In case you haven't noticed we've done a whole lot of baking this year. There have been cupcakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, and layer cakes. But after all of that, we decided it was time to tackle something new... something that has always been a bit scary to us... the fruit pie! To be honest, Tall One has never made a fruit pie before and Small One only has a handful of times. So we turned to some of our favorite bloggers (Smitten Kitchen and The Pioneer Woman) for some helpful hints. And after a few of trial runs, we think we've got it down! So this is it. Peach Pie For Dummies. If we can do it, you can do it. Seriously! The peaches are so fresh and amazing right now, you absolutely must give this one a try!
-2 1/2 cups flour
-pinch of salt
-1 1/2 Tbs sugar
-1 cup (2 sticks) of cold butter
-3 Tbs ice water
-1 egg white
-1/2 Tbs sugar
-4 cups sliced peaches (about 8 peaches, depending on the size)
-2 Tbs instant tapioca (more or less depending on the juiciness of the fruit)
-1/3 cup granulated sugar
-1/3 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust, combine the flour, pinch of salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fit with a steel blade. Pulse the processor a few times to combine the dry ingredients. Leave the butter in the refrigerator until you are ready to add it. At that time, cut it into small cubes and put it in the food processor. Use the pulse button to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue pulsing until small pebble-like bits are formed. Add the water, 1 Tbs at a time. Pulse the food processor after each addition and stop as soon as a dough begins to form. Depending on the weather you may need more or less water. Just be careful not to add too much, or you will be left with a sticky mess. If you don't have a food processor, the dough can be made just as easily with a hand held pastry cutter. Refrigerate the dough until ready to use.
To make the filling, start by removing the skins, pits and stems from 8 peaches. If the fruit is ripe, this can easily be done with a paring knife. Slice each peach into approximately 8 wedges and set aside. In another bowl combine the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. If the peaches aren't very sweet, you may want to use 1/2 cup of each sugar instead of the 1/3 cup called for in this recipe. It really is a judgment call on how sweet you like your pie.
To assemble the pie, start be separating the dough into two equal pieces. Roll the first piece out to 1/8 inch thickness on a well floured surface. Another great trick for rolling dough is to place it between two sheets of waxed paper when rolling. Gently lay the sheet of dough into a 9 inch pie pan and press it into the bottom and the sides, making sure it hits all of the creases. Excess dough should spill over the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle a Tbs of instant tapioca into the bottom of the crust. Tapioca can be found in the baking aisle of just about any grocery store and it really is the magic trick for keeping a pie from being a runny mess. If the peaches are very juicy, use a heaping Tbs of tapioca, but if they aren't very ripe, go easy on the tapioca. I wish there was a scientific formula for this, but it really just takes some practice. Top the tapioca with half of the peaches and half of the sugar. Sprinkle another Tbs (more or less depending on the peaches) of tapioca over the sugar and top with the reaming peaches and sugar.
If you want to make a basic two layer crust, simply roll the remaining dough into a 1/8 inch thick sheet and top the pie. Use your fingers to seal the edges and cut a small 'x' in the center of the pie to let out the steam. I prefer the lattice topped pie though, and it is surprisingly easy to do!
Roll the remaining pie dough into a large 1/8 inch thick sheet on a well floured surface or between two pieces of waxed paper. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into ten long strips. Begin laying the strips of dough over the pie, weaving them as you go. We find that this works best when you start with a vertical strip on the left followed by a horizontal strip on top.
Add another vertical strip, this time tucking it under the first horizontal strip. Add the next horizontal strip. Layer it under the first vertical strip and over the second vertical strip.
Continue the over/under/over pattern, first by adding another vertical strip and then another horizontal one. You will be surprised how quickly and easily you create a beautiful lattice crust! Use your fingers to seal the edges of the crust and trim off the excess dough. Brush egg white on to the top crust and sprinkle with 1/2 Tbs of sugar.
Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit filling is hot and bubbly. Let the pie cool (if you can resist) before cutting. Serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Check back all week for more great peach recipes!!