It’s time for the Cambria Historical Society’s annual Harvest Festival Weekend, Friday Oct. 9 through Monday, Oct. 12.
Our Culinary Corner is proud again to co-sponsor the Pie Contest with Robin’s Restaurant on Sunday, Oct. 11, showcasing some of our best local nonprofessional bakers competing for valuable prizes. Everybody wins, as guests at the Historical Museum’s grounds get to sample five choices of all the entries for only $5. Entry blanks for the pies and $5 entry fee will be available at Robin’s, the museum, the Historical Society’s website, and in next week’s Cambrian. All proceeds benefit the museum’s Heirloom Gardens.
People always ask whether they will be competing with little Bennjamen Murdoch, who began baking and winning at a very early age, working with the assistance of his grandmother, Leslie “Bubby” Murdoch. We will all miss him, since he has moved out of state. Skills like that don’t just happen, as many have learned; and over the years, we have also had many gentlemen entering successfully for the three top prizes chosen by popular vote.
Here’s one you won’t be sampling. It was baked by my granddaughter Danielle Gulseth, who has been assisting in my kitchen and her parents’ since she was so small she couldn’t pronounce “shoe chef.” It’s plenty easy for even the noncook to produce at a moment’s notice.
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Fresh Peach Galette
- 1 prepared single pie crust, your own or frozen
- 3 large fully ripe peaches, Elberta preferred, but not whites
- 1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour or tapioca, optional
Wash peaches and slice thinly with the skins still on; toss in a bowl with the brown sugar, salt and thickener if you wish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; place the crust on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Scoop the peaches in the center, and fold and overlap the edges up over the fruit, without covering the center.
Sprinkle the crust with granulated sugar (Cook’s Notes: We found that it was not only decorative, it prevented overbrowning.) Bake on the bottom rack for about 30 minutes until golden. Remove and allow to cool until set. Serve warm with your favorite topping.
While kitchen testing, we chose not to lay the peach slices artistically as on a tart, but instead to dump them to achieve the rustic look. Consulting the Internet, the recommended typical baking temperature is 375 degrees, but we determined that was too hot for her oven — test your own, because ovens vary a lot.
My friend and neighbor, Joyce Backhaus, was treated to a birthday pie baked by great nephew, Curren Thomas, assisted by his dad, Sean. He chose to bake with fresh peaches studded with blackberries, both from our farmers market. They utilized two-crust pie dough from Cookie Crock, and Curren made the top lattice-work in a random rather than traditional overlapping pattern. It was just as delicious, with the dessert lovingly prepared, and topped with candles.