As a child, I remember in my grandmother’s backyard an apple, apricot, and peach tree. Every summer the tiny peach tree would provide just enough fruit for grandma to make a few trays of peach bars and peach cobbler. I remember her making peach bars in the morning after picking and by late afternoon the tray holding the gooey peach goodness would have been picked over leaving a half mangled bar and several crumbs. Grandpa and the kids who made their way through her kitchen would have a taste before they left. I was fortunate that peach cobbler only made an appearance on Saturday mornings when I’d spend the weekend for a visit. The brown sugar crumble topping and sweet tender peaches made the best breakfast!
Peach season was short-lived and as I got older the tree seemed to get smaller and the fruit arrived less and less. The peach tree is now no longer there but it still provides me great memories.
Today, I have two peach trees in my backyard. The original owner loved fruit and loved gardening and now I get to reap the benefits. Similar to last year, Spring arrived early and Summer arrived late in terms of heat and cloudless sun so our peaches are still in the process of…ripening. When they do, we’ll be making peach bars, peach cobblers, peach pies, peach jam, and freezing peaches for use later in the year.
While trying to make room in the fridge for the mass amounts of produce we’re stocking up for future storage (i.e. canning, pickling, drying); I found a bag of peaches from Pinnacle Organics. We needed to do something with the peaches before they went bad (I try my best to not waste food). My household had been craving dessert and the thought came to me…I needed to test grandma’s pie crust…so… let’s make pie…PEACH PIE!
Disclaimer – This is the first of several recipe blogs I’ll be posting. Many of these recipes I am testing for the first time and will be noting any “ahha” moments or “fails” in the process. I will also note what specifically I used that was listed as organic or non-GMO/GE. Please feel free to comment with any suggestions or recipes of your own!
2 1/2 cups flour (Bob’s Red Mill Organic)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (Trader Joes Organic)
1/2 cup butter, chilled, cut into pieces (Straus Organic)
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1 tsp white 5% vinegar
In a food processor with dough blade or stand mixer with a dough hook add flour, salt, sugar, butter, and shortening. Mix till the flour turns into a crumbling texture. In a measuring cup add vinegar to water and place in the freezer for a couple of minutes to get the water ice-cold. Remove the water from the freezer (do not let it freeze). With your mixer on medium speed, slowly pour/drizzle the water into the flour/butter mixture until the dough barely holds together when pinched. Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a ball. Cut the ball in 1/2, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes or overnight.
5 cups fresh peaches, skinned/pitted/sliced **quick peeling method listed below** (Pinnacle Organics)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup sugar (Trader Joes Organic Sugar)
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon mix
1/2 cup flour (Bob’s Red Mill Organic)
2 tablespoons butter – used for topping before top crust is added (Straus Organic)
1 tablespoon sugar – used for topping crust before baking (Trader Joes Organic)
1 tablespoon cream – used to brush top crust before baking (Straus Organic)
In a bowl mix peach slices, sugar, flour, spice, and lemon juice. Place in refrigerator while you roll out the dough.
**QUICK PEELING METHOD**
Make a small slit in the bottom of each peach and drop into a pot of near boiling water for 30 – 45 seconds. Remove peaches from the hot water and immediately drop into an ice bath. The more ripe the peach, the skin should slide right off. From here you can de-pit and slice.
Remove one of the balls of dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle. Keep lifting up the dough and turning it a quarter turn as you roll, rolling from the center of the dough outwards to ensure equal thickness around the circle. Fold the dough in half and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Remove the excess dough by pinching it down along the edge of the pan. Remove the peach filling from the refrigerator…
Place pie filling into pie shell and top with butter.
Remove the 2nd ball of dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough same as before.
Cut dough in 1/2 inch wide strips.
Begin by laying horizontal strips, 1/2 inch apart, across the top of the pie. Then take one vertical strip at a time, laying over/under, creating a braided pattern. You will have to carefully lift each horizontal strip as you braid in the vertical. There will be roughly 5-6 strips of dough horizontal and 5-6 strips of dough vertical. Remove excess dough by pinching off the edges.
With the remaining dough, roll out 2 separate strips of dough to cover the pinched edges. Create a “worm”, with your fingers, roll the dough from the center out. Creating a 12 inch long thin roll that will go around the edge of the pie plate, covering the pinched edges. With your pinky finger, create an indent every 1/4 inch for a simple decorative edge.
With a silicone basting brush (BPA free, leaves no stray strands), brush the entire pie with a thin layer (no puddles) of cream to create a shiny deep color to the crust after baking. For a deeper shine, add a sprinkle of sugar after basting.
Your pie is now ready for the oven. To avoid spill over, place the pie on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or tin foil). Place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. If the edges of the crust are getting too dark before cooking time is up, cover with pieces of tin foil.
Remove pie from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30-60 minutes before serving. Serve with a heaping scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
What did I learn?
This was the first peach pie I’ve made and the first time testing my grandmother’s crust. Her secret ingredient… vinegar. There is something about the flavor and flakiness of the crust that stands out from any other crust I’ve tried.
I’d say the only item in this recipe that needed adjustment was the crust. Before placing the filling in the pie pan I should have pre-baked the bottom crust for 10 minutes to give the entire crust the same consistency as the lattice and edging.
We will be making this recipe again! Happy eating!