My friend Big Red is the consummate foodie. By the way “big” doesn’t refer to her size (she’s only 5′ 4″) but to her large personality. She is the only one of my friends who everyone instantly remembers. I say, “You know, the one with the red-orange hair.” And the response is always “Oh yeah” followed up with some story that she told.
She, seemingly all knowing when it comes to food, explained that peaches are at their best around labor day. Each year she spends the whole day making a slew of peach pies and one year I was lucky enough to be invited to bake along with her. Now at this point I had only attempted to make a pie once in high school. It did not go well.
You see, there are cake people and there are pie people. Clearly, I was raised in a cake loving household so I didn’t grow up learning to master pies. However the expression is, “as easy as pie,” so I had to reason that it must be easy if you know what you are doing. But then again most things are.
Big Red really knows her way around the kitchen, no surprise there, and making pies with her really was easy. While I am not ready to yet attempt a paleo pie crust, I did learn a few handy tips. The highlights were: 1. She doesn’t peel the peaches. Let’s face it, it’s easier and looks prettier. 2. She uses her hand to toss. She swore chefs tossed this way and once I saw Bill Telepan do it, I’ve never looked back.
So while I realize there are many paleo pie crust recipes out there, I’m not sold. Maybe by next year. Meanwhile, I still want to honor peach season with this crisp recipe. And it is truly “as easy as pie.”
Yields 4 to 6 servings
30 minPrep Time
60 minCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
12 tablespoons ghee, cold and diced
2/3 cup almonds, roasted and chopped
3 pounds fresh organic peaches
1 teaspoon orange zest (approx. 1/2 an organic orange)
1 to 2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 cup coconut sugar, divided
1/2 cup maple sugar
1 cup tigernut flour
1/3 cup cassava flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Position the rack in the center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with ghee.
- Measure out the 12 tablespoons of ghee into a small bowl and place it in the freezer.
- Place the almonds on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool.
- Slice the peaches into thick wedges (approx. 1/2 inch) and place them into a large bowl. Tip: Dry the peaches after washing to avoid extra liquid.
- Note: I didn’t peel the peaches, but if you like them peeled, drop the whole peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Once cool, peel, dry and slice into wedges.
- Add 1/2 cup coconut sugar, orange zest and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot. Toss well. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- While the mixture is sitting, chop the almonds and dice the ghee.
- Put them in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add both flours, maple sugar, 1/2 cup coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix on low speed until the ghee is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Tip: If you don’t have a paddle attachment, combine the nuts, flours, sugars, spices and salt using a fork or pastry cutter. Add the diced ghee gradually to the flour mixture until evenly mixed.
- Check the peaches. If there is a lot of liquid after resting, toss in 1 more tablespoon of arrowroot. Pour the peaches into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the peaches.
- Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the top is brown and you see the peaches starting to bubble. Serve immediately, or cool on a wire rack, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until warm.