Eeking out just a bit more summer

Just like that, the end of summer is upon us…in fact, it is here. Labor Day has but a few hours left. But, while summer is officially over and we all must go back to the real world first thing in the morning, the fruits that define late summer still have a few weeks of perfect ripeness left. They did not get the “Back to School- Back to Reality” memo. And, I don’t know about you, but I am all about making the good weather and summer sensibility last for as long as possible.

One of my favorite end of summer splurge recipes is a Peach Praline Pie that Tad’s second cousin Anne gave me years ago when we were still living in Los Angeles. Anne’s mom, Ruth created the recipe many years ago and it has been a family favorite ever since. Ruth’s take on peach pie moves the dessert from simply fabulous to absolutely show-stoppingly outrageous. Sadly, Ruth- the creator of this magnificence, is no longer with us on this planet. She was one of the most lovely people I have ever met and I know that she would be thrilled to share her recipe with you all. You gotta love it when good food comes from good people- it just makes sense somehow.

Anyway, I made this pie Saturday night for dear friends and stood back and watched while every bite was devoured. It was claimed, by all around the table, as the best pie they have all ever had. I ask you: what’s not to love about ripe peaches, sugar, nuts and butter? Just saying…

So summer is gone, but we can still cling to the flavor of it- at least for a week or two. Do yourself a favor and try this pie-quickly! Sure as the setting of alarm clocks tonight, you won’t be sorry, those around your table will love it, and this wonderful dessert will earn a place in your best recipe file!

Peach Praline Pie– makes one 9” pie

Preheat the oven to 450.

Ingredients:

1 pie crust (make your own or a good store bought kind)
4 cups (about 3 lbs) peeled, sliced ripe peaches
½ c granulated sugar
2 T quick-cooking tapioca
1 T lemon juice
1 c flour
½ c dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c. chopped pecans
½ cup butter, at room temp

1. Prepare pie pastry; fit into 9-inch pie plate and trim overhang to ½”; crimp edge.

2. Combine peaches, sugar, tapioca and lemon juice in large bowl and let stand 15 minutes.

3. Combine flour, brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl; cut in butter with a fork (or just mix it with clean hands, that’s what I do!) until crumbly.

4. Sprinkle 1/3 of the praline mixture over the bottom of the pie shell and cover with the peach mixture; sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over the peaches.

5. Bake the pie at 450 for 10 minutes; REDUCE heat to 350 and bake 20 minutes longer.

6. Serve warm with ice cream!

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