastry firmly into the pan and trim any excess dough from the edge. Leave a one-inch overhang to make a decorative fluted edge or trim it to a half-inch if you're adding a top crust. If the dough cracks a little during this process, press it back together with your fingers or patch the cracks with a bit of dough from the outer edges.

Place filling in bottom crust, unwrap the second ball of dough. Repeat the above step to roll out the pie dough. Brush the bottom pie dough around the edges lightly with water to seal the edges of crust. Lay the top piece of pie dough carefully over the filled pie. Tuck the edges of the top crust under the lower crust and press together lightly. Using the rim of the pie plate as a guide, create a fluted edge with your fingers or the back of a fork. 

For the peach pie, cut a small hole to vent the top allowing excess steam to escape during baking. Brush the surface with egg wash; made of one egg and one teaspoon of water and bake as directed.

George Hirsch Rosé Peach Pie

This recipe made with butter will result in a lighter and more flavorful crust. 

George’s Favorite Pie Crust Recipe
Makes one pie or two bottom crusts

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1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold milk

Chill the butter and milk before you begin. Chilling keeps the pie crust flaky and prevents the fat pieces from melting into the flour and becoming tough. 

Next, mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut the chilled butter into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands. The mixture should have fat lumps no larger than the size of raisins. If making pie crust in the summer time cool off the flour by measuring your flour and refrigerate one hour before making dough.

Pour in the chilled liquid just until the milk is absorbed, mixing gently with a fork. You should be able to gently press the dough into a ball. Mix the dough as little as possible: you don't want to cream the lumps of butter into the flour. A crust without lumps of butter will be dense, not flaky. Note that humidity will effect how much liquid the flour will absorb.

Split the dough into two equal parts. Pat them into balls, flattening them slightly, and wrap them in plastic wrap. The dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is preferred. Chilling lets the flour absorb all of the liquid, lets the dough relax and become more elastic, and keeps the fat in separate pieces which will give the crust a lighter texture when it is baked.

George Hirsch's Rosé Peach Pie

To Make Peach Filling with Rosé Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan add, 3/4 bottle Rosé wine, ¼ cup pure cane granulated sugar. Simmer and reduce to about 1 cup. Chill. Pour rosé reduction over 8 sliced peaches and marinate overnight covered in refrigerator. 

Drain the rosé simple syrup after the 8 sliced peaches have marinated in rosé overnight. *Reserve the peach flavored rosé syrup. Add the additional 2 sliced peaches.

8 medium size fresh ripe peaches, cut into 1 inch slices 

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 medium size fresh ripe peaches, cut into 1 inch slices

½ cup cake crumbs, use pound cake, or sponge cake, etc.

Mix flour and brown sugar together, add to peaches and toss until fully combined. 

Roll out pie dough and place the bottom in a 9 inch pie pan. Cover bottom with cake crumbs. 

Fill with peaches, mounded slightly. Roll out top pie dough, cover with a top crust or a lattice crust. To add a richer color to a double-crust or lattice-topped pie, brush the top crust with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with teaspoon of water) before baking. Refrigerate peach pie before baking for 1 hour to slightly chill dough.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Bake directly on oven rack, do not use a sheet pan. After 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 30 additional minutes or until done. To test doneness, tap the edge of the crust lightly with finger, and you should hear a hollow sound. 

Chefs Note: *The drained marinated peach syrup can be added to Prosecco or club soda for the best Bellini or peach mimosa!

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Old Fashioned Coffee Break

When actually was the first coffee break? Possibly in 12th or 13th century in Africa. But, the officially dedicated daily event in the US, the 1900s.

In 1952, a Pan-American Coffee Bureau ad campaign urged consumers, "Give yourself a Coffee-Break - and Get What Coffee Gives to You." (source, NPR)

The coffee break was and still is such an important part of everyday lifestyle and now our culture. For more than three and one half million people in the US, the very ritual of having a cup of coffee gives good reason to get together, talk and even gather your thoughts, even if for just 10 to 15 minutes. I look forward to a later afternoon coffee break everyday.

Whether you take your break mid-morning or mid-afternoon, pair that freshly brewed coffee with my old fashioned style sour cream coffee cake. 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Makes a 9" Bundt Pan, about 10-12 slices

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For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sweet butter, softened

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Place the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl and crumble together with your fingers until it forms a crumb mixture. Add in the nuts. Reserve and mix cake batter.

