Peaches are everywhere right now…soft, orange-colored ones, firm yellow ones. So last week I decided to make a peach pie. Actually I made two, one to enjoy and one to give away to an uncle who’s recuperating from chemo. My husband thought it was the best peach pie he’d ever eaten…so I wanted to share the recipe with you.

I started by making my own pastry crust. If you’re not into that…you can use a store-bought pastry crust or Pate Brisèe. (It’s actually probably better if you buy your crust at the store so you don’t think about how much shortening is in it!) I make a No Fail Pie Crust and ever since I learned to chill the pastry well before baking it, the crust always comes out light and flaky. Here’s the secret…all those tiny pieces of shortening or butter that have been cut into the flour need to be very cold and firm before you pop the crust into a very hot oven. This way, the shortening stays cold long enough to form tiny “pockets” in the crust before the shortening melts. The result is a flaky crust. If, on the other hand, your crust is at room temperature when you put it in the oven, the shortening just started to melt into the flour and no little “pockets” form resulting in a tough crust.

For the luscious peach pie, I used the recipe from O Taste & See Some More! for All-American Apple Pie (p. 200). Of course it’s not All-American, nor is it Apple Pie but the proportions are the same. I wanted the peach flavor to really shine so I chose to leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg (from the Apple Pie recipe) and just used some vanilla extract instead. It was very good. (Did I already say that?)

Here’s the recipe:

Summer Peach Pie

Serving Size: One 10-inch/25 cm pie

Summer Peach Pie

Ingredients

  • 8 C. sliced, fresh peaches
  • 2/3 C. (150 g) sugar
  • 3-4 T. cornstarch (depending on how juicy your fruit is)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla1 or 2 unbaked 10-inch (25 cm) pastry crusts

Instructions

  1. Combine the first six ingredients and mix well.
  2. Spoon the mixture into prepared unbaked pastry crust and level out the fruit with the back of a spoon.
  3. Top with another layer of pastry crust, or strips of crust in a lattice pattern. (Or try the crumb topping below.) Trim and crimp the edges. Brush lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar if desired. If using a top crust, cut a few slits in the top to vent steam.
  4. Chill well before baking at 450° F (230° C) for 15 minutes; lower temperature to 350° F (180° C) and bake 30-45 minutes more or until crust is lightly browned.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/recipes/dessert/summer-peach-pie/

Crumb Topping Variation

Consider using a crumb topping instead of a top crust or lattice crust. 1/3 C. (75 g) butter 1/2 C. (125 g) brown sugar 1 C. (125 g) flour 1/2 C. (100 g) walnuts, finely chopped Cut all ingredients together with two knives, a pastry blender, or pulse a few times in a food processor. Sprinkle over pie and bake as above.

Debbie's Tips

  • The recipe calls for a whopping 8 cups of fruit! Other recipes often call for only 5 or 6 cups…but my experience is that the fruit usually cooks “down”, resulting in a rather wimpy pie. You think, “Oh, I have a couple cups of fruit. I think I’ll make a pie!” Then, when it comes out of the oven, it’s fallen down in and has almost more crust than fruit. I use a 10-inch Pyrex pie plate…However, if you’re using a shallow, store-bought crust, you should cut down the quantities or it will overflow!
  •  Don’t have peaches? Try mangoes! Or apples, of course.
  •  Most of the time peach pies are made with a lattice top, probably because it is a juicier fruit than most. Having more open holes for the steam to escape will help it to thicken more easily.
  • Though it isn’t too difficult, you don’t have to “braid” a lattice top but can just lay the strips in alternating directions. Once it’s baked you’ll hardly notice.

Ciao!

Debbie

 

 

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