When Tracy and Jennifer and Jamie asked if I wanted to be part of the online baby shower for our mutual pal, Amber, the voice behind the amazing blog, Bluebonnet and Brownies and her husband James, I immediately said yes! I love babies and baby showers and the chance to celebrate them is always welcome.
As I thought about this post, I realized that Tracy and I had met through Amber. Amber is one of those people who naturally brings people together. I met Amber on Twitter sometime in 2009. She was one of the folks I chatted with on weekly (and sometimes, daily) basis. As you know, I love Twitter and have found it to be very convivial place. Anyway, one day I heard about something called the Big Summer Potluck (BSP) on Twitter. It was to be a weekend food blogger gathering put on and hosted in Pennsylvania by Pam Anderson, who has written many terrific cookbooks, and her daughters, Maggy and Sharon. These three talented women are the voices behind the lovely blog Three Many Cooks. Their friend, Erika, rounded out the crew who organize the weekend. Further, I found out that my Seattle pal, Alice, was going to be the keynote speaker. I was intrigued. Even though it was going to be held across the country, I realized that I really wanted to go.
As it turns out, Amber’s house is close-ish to the location of the BSP, so when I told her I was thinking of attending, she immediately offered her house to me as a place to stay. And, she was set to attend—in fact, she was helping to organize some of the stuff—and so she also could drive us to and from the BSP each day. I was amazed at her generosity and immediately took her up on her offer and I bought my tickets that day.
Several months later, when I arrived on the East Coast, James picked me up and ferried me to their house. When we walked in, Amber was in the kitchen, making cookies. She welcomed me and I felt immediately at home. It felt like we had been friends for years. Same with James. Same with their big, fluffy kitties, Connor and Milo. They are, quite simply, nice and wonderful people (and kitties, who think they are people). Being with them is like being with family.
We had a lovely weekend together (you can read more about my experience here)–that first BSP was also the place where I met Jennifer. I ended up attending BSP the next year and staying with Amber and James again. That was the year that I met Tracy—she also was staying with Amber and James, and we ended up being roommates. That second BSP they had a full house–Aimée and Shaina, were roomies in Amber’s other guest room, and we all got to know each other and become friends during the time we had together. What a terrific weekend we all had.
And now Amber and James are expecting a new family member to join their happy crew—a little boy, due in October. I am thrilled for them. The arrival of a baby is always a gift, but it is especially welcome when the road to having a baby has been a long and hard one. Amber and James have been struggling with fertility issues and it was seeming like maybe a homemade baby (as opposed to an adopted baby), was potentially not in the cards. But, the Fates stepped in and decreed that it was TO BE and all of us in their family and friend community are overjoyed for them! And we can’t wait to meet baby Evan (that’s his name-to-be).
In honor of the blessed event, I am offering a recipe for Peach-Pecan Pie. Amber is a Texas native, so the theme for the baby shower is “Texas.” As I was deciding on what kind of recipe to make, I did some research and found out that peaches are a favorite fruit in Texas. And, because it’s in the South, I thought pecans would be good, too. As I flipped through one of my favorite cookbooks, Nancie McDermott’s Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes from Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan, I saw it—the perfect recipe–for peach-pecan pie. I knew it was the one. So, I adapted it to gluten-free. It is out-of-this-world! Wowee, this is a good pie. In fact, one of the yummiest I’ve ever had. It’s got a traditional pie crust, filled with fresh peaches in a sour cream custard and topped with a pecan streusel.
So, here’s to you, Amber and James (and Evan-to-be)! I raise a fork of delicious pie to all of you and cannot wait to meet the newest family member in person!
Link List for the Rest of the Baby Shower Participants (pie recipe after list)
Sugarcrafter | Breakfast Tostadas
My Kitchen Addiction | Baby Texan Cookies
My Baking Addiction | Texas Sheet Cake
Simple Bites | Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa
Stetted | Queso Mac
Food for My Family | Texas Pepper Barbecue Sauce
Dessert For Two | Frito Chocolate Chip Cookies
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Coconut Tres Leches Layer Cake
TidyMom | Pizza Bread Sticks
Miss in the Kitchen | Blackberry Milkshakes
Bon Appetit Hon | Cheddar Ranch Crackers
Food Babbles | Southern Pecan Pie
Jelly Toast | Peach Iced Tea
Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle | Decorated Elephant Cookies
i am baker | Texas Brownie Cake
The Kitchen Trials | Coca-Cola Cake
Cookies & Cups | Sticky Toffee Pudding Cookies
A Farmgirl’s Dabbles | Peanut Butter Bonbons the Size of Texas
Steph Chows | Fiesta Dip
Peach-Pecan Pie, Gluten-Free
-adapted from Southern Pies, by Nancie McDermott
Dough for 1 9 inch single crust pie (1/2 recipe of Flakey Pie Crust, Gluten-Free)
3-4 (around 530 g cups) peeled and sliced peaches (about 3 large peaches)
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (155 ml) sour cream (make sure it’s gluten-free)
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix
½ cup (115 g; 1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (45 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup (60 g) toasted and chopped pecans
Make crust dough and use it to line a 9 inch/22 cm pie pan. Crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4
Make the filling
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of sugar, sour cream, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of flour.
Remove dough-lined pan from fridge. Scatter peaches slices along the bottom of the crust.
Pour filling evenly over the peaches.
Place pie on center shelf of oven and bake at 350 degrees F until custard filling is set and the crust is nicely browned, about 50-55 minutes.
Make the topping
In the bowl of a food processor combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pulse several times to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture looks like wet sand mixed with varying-size pebbles. You can also do this in a medium bowl. Mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter piece until the mixture looks like wet sand mixed with varying-size pebbles. Stir in the chopped pecans. Place bowl in fridge until needed.
When pie has cooked, remove from oven and scatter the topping evenly over the filling. Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes–topping should be brown and bubbling here and there and the edge crust should be brown but not burned.
Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours in order for the filling to set up. Serve at room temperature, or cold. Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.