As many of you know, I hate making pie crust. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating pie, but I just hate making the crust. This classic peach pie recipe is, however, worth every frustration that pie crust usually gives me. And after an afternoon of pie making with a couple girl friends, I just may have over come my aversion!
A few weeks ago, a few girl friends and I set out to master making pie. Lucky for the rest of us, one of the group happened to be a professional pastry chef. She taught and we listened (with some rapid and somewhat unrecognizable note taking smeared with butter and fruit).
We made 3 kinds of pie: Berry Pie, Banana Cream Pie and this Classic Peach Pie. All of the pies were a hit when we consumed them later on that evening with our house church friends, but the Peach Pie was my favorite. It let the buttery, flaky pie crust shine with all of its glory and yet the juicy ripe peaches were able to put on their show as well. A simple duo that can be enjoyed with a scoop of ice cream or alone, by the slice, or just fork in the pie pan. I may have tried each of these ways.
Here are a few of my jumbled notes on making perfect pie crust from my pastry friend, Christie:
Cut the butter into the flour using a cheese grater (on the medium to large grate). This way the butter doesn’t get too warm from your hands. As you grate the butter gently toss it into the flour.
Quickly work the butter into the flour with your hands to get rid of large chunks and make it meal-y (small pea sized crumbles).
The dough should be wet enough to form a ball.
Refrigerate the pie dough for 20-30 minutes before rolling it out.
Roll out the pie dough with lots of flour. Constantly turn and flip the dough as you roll it to keep it round in shape and not giving it any opportunity to get stuck to your table.
For lattice pies, cut the strips by using a pizza cutter. Then, put down a whole row of dough stripes over the mound of filling then fold up every other. Then, lay down the rest one by one horizontally by pulling up the vertical stripes (every other one).
Making pie with friends is always better than making pie alone!
A classic Recipe for Peach Pie.
- 1 double pie crust
- 8-10 peaches
- 1/2 cup flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar*
- 1 large egg yolk
Prepare pie dough recipe and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator then follow directions above for rolling out the two doughs. Place rolled out dough back into the refrigerator (one in the pie pan and the other cut into strips on parchment paper).
Slice peaches, leaving the skin on (if preferred).
Fill refrigerated crust with a heaping mound of peaches, as the peaches will cook down quite a bit.
Arrange 6 dough strips in 1 direction across top of pie, spacing apart. Working with 1 strip at a time, arrange 6 more strips in opposite direction atop first, lifting strips and weaving over and under, forming lattice. Gently press ends of strips to edge of baked bottom crust to adhere. Trim overhang.
Chill for about 20-30 minutes before baking.
Brush lattice strips (but not crust edge) with egg yolk glaze.
Bake pie for 35 minutes. Then, tent pie loosely with foil to prevent crust from over-browning. Continue to bake pie until filling bubbles thickly and lattice is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Cool pie on rack.
The amount of sugar that goes in with the peaches always depends on the sweetness/ ripeness of the fruit. If you have peaches that are super ripe and super sweet you want to add only enough sugar to help release juices and cook everything down. The same goes with the flour. 1/2 cup of flour is great for really juicy peaches, but If you're baking with not-so-ripe fruit you may end up with too dry a filling. (in the case of dryer fruit, more sugar to add sweetness and less flour, because you don't want the flour to overpower the flavor of the fruit)
For the lattice pie crust: Mix together 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cut in 10 ounces cold butter using a cheese grater; then, quickly mix the butter in with your hands until a coarse meal forms. Add 1/2 cup ice water slowly; blend until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together. Turn dough out onto work surface; divide dough in half. Form each half into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Can be made ahead. Keep dough refrigerated up to 2 days, or enclose in resealable plastic bag and freeze up to 1 month, then thaw in refrigerator overnight. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
Roll out 1 pie crust disk on lightly floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish and refrigerate.
Roll out second pie crust disk on floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Place strips on prepared baking sheet. Chill while preparing filling.