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Thursday
Aug162012

Scrumptious Seasonal Peach Pie

With the stone fruit season in full swing I have been eating as many peaches, nectarines and plums as I can knowing that they won't be here for long! Peaches are far and away my favorite fruit so I have to savor them while they are good. Nothing like a ripe juicy peach that you have to eat over the sink to keep it from running down to your elbows.

Last week I got the urge to go to the farmer's market and bake a peach pie on Saturday. Great minds must think alike because I emailed my mom for her favorite recipe and she said she'd just eaten her first peach of the season that seemed worthy of a pie. I won't pretend this was the easiest thing to make, but just ask my roommates if it was worth it and they will nod in agreement. Once you take a bite you'll forget the time it took and just savor the buttery, crumbly, peachy goodness.  Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.

Ingredients

2 ½ pounds ripe peaches (freestone are best)

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, diced

For the crust

2 cups flour

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut in pieces

3 tablespoons cold shortening, cut in pieces

5-6 tablespoons ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glazing

  1. For the crust, sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add butter and shortening and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I recommend cutting your butter and shortening and then putting it back in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Start boiling a large pot of water
  3. Back to the dough...with a fork, stir in just enough of the ice water to bind the dough. Gather into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Drop a few peaches at a time into the boiling water for 20 seconds if peaches are ripe, 40 seconds if still firm, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. When cool, peel off the skins and discard.
  5. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425F
  6. Slice peaches and combine them with the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and spices. Set aside.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger dough ball about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges. Refrigerate. My dough was slightly on the dry side so it crumbled as I rolled it so I just pressed it together in the pan with my fingers.
  8. Roll out the remaining dough to cover the pie.
  9. Brush the bottom of the pie shell with the egg glaze. Add the peaches piling them higher in the center. Dot with butter.
  10. Place the top over the peaches and press together around the edges. Poke in the center to vent. Brush with glaze.
  11. Place on heated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 350F and continue to bake for 35-40 minutes.

Few tips

  • Baking the pie on the preheated sheet helps to make the bottom nice and crisp. The moisture from the filling keeps the bottom more humid than the top, but this baking method helps to compensate for the top crust being better exposed to the heat source.
  • Use your rolling pin as a tool to lift the dough from the counter, start rolling the edge of the dough onto the rolling pin to transfer it to the pan.

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