Peach Pie

The crowning event of peach season and our backyard peach tree is fresh peach pie.  I usually take all the last few peaches (some that have often been sampled by the birds) and cut out the bad parts and put the rest of the chunks into pie filling.  It’s another Cooks Illustrated recipe and the point was to try to make a peach pie that wasn’t runny so that when you cut into it it held it’s shape and the filling didn’t run all over your plate.  They accomplish this with two tips: 1) using fruit pectin to help gelatinize the filling 2) mashing a little bit of the peach filling into a paste and adding that as part of the filling.  It’s definitely good, and we look forward to this every year as the grand finale to our peach tree.  This pie is kind of an all day event.  I generally get a little impatient and don’t wait as long as they say to for everything, but I suppose it all shakes out better if you do.

PEACH PIE

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs peaches, peeled, quartered, and pitted, each quarter cut into thirds
  • 1/2 C plus 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp low or no sugar needed fruit pectin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 recipe Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Toss peaches, 1/2 C sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt in medium bowl.  Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.  Combine pectin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 Tbsp sugar in small bowl and set aside.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator.  Before rolling out dough, let it sit on the counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.  Roll 1 disk of dough into 12 inch circle on lightly floured counter.  Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  With pizza wheel, cut round into ten 1 1/4 inch wide strips.  Freeze strips on sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Roll other disk of dough into 12-inch circle on lightly flours counter.  Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge.  Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand.  Leave any dough that overhangs plate in place.  Wrap dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, transfer 1 C of peach mixture to small bowl and mash with fork until coarse paste forms.  Drain remaining peach mixture through colander set in large bowl.  Transfer peach juice to liquid measuring cup (you should have about 1/2 C liquid; if liquid measures more than 1/2 C, discard remainder.)  Return peach pieces to bowl and toss with cornstarch.  Transfer peach juice to 12-inch skillet, add pectin mixture, and whisk until combined.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and pectin is dissolved (liquid should become less cloudy), 3-5 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat, add peach pieces and peach paste, and toss to combine.
  5. Transfer peach mixture to dough-lined pie plate.  Remove dough strips from freezer; if too stiff to be workable, let stand at room temperature until malleable and softened slightly but still very cold.  Lay 2 longest strings across center of pie perpendicular to each other.  Using 4 shortest strips, lay 2 strings across pie parallel to center 1 center string and 2 strips parallel to other center strip, near edges of pie; you should have 6 strips in place.  Using remaining 4 strips, lay each one across pie parallel and equidistant from center and edge strips.  If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate pie and dough strips until dough firms up.
  6. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate.  Press edges of bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold under.  Folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate.  Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers.  Using spray bottle, evenly mist lattice with water and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar.
  7. Place pie on preheated sheet and bake until crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes.  Rotate pie reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown filling is bubbly at center, 25-30 minutes longer.  Let cool on wire rack for 3 hours before serving.
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