What says summer more than a peach pie made with ripe, juicy peaches from an orchard near you? And while the very best way to eat peaches is right out of hand, this Peach Pie is also the best way. Why limit yourself to one “best,” right?
Awestruck by Peaches
There are a few moments each summer when time briefly stands still as I experience the sensation of being awestruck. For me, each such moment comes with the season’s first bite of a freshly picked fruit … strawberries, blueberries, early apples, and, perhaps most glorious of all, a perfectly ripe, sweet and fragrant peach.
I’ll be honest: as far as I’m concerned, the best and first way to enjoy any summer fruit is simply to eat it out of hand, perhaps with juices dribbling down my chin and arm. But even I, committed fruitaholic that I am, can eat only so much fruit. And that’s where things like jams and pies come in.
Peach Pie: A Beautiful Thing
A beautifully made peach pie is a thing of beauty. A flaky pastry crust encloses a luscious peach filling enhanced but in no way overshadowed by the merest hint of spices … cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg. (Or, whatever combination of spices you like. Perhaps that’s all cinnamon, or just two of the three, or something else altogether — please let me know if you use different spices in your peach pie!)
And not that it needs any additional enhancement, but I do believe you can’t go wrong with the addition of a single perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream with your slice of pie.
Also, I see no reason not to enjoy a slice of this for breakfast.
And here’s a little bonus: a brief video showing how to peel peaches for your beautiful peach pie.
What says summer like a peach pie made with local peaches fresh from the orchard? This recipe makes a 9-inch pie and calls for a top and bottom crust. You can make this pie with the crust of your choice, whether purchased or made from scratch like my Flaky Pastry with Butter and Lard.
- a purchased pie shell or homemade pie pastry of your choice
- 7 to 8 medium-large ripe peaches (about 2-1/2 to 3 pounds) or enough to make 6 cups sliced
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp quick tapioca
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
- 1 egg plus 1 tbsp water
- 1 to 2 tsp turbinado sugar (optional), or other granular sugar, such as cane or white sugar
If making your own pie pastry, do so first and prepare the peach filling while the pastry is chilling in the refrigerator. If you made the pasty ahead, take it out of the fridge and set it on the counter while you're making the filling. And, if you're using a purchased pie shell, read and follow the directions on the box before beginning.
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Have a 9-inch pie plate ready.
Peel (see Note) and slice the peaches, removing the stones (that goes without saying right?) and putting the slices into a generously large bowl to facilitate gentle stirring.
Add the sliced peaches to a large bowl. Sprinkle over the spices, salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir together gently, to keep the peach slices as intact as possible while distributing the other ingredients evenly. You can taste a slice to see if you need to adjust any of the seasonings, keeping in mind that the flavour does develop during the baking process.
Gently stir in the tapioca.
Roll out the pie pasty and line the pie plate with the bottom crust (or simply use a pre-made pie shell). Pile it high with the peach filling. If using butter, put dots of it over the surface of the peaches. Place the top crust over. Seal and crimp the edges using the method of your choice. (See the Note for a video on forming and finishing the crust.)
Make an egg wash by breaking the egg into a small glass or dish, adding 1 tbsp of cold water, and whisking briskly with a fork. Brush the top and edges of the pie crust lightly with the egg wash.
Sprinkle the top of the crust lightly with the sugar if using.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut several vents into the top of the pie. I like to make a longer one in the middle with two shorter vents on each side. Why? Because that's how my mother did it.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes in the 425°F pre-heated oven. Then turn the heat down to 375°F and bake for another 40 miniutes. When it's done the filling will be bubbling and the crust will be a golden brown. Cool lthe pie on a rack before slicing it (if you cut it when it's still warm, the filling will pool out — you don't want to waste a bit of it!)
There are numerous ways to peel a peach, but the blanching method is the one I’ve been using for years.
There are many ways to seal and crimp the crust of a double-crust pie, and this video demonstrates one way. It’s very short and quite helpful, although I have to say I’ve never seen a pie dough with such big splotches of butter in it. But it’s from King Arthur’s Flour and I’m sure they know what they’re doing!
Looking for More Peach Ideas?
There are so many things you can do with peaches. I love peach jam, although I don’t have a recipe for it here. But I can offer up Ginger Shortcakes with Caramelized Peaches, Black Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Grilled Peaches, and Peach Bran Muffins.