When I was younger I loved souvenirs.
I didn’t travel very often throughout my childhood so even a day trip to the beach seemed like reason to celebrate with a t-shirt or snow globe.
At one point, my father traveled frequently for business and I thought there was nothing more fascinating than a keychain emblazoned with the Georgia peach or a notepad shaped like a British phone booth.
As an adult, I’m slowly but surely racking up frequent flyer miles of my own and I no longer feel tempted by hotel toiletries.
Instead, when I’m in a new city or town, I do what any respectable, budget conscious traveler would do. I take pictures.
I take photos of my frozen drinks, poolside.
I take action shots of grilling in-progress.
And I take pictures of the pool on the deck at the Beach Club so I can look at them when I get back to work and think, “I wish I was still laying out in the sun.”
On a recent vacation to South Carolina, I purchased the Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, featuring recipes based on produce typically grown in the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The book was filled with recipes for fresh vegetables, bountiful summer salads and hearty, grass-fed meatloaf.
So, what is the first recipe I make?
For the crust
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup yellow plain cornmeal
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons frozen butter; cut into rough ¼-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons of frozen shortening, cut into rough ¼-inch cubes (I skipped this and added a little extra butter for a flakier crust)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
For the Filling:
- 1 quart blackberries
- 1 quart blueberries
- 4 peaches, peeled and cut into coarse chunks
- ½ cup local honey
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Zest of one lemon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. To make pastry, pulse the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar together two or three times in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a plastic blade. Add the cold butter and shortening and pulse another eight or ten times, or until mixture is coarse and looks like small peas.
- Drizzle cold water through the mouth of the processor while pulsing until the pastry just starts holding together. Turn out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 2-inch thick disk. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (Note: pastry can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and it also keeps well in the freezer for up to three months).
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the berries, peaches, honey, cornstarch and lemon zest until evenly coated. Once the pastry has rested, roll out to ¼ inch thickness and drape it over a 2 quart pie dish, baking pan or souffle dish (let some excess pastry hang over the edges).
- Press the pasty in the pan and pour in the filling. Top fruit evenly with pats of butter (you can omit this step if you're looking to lighten up the recipe a bit - it will still be delicious).
- Fold excess pastry back over the fruit, tearing off any large pieces to top the fruit in the middle of the pan. Bake in the center of the oven until bubbling and golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.