For the Cake:

1/2 cup sweet butter, one stick softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange rind

Grease and flour a tube, Bundt-style, or a regular-sized 9 1/2-inch baking pan.

Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in eggs, vanilla and orange zest, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt and milk together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately in three stages with the sour cream, yogurt, and milk mixture; stirring and scraping the bowl with spatula after each addition. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix.

Place half the batter in the pan, and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. With the back of butter knife swirl the batter slightly to mix the crumb mixture slightly into the bottom of cake batter. Add remaining batter, then the crumb topping.

Bake coffee cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Cool for 15-20 minutes, and then remove from pan by placing a large plate over top of cake and invert pan. Tap the sides of cake pan to free cake from pan. Plate serving platter over the bottom and invert again. The crumb topping should be on the side up to serve. Allow to cool at least 2 hours (if you can) before slicing!

Cover cake once fully cooled.

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Chocolate Pound Cake

This recipe is one of those cakes that gets better with age; meaning, it tastes even better the day after it is baked. You may not have access to Sag Harbor Rum for the simple syrup, so if you find yourself in a strange port use a good quality rum. 

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George Hirsch Chocolate Pound Cake, Sag Harbor Rum Syrup

Chocolate Pound Cake

Makes one loaf

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 1 1/2 cups cake flour  

1 teaspoon baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sweet butter, room temperature

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar  

3 eggs, beaten 

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fine grated orange zest 

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder such as Droste

1/4 cupboiling hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix cocoa powder into boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, mix cake flour with baking powder and salt.

On medium high speed, mix butter until softened, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after adding each egg. Add vanilla, orange zest, cocoa mixture. add the flour mixture and mix only until combined.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake on a center rack in oven for about 50 - 55 minutes or until done. To test doneness, cake will spring back when touched lightly with index finger.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Slice pound cake, serve soaked with rum simple syrup and with fresh whipped cream.

To make simple syrup:

1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup of Rum, 1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.

Late Summer Cobbler

A peach berry cobbler is one of my favorite desserts using a combination of summer fruits. This cobbler is a must during late summer when the fruit is at the perfect level of natural ripeness. The natural sugars from the soft fruit provide excellant sweetness. And, making the cobbler in a cast iron skillet makes it easy to serve during a Labor Day BBQ for the last hurrah! Wait, summer isn't over..Let's just call this a Late Summer Cobbler. 

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ingredients for George's Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

George’s Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

Makes 4 –6 servings

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George's Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

For Topping:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

3/4 quick oats

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup melted butter 

Mix all sugars, flour, oats and nuts. Pour in butter and mix until topping looks like wet sand. Do not over mix; topping should have a lumpy consistency.

For the Filling:

4 cups Fresh Peaches- sliced and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. 

2 pints Fresh Blueberries, or mixed berries

1 loaf pound cake, sliced thin 

1/3 cup water or *simple syrup

Pre heat a 375 degree oven.

Grease small individual ramekins, or one nine inch ovenproof casserole, or an iron skillet. line bottom of pan with sliced pound cake. Add peaches, blueberries and simple syrup. Top with a generous amount of crumb topping.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until crumb topping is crisp and light brown. 

Serve warm topped with powder sugar, whip cream or powder sugar.

*To make simple syrup:

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.

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Summer Muffins

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Summer and muffins seem to go hand and hand; especially since blueberries are so plentiful right now and muffins bake fairly quickly with not much prep.

Tip: Did you know? Tossing blueberries with flour before adding them to the batter will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin during baking. 

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Blueberry Nut Muffins

Makes 10-12 muffins

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For the topping:

1/3 cup lite brown sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 Tablespoon sweet butter

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts. Blend butter in with a fork until mixture is crumb like.

For the muffin mix:

1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon flour for coating blueberries, plus greasing muffin cups

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 cup milk

Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter and dust with flour, banging out excess flour; or use muffin cups liners.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. 

In a separate bowl use a mixer to cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and orange zest to beaten eggs, then add eggs one at a time, mixing until eggs are absorbed. 

With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and milk in three stages, mixing until all are incorporated.  Do not over mix. 

Toss blueberries in a fine strainer with about one Tablespoon of flour to lightly coat. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries. With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries on top of the muffins and divide crumb topping over muffins. 

Bake about 25-30 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Check muffins half way through and rotate if oven temperature is uneven. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin and it should come out clean; or when touched lightly the muffin should have a slight resistance to finger pressure.  

Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from pan.

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