This is a sort of Martha July 4th. I was standing in the grocery store line and I got swept by her magazine. One Look at her berry pies adorned in stars and stripes and the “decorator” in me was smitten.
I did blackberry and peach, and I think you get the idea. Decorate your favorite pie with stars and stripes and Happy July 4th,
I tend to get a bit obsessive when cooking for Spinach Tiger. I want to become proficient at whatever I take on, so I can tell you the truth, and help you understand food and how it works and not just a recipe. It’s a normal process for me to make ten pies in one week and then not make them again for months. Pie Making teaches me something every time.
My Peach Pie Process: First, it’s the Crust
I can make a good pie crust using any of the many recipes out there, because it’s not so much the ratio of ingredients as it is the restraint in not over blending the butter.
Growing up I would hear the many different raves about pie crust. And, the “secret” would be in the shortening or in the water. Maybe there is some truth to that, but I think the secret is practice and understanding the baking process. While people argue butter, lard, or shortening, (and those do matter), the hardest part is making a crust that is pocketed with butter, not smeared. Butter pockets live within the flour and, as they melt while baking, magical flakiness occurs. It’s that simple, but a tiny bit complicated, only because it’s counter intuitive to the way we cook most other things, where we need to “mix thoroughly.”
I stick with all butter and I like the recipe from Alice Waters.
- Rolling pins: I’ve tried all kinds, and I love the french, long wooden (no handles) type best.
- Roul’Pat: I use a roul’pat by Demarle to roll out pastry and pizza. Dough doesn’t stick. This is made by same company that makes silpat.
- Use a Food Processor or Kitchen Mixer
- Freeze butter
- Evenly distribute butter before starting to mix
- Use ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time
- Chill for several hours
- Never stretch dough to make it fit
- Chill pie/tart pan, once dough is placed in it
You can Also Make this Peach Pie Gluten Free Recipe Here
Another Way to Make Peach Pie is to use raw tortillas and make hand pies Recipe Here
Peach Pie Filling No fruit is the same. One peach is sour, one peach is sweet, even from the same batch. So, no one sugar amount is good to use for all time. Taste and adjust. The best pie feelings go by instinct and taste. The lemon juice is important, as it helps the pie from getting runny.
I turned my pie into a 10” tart, because I just like the look, but this can be an old-fashioned pie just as easily.
The result was a naturally sweet, juicy, peach pie, but not a runny pie.
The secret to a good peach pie is good peaches. Blanch in boiling water so the skins slip right off. Isn’t this just beautiful? And, there is no waste. See below for the best way to peel peaches.
- Pie Crust (recipe below)
- 6-8 peaches
- 3-6 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn starch (or flour)
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- Cinnamon sugar (optional) to your own taste
- 2 cups unbleached flour ( plus 1 teaspoon for later)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (if using salted, omit salt)
- ½ cup iced cold water
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Make an x in bottom of each peach. Blanch in boiling water for one minutes. Skins should slip right off. Cool. Slice in wedges ¾ “ thick. Toss gently with lemon and 1 tablespoon sugar. Chill overnight. You can skip this part if you don’t have time, but I think it makes the peaches sweeter and requiring less sugar. Since peaches can run from sour to very sweet, you’ll have to be your own best taster. This is why there is a large variation in sugar measure. Mix gently with flour.
- Mix salt and flour together. Cut butter into small pieces. Freeze for a few minutes, as butter softens immediately upon cutting. If using food processor, put flour mixture in bowl.
- Lay small pieces of butter evenly over flour and mix for 20 seconds at a time, stopping as soon as dough is shaggy. Stream in cold water. If using kitchen aid type mixer, use paddle attachment on low setting for one minute max.
- Stream in cold water on sides of bowl. Mix on low, just until incorporated. Form into disc , wrap in plastic at least one hour. I rest my dough overnight, but this is not a must.
- Take dough out 30 minutes before rolling to soften.
- Roll out dough, evenly, not too thick, less than ¼” thick and in all directions to make a circle. Do not stretch dough, because it will shrink back. Patch any cracks or holes. Use fork to make indentations. Chill for 30 minutes, or put in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Make a mixture of 1 teaspoon flour and 2 teaspoons sugar and put on bottom of crust. Place peaches in colander to drain excess liquid and arrange over sugar.
- Roll out the rest of the dough into a rectangle shape and cut out stars and stripes. Arrange.
- Brush dough with egg wash to enhance browning.
- Bake for 45 -55 minutes at oven’s lower level at 375. During last 20 minutes, you may need to tent with foil to avoid further browning.
- Cool completely before cutting.