… Snap, This is Tasty!
Fresh peaches from late summer’s bounty offer the juiciest fruit with a real “peach” flavor. When picked at the perfect time of ripeness, they offer a kind of unique sweet, tart perfume when you press your nose to the stem. The juice streams down the chin when you sink your teeth into the fuzzy skin and tender, sweet pulp. Licking your fingers is a necessity to capture every bit of the seasonal nectar.
At the peak of pear perfection, the skin is taught and pierces with the slightest prick. The fruit at the stem yields ever so gently, telling you that the time is now to completely savor the white, tender “meat”. It is as though a sweet milk could be harvested from the perfectly ripe pear’s luscious, mellow juice.
Bedding these two luxurious fruits at their prime over a soft, welcoming bed of creamy vanilla custard pudding cradles them into submission, melding the flavors into a mouth-coating smooth cream that settles the “sour” taste buds, which have just been alerted to the tangy fresh peach arrival.
To not be wooed into a sweet coma, a bold and energetic gingersnap crust announces its presence, appropriately playing contrast. The crumbly, coarser texture gives a tooth to create a chew and resistance so the mouth remembers to stay active and swallow the symphony of orchestrated flavors playing in harmony.
Cooking time: about 20 minutes intermingled and included in prep time
Oven temp: 350ºF
Chill time: about 2 hours
Ingredients for Gingersnap Crumb Crust:
1 bag Pamela’s Simplebites Mini Ginger Snapz (about 30 cookies)
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
Ingredients for Custard Pudding:
2 1/2 Tablespoons corn starch
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk, or dairy-free substitute – I use Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 egg OR 1/4 cup egg beaters (optional but helps make a nice custard)
Ingredients for topping:
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 ripe peach, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/3 cup fruit only seedless blackberry jelly/jam – I use Polaner’s All Fruit with Fiber
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grind cookies in a food processor, or place in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into fine crumbs. Place crumbs in a small bowl and add margarine. Stir well to moisten all crumbs. Pour crumbs into a tart pan or pie plate. Smooth crumbs in a consistent layer to line the sides and bottom of pan. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
While pie crust is baking, prepare custard. In a medium pot, add milk and vanilla. Turn on low heat. In a bowl, combine corn starch, powdered sugar, and salt. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Slowly add to milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Continue heating and stirring until hot. In a small bowl, combine egg and about 1/4 cup of warm mixture. Stir well to blend. Slowly pour this back into pot and continue cooking custard pudding until it begins to thicken. Watch constantly at this point so mixture doesn’t get lumpy or seize. When thick enough to coat a spoon without dripping, remove from heat. Let sit about 10 minutes, stirring after about 5 minutes. This will allow mixture to begin cooling and stirring will prevent a skin from forming over the custard.
While custard is cooling, peel, seed, and slice the peach and pear. Place in small bowl and add lemon or lime juice. Stir to coat to prevent browning. Set aside. Add jam to a microwaveable dish and heat for just 10-20 seconds to melt. Don’t overheat. Set aside.
When custard has rested 10 minutes and other prep work is complete, pour custard into baked crust to just below the edge of crust. You will probably have a little custard left over. In a fanned, circular design, lay slices of peaches and pears, alternating them, until all custard is covered. Brush melted jam over fruit. Chill until completely cooled and custard has set, about 2 hours. Serve. Delicious with coffee.