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THE RECIPE BOX: Peach crumble pie takes first place in baking contest

Melissa Coker, along with her granddaughters, from left, Elisabeth and Avonlea Hutchins, created the recipe for an award-winning peach crumble pie, right, which won first place in the annual Rockdale County Cooperative Extension’s Peach Pie baking contest. (Staff Photo: Julie Wells)

Melissa Coker, along with her granddaughters, from left, Elisabeth and Avonlea Hutchins, created the recipe for an award-winning peach crumble pie, right, which won first place in the annual Rockdale County Cooperative Extension’s Peach Pie baking contest. (Staff Photo: Julie Wells)

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Melissa Coker, along with her granddaughters, from left, Elisabeth and Avonlea Hutchins, created the recipe for an award-winning peach pie. (Staff Photo: Julie Wells)

Covington resident Melissa Coker can now add a first-place prize ribbon for her peach crumble pie recipe to her previously earned trophies for her delicious chili recipes.

On Tuesday, Coker entered into the annual Rockdale County Cooperative Extension Peach Pie baking contest, and she took home not only the honor of winning first place, but a cash prize of $50 as well. Coker isn’t keeping all of the proceeds for herself though. She is splitting her winning profits with her granddaughters, 9-year-old Elisabeth Hutchins and 6-year-old Avonlea Hutchins.

Coker explained that she and her granddaughters were looking around for things to do this summer. Coker saw a peach pie contest announcement in the Citizen, and called and inquired about it. Once she received all of the details, she got to thumbing through her cookbooks.

Coker said she took some elements from each recipe and combined them. Then she and the girls went to work making what they called their “test pie.” Coker said that Elisabeth and Avonlea did most of the work on the first pie, but Coker made the second and final pie basically by herself.

Coker said she also makes a delicious apple crisp, so she decided to use the ingredients that make up the topping of the apple crisp, and try that out as the topping for the peach crumble.

Coker likes to bake, and even when she is using a mix to whip up brownies or cookies, she usually “doctors it up,” she said.

Coker said that before she married David, her husband of 39 years, she told him and her father that if they wanted her to learn how to cook they would have to purchase a certain cookbook. They spent a $1 a piece, and bought a Betty Crocker cookbook from the old Sears Surplus Store. To this day, she still uses the cookbook, even though now it’s held together with duct tape.

I’ve often said the stories behind these recipes are better than the recipes themselves. This happens to be one of those great recipe stories.

And in the wise words of 9-year-old Elisabeth (said as she looked up to her grandmother before the winning pie was announced), “Even if we don’t win, I had a lot fun doing all of this.”

Peach crumble pie

Crust

1 cup of all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water

Chop shortening into the flour and salt mixture until you have fine crumbles.

Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork, until dough leaves the sides of the bowl clean.

Roll the dough out on lightly floured wax paper until it is 1-inch larger than inverted pie pan.

Fold the crust in half, and then fold again and carefully transfer to pie pan.

Unfold to fit the pan.

Trim the edges off and press the top of the edge with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Filling

One 29-ounce can of peaches, drained

½ teaspoon almond flavoring

½ cup of sugar

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Stir the almond flavoring into the drained peaches.

Mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon and stir into the peach and almond mixture.

Pour the peach mixture into the pie crust.

Topping

½ cup of sugar

½ cup of self-rising flour

½ stick of butter, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon together and then chop the butter up and add it to the mixture.

Sprinkle evenly over the peaches.

Put a foil guard around the crust for the first 30 minutes, to prevent excess browning.

Then remove the foil guard and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust and toppings are golden brown.

Allow the pie to cook for half an hour.