Garden, Before and After 18-Aug-2011

Today’s Harvest:

  • Pennyslvania Peaches

Before:

After, option 1: (two peaches, three celery stalks, juice of 1/2 lemon, juiced)

After, option 2: (peach pie: butter crust, 6 peaches,  18 packets stevia, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp powdered ginger, 2 Tbsp pellets unsalted butter tossed with 1/4 C flour)

Full disclosure: I have a friend who is diabetic.  Full disclosure: I have no experience cooking without sugar (nor have I ever made it a priority).  Having said that, I’m a fan of stevia, the super-intensive plant-extract sweetener, and I’m nothing if not flexible (and a bit adventurous).

So, I made a test pie the way I would if were using sugar, altering the sweetening by 75% to compensate for the stevia, and intentionally allowing the focus to be only the prominence of the highest quality peaches.  Then, the taste test.  (Not only is sugar a sweetener, it’s a flavor enhancer and I needed to understand how/if stevia performed this function.)  I found that, while there was a sense of sweetness, the resultant flavor of the pie lacked the depth I was looking for.  So, I threw the test pie out and made another, this time using the ingredients listed above.  The result: a juicy, tender, flavorful pie, the spice blend providing the foundation to uplift the total taste experience.

Full disclosure:  This photo is not the pie; it’s a peach tart with custard I made earlier.  (It’s peach season, after all.)  We ate the pie (with whipped heavy cream) too quickly to photograph it.  Smile.

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