I went to visit my friend Jackie Hughes who lives in Elkhart, Indiana last week and she and I took a ride through Amish Country to a bakery near Shipshewana she’s been telling me about. Called the Country Lane Bakery, it is, of course, on a back road and even though Jackie has been there many times (too many times I think she would tell you) we took a wrong turn and had to back track. But it was well worth it. Located in a plain white building (the Amish don’t go in for frills) next to the family home, the large bakery was filled with luscious looking cakes, cookies, breads, icing to take home to frost your own homemade goodies or if you’re really being bad, just to dip a spoon in and eat, and unbelievable pies.
Because we were there around 3 in the afternoon many of the fresh fruit pies were gone but on the handwritten list tacked to the wall I saw the words peach cream pie. Now I’d never had a peach cream pie but the cream and fruit pie concept is very popular there as there were also apple string cream pies (all sold out) and blueberry cream pies (ditto). So I asked for the peach cream pie and it turned out it was the last one. Too bad for Jackie who wanted one too but she was too gracious to accept my offer to split it in half – thank goodness.
Anyway, it was amazingly delicious. I shared some, not much, with my Aunt Daniese who is quite the cook and she actually described it as wonderful – very high praise indeed. I searched for a recipe and the nearest I could find in terms of looks and ingredients was a Martha Stewart one for peach custard pie.
If you go down that way to the bakery, it’s just south of U.S. 20 on County Road 43 about seven minutes southwest from downtown Shipshewana. And as long as you’re there, pick up some of their cinnamon rolls (omigoodness they’re awesome) and then drive north of U.S. 20 on Country Road and look for the sign for Green Meadow Farms, an Amish farm. They sell Lady-Finger Popcorn, a tender, very small hull-less heritage popcorn that is handpicked as well as fresh eggs, cheeses and meats (depending upon the day) from their self-serve back porch. The address for Country Lane Bakery is 59162 County Road 43, Middlebury, Indiana 574-825-7918 and for Green Meadows it’s 57028 County Road 43, 574-825-3843. To make sure you don’t lose out on a pie, you can always call ahead and place an order.
Martha Stewart’s Peach Custard Pie
For The Crust:
1 disk Pate Brisee (see recipe below)
All-purpose flour, for surface
For The Filling:
4 medium ripe but firm peaches (about 1 1/3 pounds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Roll out pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate, and trim crust to a 1-inch overhang using kitchen shears. Fold edges under, and press to seal using the tines of a fork. Prick bottom of pie all over with fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Line crust with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Fill completely with dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; remove beans and parchment. Bake crust until bottom is lightly golden, about 11 minutes more. Let cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Cut a small X into the bottom of each peach. Boil for 1 minute; transfer to ice-water bath. Let cool slightly. Peel and pit peaches. Halve 7 of the 8 halves to form wedges.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, flour, and salt. Pour filling into pie crust. Place peach half in center, cut side down, and surround with wedges.
Bake for 45 minutes. (Tent crust with a foil ring after 15 minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 1 hour. Cool for at least 45 minutes before serving.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water
Pulse flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture holds together when pressed between 2 fingers (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.
Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.