Sunday, November 9, 2014

Peach Pie

I just had pie for breakfast. Don't judge me.

Peach Pie

I bought a box of peaches a couple months ago and a lot of them ripened faster than I could eat them so I sliced them up and froze them. Then when I got my ice cream maker and started making ice cream every other day, my freezer soon ran out of space and I've been working on getting rid of a lot of stuff. The peaches took up quite some space so I decided to make pie to get rid of them. It was a very good decision and it made me realize I really need to make more peach pies. It was my first time making a lattice design as well but I think it turned out pretty well.

Peach Pie

Smitten Kitchen suggests using 1/3 cup of both sugars for a sweeter pie but I think 1/4 cup was sweet enough. My peaches were ripe and super sweet to begin with so I might even lower it the next time, but not by much. I had to bake it in a casserole dish because surprisingly, I don't have a pie dish. I used to but I left it at school after a luncheon and forgot to get it back and have no idea where it could have gone now. The filling was the perfect amount though and the casserole dish worked just as well. You could probably even bake it in a square dish and it wouldn't matter! It might even be nice to change up the design once in a while. Just don't change the recipe. This is perfect the way it is. The ingredient list is simple and short and the recipe really features only the flavor of the peaches with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve this pie at Thanksgiving dinner (or any dinner, really...) with a side of ice cream as something refreshing aside from the heavy pumpkin and sweet potato pies.

Peach Pie

Peach Pie
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 Pillsbury's ready-made pie crusts

For the filling
About 3 1/2 pounds peaches (approximately 6 large, 7 medium or 8 small)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, from about half a regular lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar (see note up top; use 1/3 cup for a sweeter pie)
1/4 cup light brown sugar (ditto)
1/8  tsp ground cinnamon
Few gratings of fresh nutmeg
1/8 tsp table salt
3 tbsp cornstarch

For the finish
1 tbsp milk, cream or water
1 tbsp coarse or granulated sugar

The peaches need to be peeled before slicing. I used a vegetable peeler to peel them easily or you can boil the peaches also to peel the skins easily. To boil the peaches, bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Prepare an ice bath. Make a small x at the bottom of each peach. Once water is boiling, lower peaches, as many as you can fit at once, into saucepan and poach for two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath for one minute to cool. Transfer peaches to cutting board and peel the skins. In most cases, the boiling-then-cold water will loosen the skins and they’ll slip right off. In the case of some stubborn peaches, they will stay intact and you can peel them with a paring knife or vegetable peeler and curse the person who made you waste your time with poaching fruit. Halve and pit the peaches, then into about 1/3-inch thick slices. You’ll want 6 cups; it’s okay if you go a little over.

Add the peaches to a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a small dish, stir together sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch until evenly mixed. Add to peaches and toss to evenly coat.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Transfer pie dough to a standard pie dish by folding it gently into quarters (making no creases), arranging the folded corner into one quadrant of the bottom of your tin and gently unfolding it to fit over the base. Trim the overhang to one inch. Scoop filling into bottom pie dough, including any accumulated juices (they contain the thickener too, also: tastiness).

If you’d like to make a regular lidded pie, use the top pie dough as is, cutting some decorative vents in the pie lid before baking. To make a lattice-top pie, cut the pie dough into strips anywhere from 1/2 to 1-inch wide with a pastry wheel, pizza wheel or knife. Arrange every other strip across your pie filling in one direction, spacing the strips evenly. Fold back every other strip gently on itself and add the longest remaining strip in the other direction. Fold the strips back down, repeat with the other strips until a full lattice-top is formed. Trim the lattice’s overhang to the diameter of the pie dish’s rim (i.e. no overhang; only the bottom crust will have that and this is a case of do as I say, not as I do, because I totally forgot this detail when I was making the above pie). Gently fold the rim of the bottom crust over the lattice strips and crimp decoratively.

Once assembled, brush pie with milk, cream or water and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the pie for about 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the crust is set and beginning to brown. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and bake pie for another 30 to 40 minutes, until filling is bubbling all over and the crust is a nice golden brown. If the pie lid browns too quickly at any point in the baking process, you can cover it with foil for the remaining baking time to prevent further browning.

Let the pie cool for at least three hours at room temperature before serving, otherwise the filling will be runny. Pie can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge; from the fridge, it will be even thicker.

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