Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Anna and the Amazing Peach Pie

Summer cannot come and go without me baking Anna's Peach Pie at least once. The recipe comes from Anna Sullivan, who worked for our family for nearly 50 years. I've mentioned before that my mom was a wonderful homemaker, but not such a great housekeeper. She didn't need to be; she had Anna in her life.

Anna originally worked for my grandmother – cooking, cleaning, ironing and generally keeping up with my mother as a young girl. Once my parents were married, she starting coming to their house on Tuesdays and Fridays. I'm not sure what Anna thought of us, but I know for sure we all loved her dearly. She was such a quiet and kind presence in our home.

Once every summer, Anna would invite my sisters and me to her home for the day. Dad would drop us off early in the morning. Anna and her husband, Walter, would greet us from the front porch of their home on Jane Street in the Clifton neighborhood and welcome us in. Walter would get us settled on the living room floor and bring out a large glass jar of coins – hundreds of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, even an occasional half dollar – that he and Anna had saved since we were last there. Our job, while Anna was in the kitchen cooking up a storm, was to count the coins and put them into kraft-paper coin rolls.

Hours later, when the coins were counted and we had a grand total to report to Walter, Anna would call us to the dinner table. After blessing the food, Walter would pass around platters of fried chicken, green beans, and potatoes. We ate happily. When all that was left were the chicken bones, Anna would disappear back into her kitchen and then reappear with a straight-out-of-the-oven peach pie and a huge smile on her face. We smiled too. What a peach pie it was!

Only a few ingredients, but when made with summer peaches, there is nothing that beats it.


Anna Sullivan's Peach Pie

1 unbaked pie shell
4 or 5 large ripe peaches
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup flour

Peel peaches (dunk in boiling water for 30 seconds and skins will come right off). Slice peaches and arrange in an unbaked pie shell. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add flour, egg and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the top of the peaches and bake at 300 degrees for 1-1/4 hours. Serve warm with ice cream.

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