Last week as a kind of a farewell-to-summer, we went peach picking, thinking we'd spend a day in the country, enjoying the warmth and sunshine, being one with nature. After an hour long drive to the farm, we got out and within about 10 minutes, had picked over 10 pounds of peaches, way more than I expected to leave with! Being kind of in the middle of nowhere, we turned around and came home, stopping for some pizza on the way, of course, but with a car loaded down with some of the juiciest peaches we've ever tasted. And I've been cooking and baking with them all week. Didn't think I'd get to this pie this summer, but with stellar peaches like this, I just had to. If you've never made a peach pie before, this is the one to try--it's simple and simply delicious!!
This pie is overloaded with fresh, juicy peaches and barely enough creamy filling to hold them together, which really allows the fresh peach flavor to shine. Those yummy peaches are juxtaposed against a wonderfully crisp crust making each bite a little bit of summer heaven. Now, you can buy a ready-made crust if you're in a bind, but this crust is so easy to put together--all gets mixed in a food processor and handles really well and tastes about a billion times better than any store-bought version, that you ought to try to make it if you possibly can.
After you've rolled out the dough, you plunge the peaches into boiling water for just a minute and then into a bowl of ice water, to help make the peeling process a snap.
Then, you simply slice the peaches and fill the pie crust--
In the process, pouring over a simple mixture of butter, flour and eggs, that have been whisked together.
Next all you do is pop the whole thing into the oven and lick your sticky peachy fingers!
The filling caramelizes as the pie bakes and the peaches turn impossibly juicy. And then there's the wonderfully crisp and flavorful crust, helping to sop everything up. This is truly one of my family's favorites and screams SUMMER. If you're looking for a way to celebrate the last of the summer bounty, say perhaps, over the Labor Day weekend, this would be a surefire hit!!
Easy Peach Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 45 minutes (plus time for dough to chill); Bake Time: 50-55 minutes
For the Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and rechilled until ready to use
- 1/4 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 cubes (I used Crisco)
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water (maybe more)
For the Peach Filling
- 2 pounds fresh ripe peaches (I used 6 very large peaches)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
1. To make the Pie Crust: Using a food processor, blend flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and shortening cubes and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
2. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and add 3 tablespoons of water, using a fork to mix until the dough begins to come together. Add more water by the teaspoonful if it seems too dry.
3. Gather the dough into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten it into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit a bit to soften if it seems too cold to roll out. Meanwhile lightly flour a board or work surface, and with a lightly floured rolling pin, working from the center out, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle, lifting and rotating the dough several times to make sure it's not sticking. Then loosely roll dough around rolling pin to transfer it and very carefully position it over the pan and unroll it, gently pressing dough down into a 9 or 10 inch extra-deep pie plate. Trim overhang and crimp edges using your thumb and finger to make the indentations or any way you like. Set aside and preheat oven to 350ºF.
5. Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and have it ready by the stove. Plunge the peaches into the boiling water and let cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove peaches from water and immediately transfer to the ice bath. Let sit for a few minutes. Then remove peaches, dry them and peel off the skins. They should come off effortlessly.
6. Slice peaches and arrange them any which way in the pie crust. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, flour and eggs until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the mixture over the peaches in the crust and spread around evenly.
7. Bake the pie in the center of the oven for 50-55 minutes until the center is just set and golden. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
8. Pie can be made one day ahead and stored at room temperature, loosely covered. After that store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from a 1994 issue of Gourmet Magazine.