I was overjoyed when our CSA delivery from Dominion Harvest included a ton of peaches. This stone fruit is something that I really enjoy eating but never seem to buy at the grocery store. The peaches we receive are always very fresh, ripe and super sweet. The ones at the grocery store...well, not so much.
As usual, I polled my husband to see what he wanted me to make with our fresh peaches. The first words out of his mouth were "Peach pie!" (with a strong emphasis on the exclamation mark). I had never made a peach pie before, and my pie-making skills are near the beginner level, so I honestly did not have high hopes for the adventure that I was about to embark upon. But, I shrugged my shoulders and moved forward anyway.
I went to my Dorie Greenspan book and found her recipe for a double pie crust and figured that I'd use that as my base. When I went to search for the peach filling, I saw something in the description that sold me on the recipe. The author was from Iowa, which is where my husband's family hails, so I knew that this would be the recipe that I would try.
This was my first time making a lattice top, and I have to share my mistake with you so you don't run into the same problems as I did. I thought that my dough was cool enough, but it turns out that it wasn't. I chilled my dough for an hour, but once I rolled it out into a circle, the dough stuck really badly to my working surface. When it came time to actually create the lattice, the dough strips broke into pieces because they were too soft and stuck to my countertop. Not good. So err on the safe side and chill your dough for over an hour before rolling.
I have to say that Iowans definitely know their pies. My husband gave this an A+ and loved the pie. I was initially apprehensive about the apple-pie like spices in the filling, but they helped enhance the peaches rather than mask their natural sweetness. The crust was buttery and flaky, and my lattice top actually turned out fine, even though I had a hard time assembling it. We still have a bunch of apples that we need to use from our CSA so perhaps an apple pie is next up. We shall see.
Fresh peach pie
Double pie crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 and 1/2 sticks (20 TBSP) very or frozen unsalted butter, cut intro tablespoon-size pieces
- 1/2 cup very cold or frozen vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces (I subbed with unsalted butter)
- About 1/2 cup ice water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- 4 and 1/2 cups sliced peaches; about 4-6 medium sized peaches (I did not peel mine, but you can if desired)
- 3 TBSP cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (I omitted)
- 1 TBSP unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the 1/8 teaspoon salt in the ingredient list above)
To make the double pie crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and shortening and only pulse until the butter and shortening are barely cut into the flour. Don't over-pulse or overmix - the mixture will resemble wet sand with large and small clumps at this stage. Slowly add about 1 Tablespoon of the ice water and pulse once, then add the next Tablespoon until you have added about 6 total Tablespoons. Then use a few long pulses to get the crust to slowly come together into a large ball - it should take about 12 long pulses to get here. If the dough still appears dry or if the dough isn't coming together, add in more water about 1 teaspoon at a time (using the same pulsing method) or until the dough when stick together when pinched.
Transfer the dough onto a flat work surface and divide the dough into half. Turn each half into a rough ball, flatten into a circle (just press down) and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the sugars. Then add in the peaches and gently toss, being sure not to break up or crush the fruit. Cover and allow the the peaches rest for 1 hour.
Drain peaches into a separate bowl but reserve the juice.
In a medium to large saucepan, mix together cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add in the reserved peach juice and bring everything to a boil. Constantly stir until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Turn off the stove, remove the pan from the heat and stir in lemon juice and butter. Gently fold in peaches and make sure that the fruit is evenly coated in the sauce.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out one of the pie crusts with a rolling pin so it's slightly larger than a standard pie pan. Gently press the crust into the pan and trim any excess overhang.
Pour the peach filling into the crust.
Roll out the last crust so that it is slightly larger than the pie pan. You can either cover the pie with the entire crust and slit some holes to allow steam to escape or make a lattice crust. Trim, seal and flute the edges. Protect the crust edges by covering it with aluminum foil.
Bake the pie in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Turn off the oven, remove the foil and allow the pie to cool before serving.
Yield: About 12-16 servings
Sources: Peach pie filling and method from Taste of Home; pie crust from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan