“[The cold] hits you like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. You can’t breathe. You can’t think.” Day in and day out, as we bundle up and prepare to brave this winter’s abominable weather, Jack’s cautionary words to Rose ring all too truthfully in our ears. However, on this day of love and (teeth-gritting) optimism, we’re choosing to think of warmer locales and holidays. Of course, it being Valentine’s Day and all, we’re sticking with the theme of romantic dramas starring Kate Winslet.
The new mom’s latest film, Labor Day, directed by Jason Reitman (the director behind Young Adult, Thank You For Smoking and Juno) tells the love story of an escaped convict and the divorced single mother he holds captive within her own home one hazy holiday weekend in September 1987. If you’re looking to indulge in a serious chick flick tonight, this one’s a major contender. We’re not going to lie, the film’s received some mixed reviews thus far, though no critic can fault Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet’s incredible acting chops. The couple may not have as much chemistry as Rose and Jack, but hey, few do.
Labor Day’s answer to Titanic’s notoriously steamy buggy scene comes when ex-con Frank (Brolin) shows Adele (Winslet) the secret to baking the perfect peach pie: “It’s all about instinct,” Frank holds. “Pay too much attention to recipes, and you forget how to feel…People buy all these fancy gadgets, but sometimes the tool is right there attached to your own body.” No need to elucidate further, Frank. We now want peach pie.
The most talked about scene in the film has also generated one of the most mouthwatering pie recipes we’ve read in awhile. Food stylist Susan Spungen, who helped create the pivotal “stunt” pie, let The Daily News in on her secret to crafting this summery dessert. Gather the freshest peaches you can find, then help your family shake off the winter blues with a little slice of heaven.
Sidenote: We wonder how peach pie factored into Winslet’s pregnancy cravings. Says Spungen, “The crew ate about as much pie as they could on any given day. By the end, people got a little tired of peach pie.” Is such a thing possible?
Labor Day Peach Pie
3 pounds peaches
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Spungen used Crisco)
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
4 tablespoons tapioca (Spungen likes Minute)
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir in 2 tablespoons of tapioca. Let stand, stirring occasionally.
2. In another bowl, mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, work in the shortening and the stick of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle ice water over the flour mixture in small amounts, stirring gently with a fork, until the dough just holds together. Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into two discs, one slightly larger than the other.
3. Place the smaller disc on a sheet of waxed paper, and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, dust it lightly with more flour. Lay a 9- to 10-inch pie pan face down on top of the circle; flip the pan over and remove the paper. For the crust, roll out the other disc to form a 14-inch circle. Do not over-roll.
4. Sprinkle the remaining tapioca on the bottom crust. Add the filling, mounding it in the center, and dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Lift the waxed paper with the remaining crust and flip it over the filling. Trim the edges of the crusts and pinch together the top and bottom crusts.
5. Brush the pie with the egg. Sprinkle with sugar. Poke fork holes or cut vents in the top crust.
6. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.