Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Piesignment #2 - Mary's 4th of July Peach Pie

Peach pie on a retro tablecloth.  I'm not sure if it gets much more summery than this.  It kinda makes me feel like the blonde mom on the Wonder Years.

If I'm giving an honest holiday recap, the weather did not show up in So Cal this year.  I think the high temperature of the day may have reached a blistering 65 degrees, and our Malibu-soaked watermelon, while delicious, was not exactly needed to beat the heat.  Instead of packing the car and heading for the beach, we had a good old fashioned backyard party with family.  Jill, Nicole, and I were secretly a little bit happy with this outcome, as it gave us a chance to get down to business and do what we do best:  cook one handed (while the other hand holds a margarita).  Our missions:  Nicole went to town on breakfast, salsas, carnitas, and side dishes.  Jill threw down some killer guac and a big stack of homemade tortillas.  I took it upon myself to make pie happen.  And oh did pie happen.

While the boys watched the hot dog eating competition, Nicole fried up breakfast sausages and bacon.  I blanched two pounds of peaches and whipped up my favorite pie crust.  I know that part of the pie spectacular should be trying out new crust recipes, but I'm kinda smitten with the savory flaky crust from Tartine.  I want to settle down with it, I think I might be done playing the field.

After leaving the dough in the fridge to chill, I put together the filling.  It's a simple and delicious filling I found in Martha Stewart this month.  The crust wasn't ready for prime time, so I just put some plastic wrap over the bowl of peaches and let it hang out in the fridge.  When it was time to bake pie, I had an audience, and nothing makes you feel like more of a legitimate baker than to roll out pie crust in front of people.  Now I get why Ina Garten is so happy all the time.
I opted for a double crust because I knew the scrumptious peach filling could handle it.  Then this beauty just baked and baked and baked, while ate my weight in tortilla chips and cheesy beans from the block party down the street.  Cheesy beans, I'm glad I didn't get your recipe.  I'd be on the bullet train out of bikini-ville before you could say "saturated fats".

The verdict:  my future father-in-law loved it, and I'll take that feedback any day.

Summer Peach Pie
Crust from Tartine, filling adapted from Martha Stewart Living

For the crust:
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup very cold water
3 cups + 2 Tb all-purpose flour
1 cup + 5 Tb very cold unsalted butter

In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve.  Keep very cold until ready to use.

Put the flour in the work bowl of a food processor.  Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour.  Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas.  Add the water/salt mixture and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth.  You should still be able to see some butter chunks.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1 inch thick.  Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

For the filling:
3 pounds peaches (I only used 2 pounds, but could have used more), peeled and cut into wedges
3 Tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

To prep the peaches, slice an X on each piece.  Boil for one minute, then submerge in a bowl of ice water until cooled.  The skins will slide right off. Cut them into wedges, discarding the pits.

Combine peaches, corstarch, lemon juice, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Mix together brown sugar and vanilla seeds, and stir into peach mixture.

To assemble:
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 Tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 375F.

Dust a flat surface with flourand roll out one disk of pie dough.  Line a pie dish with the flour, and fill with the peach mixture.  Roll out the second disk of pie dough, and place it gently over the top of the dish.  Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut off the excess pie crust that hangs over the side of the dish.  Use your fingers to crimp along the edges of the pie to make a decorative crust.  Cut slits in a star pattern over the top crust to allow steam to escape.  Brush the top of the pie crust with milk.

Bake until juices are bubbling through vents and top is golden brown, about 1 hour.  Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.  Top with some homemade vanilla ice cream.  It's what the Butter + Cream girls would do.


  1. how did I miss the cheesy beans??

  2. "Now I get why Ina Garten is so happy all the time." - lol!
    That is one good looking pie. My mouth is watering for peaches.

  3. that is a gorgeous summer pie, with a spectacular crust! perfect for washing down cheesy beans and margaritas!

  4. this peach pie has been haunting my dreams. so good!

    oh, and i was thinking - the cobbler that we all liked at the block party (next to the cheesy beans on my plate) - i think the topping might have been crushed pecan sandies!?


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