To me, nothing says “summer” more than a fresh peach pie. I remember summer times at our family’s cottage by the lake and the fresh fruit orchards that paved the way. There’s nothing like a bursting, ripe freshly plucked peach—the sweet, sensual juiciness dripping from your chin. Heaven, just as the simplicity of a slice of this incredibly luscious pie.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for bench and cutters
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water mixed with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed
4 pounds ripe but firm peaches
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon or pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon instant tapioca
1 tablespoon course sugar
Chef’s Note: You can increase the amount of sugar to 1 3/4 cups, depending upon the sweetness of the peaches. Peak summer peaches will only need 1 1/2 cup.
Crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and cold butter.
Pulse the processor until the mixture resembles fine sand. Remove lid and add ice water vinegar to mixture. Run processor just until mixture rolls itself into a little ball. If mixture is a bit dry, add more ice water by the tablespoonful until it comes together. Gather the dough into a ball. With a bench scraper or knife, divide the mixture evenly in half. Shape each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. Dough will keep in the refrigerator for a few days or you may freeze for later use.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Refer to last Friday’s post for tips…
Flour a rolling pin and roll out 1 pie crust over a piece of floured waxed paper roll to about a 12-inch round and drape over a 9 1/2-inch pie plate—remember curbs not driveways. Roll out the other pie crust to about a 10-inch round. Scatter tapioca on the bottom—this will prevent a soggy bottom
Filling: Peel (place 3 peaches at a time in boiling water for 30-45 seconds—skin will peel off easily) Cut peaches into 1/4-inch thick slices (you should have about 7-8 cups) toss with the lemon juice and almond extract in a large bowl. Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in another bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Stir flour mixture into peaches and mix well. Pour peaches into pie crust. Scatter with the pieces of butter. Top with 2nd 10 inch round. Crimp edges to seal. Cut a hole in the center and make several slits in between. Sprinkle top with course sugar.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake until crust is golden; about 50-60 minutes. If the edges brown too fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.