peach pie

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As much as you think this little space is about food, you should know: it is and then it’s not. I may rant and rave, crying, “Go out and taste this!”

“Light a fire of cinnamon in your oven.”

But, often times, what I really mean is: “Let’s try and try at what life really tastes like,” there are after all so many ways one can endeavour to experience the day, the season.

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Take: peaches.

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Peaches and I have had a great run this season. They’ve been particularly gobbled up while cobbled up. And honestly, you don’t need to search much further than a simple dollop of buttery biscuit over a hot, lightly sweet peach. In late July and throughout August, I let peaches bake until bubbly because I was sure that peaches were the way to key in to what I’ve always believed about summer: that it’s so sweet it draws flies.

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And if a baked and bubbling cobbler is midsummer laid back in a pan with a spoon, then isn’t peach pie with a lattice top like, late, late (sure we’re past Labor Day, but we’re still holding on) summer, with a flirty, frilly blouse, asking fall for just a few more days to play out in the sun? It’s not so much dripping down your hand like a mid-June waffle cone, but it is very much still in the vein of letting go slowly, as much as I’ve already said I love what’s to come with the apples and the pumpkins in a month or two.

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So, if I promise the fall leaves a present of peach pie to hang on their branches for just a little bit longer, maybe I can keep my late, late summer for just another day and then maybe a few more after that. If only so that I can lean out of the window with a pie piece propped in the crook of my palm to taste life in late summer as frilly as the sun, sunk through the lattice curtain, by 7, with the warmth of a peach.

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for the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted, cold butter chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 3/4 cup ice cold water

for the peach filling:

  • 8-9 small peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

To make the crust:

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Chop cold butter into ½” pieces and scatter across bowl of flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into dry flour mixture, by pressing firmly into chunks of butter with the blender and then raking flour up from the bottom of the bowl in a circular motion. If butter sticks to pastry blender, use a knife to clear it away and continue cutting and rubbing butter into flour until small pea-sized pieces of flour and butter are formed. Mixture should appear dry, not pasty, greasy or wet.

Slowly pour 1/2 cup of ice water across flour-butter mixture and using a rubber spatula, gently stir to moisten mixture. Using the back of the rubber spatula or your hands, begin to press damp mixture together. You have added enough water when flour and butter begin to cohere. If mixture does not cohere, add more water, up to 1/4 cup. Seperate dough into half. Form each half into a rough ball in your hands, avoiding overworking the mixture, or creating too much heat contact that could melt the butter. (You want some chunks of butter “fat” strewn about the dough, because that’s what makes those flaky pockets!) Flatten the ball of dough slightly, to create a thick disk. Wrap the two disks individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To prepare the filling:

In a large bowl, while dough is chilling, combine peaches with sugars, cornstarch, lemon and cinnamon. Set aside to allow to macerate.

To assemble the pie:

Preheat oven to 400 F. After its been refrigerated for about an hour, remove one dough disk from the refrigerator and roll out onto a smooth floured surface, turning occasionally to ensure that dough isn’t sticking. Fit rolled dough into a 9″ pie plate, leaving about 1.5″ overhang around plate rim. Place prepared bottom crust shell in the freezer while you repeat the rolling process for the top crust.

When top crust has been evenly rolled out, slice dough into 16 strips that are ~1/2″ wide. Lay eight strips vertically across a clean countertop and then folding back every other strip, lay another strip horizontally so that a perpendicular, woven pattern is formed. Continue weaving strips, alternating which strips are folded back so that a even lattice is formed. Mount completed lattice top crust onto a cookie sheet and freeze for about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove bottom crust shell from the freezer and fill shell evenly with macerated peach mixture. Then cover pie filling by laying the top lattice crust over it, brushing edges with ice water and crimping bottom and top crusts together along the rim of the pie plate, to seal in filling and avoid leaking juices.

Bake pie 10-15 minutes at 400 F to allow crust to set and then reduce heat to 350 F and bake pie another 25-30 minutes or until peache filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack before serving warm or at room temperature.

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