Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Peach Pie

Summer isn't quite over yet. Sure, the leaves are falling off of the trees, kids are back in school, and the unofficial end of summer has passed, but it's going to be 90 on Saturday here in Portland, so no, summer isn't over yet.

And summer means pie. Today and tomorrow will be my last two summer pie recipes. For this summer. Probably.

Let's start with peach pie. Take my very favorite pie dough recipe, fill it with summer stone fruit (you can count on Smitten Kitchen for bad ass pie fillings. And pies, if you want to just do everything Deb did), and bake. Plus I made a lattice top for the first time ever.

Peach Pie modified from Smitten Kitchen:

Makes 1 9” pie

1 full recipe best pie dough ever (no arguments) 

About 3½ lb. peaches (approximately 6 large, 7 medium or 8 small)
1 Tb. fresh lemon juice, from about half a regular lemon
¼ c. granulated sugar (use 1/3 c. for a sweeter pie)
¼ c. light brown sugar (ditto)
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Few gratings of fresh nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 Tb. minute tapioca, ground to a powder, or 3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch

1 Tb. milk, cream, or water
1 Tb. coarse or granulated sugar

Make the pie dough. Then prep filling. 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. These were my favorite recipe directions ever.

Halve and pit the peaches, then cut into about 1/3-inch thick slices. You’ll want 6 cups; it’s okay if you go a little over. Add 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 425 degrees.

Yell peach pie assemble! Then put it together yourself because this is a pie, not a giant cartoon robot fighting force. Flour counter, unwrap your first dough (if the two pieces look uneven, go for the smaller one) and put it in the middle and flour that too. Be generous. Start rolling your dough by pressing down lightly with the pin and moving it from the center out. You’re not going to get it all flat in one roll or even twenty; be patient and it will crack less. Roll it a few times in one direction, lift it up and rotate it a quarter-turn. And that’s what you’re going to continue to do, roll a couple times, lift the dough and rotate it. Re-flour the counter and the top of the dough as needed–don’t skimp! You should be leaving no bits of dough on the counter and none should be stuck to your pin. If at any point, the dough starts to get sticky or soft, it’s warming up and will only become more difficult to work with. Transfer it back to the fridge for a few minutes (or even the freezer, but for just a minute) to let it cool, then resume your rolling process. I have an amazing marble slab that I got for my birthday. If you do also, put this in the fridge while before working on your pie dough – it's amazing.

Once your dough is a 12- to 13-inch circle, 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). Roll out your top pie dough using the same procedure, until it is 12 to 13 inches in diameter. If you’d like to make a regular lidded pie, use it 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. Follow these directions carefully – I managed to make a pretty lattice top pie on my first go, so these have to be good directions.

Finish pie by brushing with milk, cream, or water and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 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.

Cool pie for three hours at room temperature before serving. I know you won’t listen to Deb — there’s hot delicious pie to be eaten, after all — but if you’re concerned about the runniness of the pie filling, keep in mind that the pie filling does not fully thicken until it is fully cool. Deb is right. You should wait. Pie can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge; from the fridge, it will be even thicker.
From the fridge, you might find yourself standing in front of it, door open, eating pie directly from the pie plate. Maybe. I'm not saying that's what happened over here. Don't worry about it. Do worry that you're not eating this yet. Go finish off the season with this pie.

Or the one I post tomorrow. Or both. Up to you. Pie is great, so I won't judge.

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