Seven peaches sit on my counter bathed in end of summer light. I am a sucker for that beautiful in between seasons light. There is something different about the light this time of year; a silent reverence for the summer that was, a peak at the fall ahead. I love when the seasons are in transition; not boxed in or defined just yet. Anything feels possible…including making a peach pie from scratch while Bubba plays with kids. He is a good man, a good man who loves dessert. I grab the Art of Simple Food and quickly get to work making the pie dough with fingers crossed it turns out ok. I grab the succulent peaches and snap a few pictures.
I prep the peaches, which requires a little extra work, but I don’t want skins in the pie; just the juicy, sweet flesh. I toss the peach slices with lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Oh and I add salt, a pinch; salt and sweets just go together.
I roll out the dough cautiously and place it in my pie plate. I have a few tears in the dough. Oh well. I pinch torn pieces together with my fingertips and move on. I pour in the peach filling; the smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg are already coming together, working their magic. I place the remaining dough on top of the peach filling and crimp the sides with a fork, just like my grandmother.
Flashback to my grandmother making a pie, the late summer sun shinning through her kitchen windows. She places a layer of perfectly rolled out dough on top of the pie filling. What kind of pie was it? Dammit, I can’t remember. She begins to crimp the edges with a fork.
“Jerry can I do that?”
“Sure,” she says in her thick Boston accent. I drag a chair from her kitchen table over to the counter. She hands me the fork.
“Take yah time. No rush.” I notice she has flour on her eyebrows. “Ok.”
Childhood flashbacks happen all the time when I am cooking, reminding me of a place I once was, a place that seems so foreign to me now.
I brush the pie lightly with water, sprinkle raw sugar all over the top, make a few slits and place it in the oven. An hour later I have homemade peach pie cooling on my countertop, resting in the end of summer light.
After dinner, Bubba slices up the pie and tops each slice with generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. I take a bite and feel satisfied with my work. The crust is buttery and flakey, the filling perfectly sweet and not at all soupie. I did it. I made a pie from scratch.
recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated, crust recipe slightly adapted from Art of Simple Food
Ingredients for pie crust:
1/2 cups ice-cold water
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
12 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Ingredients for peach filling:
7 ripe, medium size peaches
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
3-5 tbsp. potato starch or Minute tapioca ( I used potato starch. I found it at Whole Foods. Also, my peaches were very juicy so I used 5 tablespoons. If your peaches are not super juicy, use closer to 3 tablespoons. )
raw sugar for sprinkling
Pre-heat your oven to 500F. Place a rimmed baking sheet inside of the oven.
In a large bowl, combine flours and salt. Using your fingertips work the cold, cubed butter into the flour for about 2 minutes. Leave behind some large pieces of butter in the flour. Pour in the ice-cold water and stir with a fork until the dough begins to form. You can add more water if you dough seems too dry. Only add a little extra water if necessary. Divide the dough into 2 balls and wrap each ball in plastic. Flatten each ball into disks. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour or over-night.
While the dough is resting prepare your peach filling. Peel, half, pit and slice peaches. For tips on prepping peaches for pie, head here.
In a medium bowl, toss the peach slices with lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and potato starch. Set aside.
Remove 1/2 of the pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a cool, lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle. For more information on rolling out pie dough, head here. Line a 9 inch pie pan (glass or ceramic) with rolled out dough. Gently press the dough into place with your fingertips. Place in the refrigerator to firm up for a bit, about 20 minutes.
Once the dough is firm, pour the peach mixture into the dough-lined pie plate. Refrigerate while you roll out the second half of the pie dough. Once the dough is rolled out, you are ready to top your pie. Place the dough on top of the peach filling and seal with dough with your fork or this fancy method that I have yet to master! Make several small slits in the pie. Gently, brush the pie with 1 tbsp. of water and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of raw sugar.
Lower the oven temperature to 425F and place pie on baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and lower oven temperature to 375 and bake for another 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours. Serve at room temperature with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. The pie will last, loosely covered in aluminum foil for 2 days. Enjoy!
5 Can’t Miss Pie Links
I hear slab pies are easy to make and feed a lot of people. Smitten’s apple slab pie looks like the perfect dessert to serve the next time we see Bubba’s very large family.
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The holidays will sneak up on us like they always do. Don’t spend hours looking for a dessert recipe, ain’t nobody got time for that! This pumpkin pie with marshmallow meringue, and this chocolate salted caramel pie are sure to win over any crowd.