Every summer, I am overwhelmed by the abundance of gorgeous fresh berries and fruits that are only around for such a short time each year (at least here in Indiana). I work hard to take full advantage of their presence, and for me that usually means making a pie with every single one of them. But of course, this always leads to the internal debate of exactly which fruit pie is my favorite and my mind begins to overheat. Blueberry is my number one but when it comes to second place, the “peach…no, cherry…no, peach…no, cherry” dialogue goes on and on.
It doesn’t really matter though, because they all deserve a chance to shine. When summer peaches are ripe and juicy, they don’t need a whole lot else to make a fantastic pie. Though it is certainly optional, I think mixing in just a bit of rum with the fruit filling takes it over the top. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream and make the most of summertime.
Makes 1 9-inch pie
2 rounds Basic Pie Dough (recipe below)
2 1/4 pounds ripe peaches (about 10-12 medium peaches)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Dash of grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 425˚F and place a baking sheet on the lowest oven rack to catch dripping juices. Roll out half of the pie dough to approximately 12-inches round so that it fully lines a 9-inch pie plate with some overhang. Transfer the lined pie plate to the refrigerator until ready to use.
Meanwhile, prep the filling. Peel the peaches and slice them to 1/4-inch thick slices.** In a large bowl, combine the peach slices with the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and nutmeg. Toss to coat. Add in the lemon juice and rum and stir once more until well combined.
Remove the lined pie plate from the refrigerator and pour in the peach filling in an even layer. Dot the top of the peaches with the pieces of cold butter. Roll out the remaining pie dough to a 12-inch round. Cut into strips with a pastry cutter or paring knife and weave together to form a lattice top. (See this post for step-by-step photos and instructions.) Trim away excess dough and crimp the edges together. Lightly brush the top and edges of the pie dough with the egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 350˚F and continue baking until the pie is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 30-40 minutes more. (Check on the pie a few times during baking. If it is browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil and continue baking as directed.) Remove the finished pie to a wire rack and let cool until just warm, about 2 hours. Slice and serve.
*If you’re going to take the time to make a pie, I highly recommend making your own pie crust. I promise, it’s not as hard as people make it out to be, and the results are so much better than store bought!
**If your peaches are not quite ripe or are not peeling easily, you can score the bottom surface of each peach with an ‘X’. Pop them into boiling water for 30 seconds, remove with a skimmer, and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. This should help make the peels come off more easily.
Basic Pie Dough
Makes 2 9-inch pie crusts
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons very cold water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly to blend. Add in the butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest butter pieces are not much bigger than peas. Mix in the cold water on low speed just until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough in half and shape into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (This dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.) Remove from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Use as directed in your desired pie recipe.
baking, fruit, peach, pie, summer
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