Sunday, September 11, 2016

Peach Pie: A Summer Classic

I grew up on peach pie. Thanks to the foresight of my grandparents, we had a peach trees that yielded bushels and bushels of juicy, delicious fruit. If you’ve never had a tree-ripened peach, you don’t know what you’re missing. They bear only the slightest resemblance to the peaches you get at the grocery store. 

My mother used to give away grocery sacks full, but there were still plenty left to fill the freezer and use in ice cream and pie. So, in honor of the end of summer, I decided to bake a peach pie, homemade crust and all. I did have to use grocery store peaches. We actually have a peach tree in Arizona that blooms profusely, but thanks to late frosts, we’ve never harvested a peach.  The pie wasn’t quite as good as my mother’s, but maybe that’s just fond memories of childhood. It was still pretty darn good. The recipe is below.

So what are you eating these days? Are you still enjoying summer fruits or have you moved on to pumpkin lattes and apple pie? What's your favorite seasonal dessert?

Summer’s End Peach Pie

(For an easier crust, try Oil Pastry or use pre-made crust)

2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening (I like butter-flavored Crisco)
6-8 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt. Add shortening and cut together with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water on top, and use the pastry blender to mix with the top layer of flour mixture and scrape aside. Sprinkle another tablespoon of water onto the next layer and mix. Continue until you’ve added six tablespoons, then mix it all together. If pastry doesn’t stick together, add another tablespoon and mix, up to eight tablespoons. The less water you use and the less you work the dough, the more tender and flaky the crust will be.

Divide dough in half and roll out the first half between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Remove paper and press crust into pie pan without stretching. Add filling. Then roll out the other half of pastry and top pie. Pinch the two crusts together by pressing thumb and forefinger together on one hand and using the thumb of the other hand to form a scalloped edge on the pie. Cut slits in top crust. Bake as directed.

Peach Filling

6-8 peaches
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 ᵒ. Peel and slice peaches. The easiest way to peel peaches is to blanch them by pouring boiling water over them and letting them set for a few minutes to loosen the skin, but it’s not necessary. Put peach slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix cinnamon, sugar, flour, and salt, then stir into peaches.

Pour peach filling into prepared crust. Top with another crust and seal edges as described. Cut several slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake at 450 ᵒ for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350 ᵒ and bake for about thirty to thirty-five more minutes until crust is brown and filling bubbles up through crust. If the edges are getting too brown, you can cover them with foil about half-way through cooking. 

Serve warm or at room temperature. Great with vanilla ice cream.


  1. Oh, my gosh! Oil pie crust! I haven't thought of that in years! (Mom used a little milk in hers, too).

    Southern Living magazine, years ago, had a recipe for peach pie (wasn't as nice as yours) that you could make ahead and freeze. You mixed up the filling, then poured it into a pie pan lined with freezer wrap. Make up a multiple batch and pour the filling into several plates and freeze solid. Then, when they are frozen, wrap them well and put them in the deep freeze. In the dead of winter, when you want a peach pie, you take out the frozen filling, unwrap it, pop it into a crust, and bake it.

    I forget the baking time, but I would be inclined to let it sit out for an hour or so and then bake it, adding about twenty minutes to the cooking time.

    1. That sounds like a great idea if you have a peach tree and more than you can eat at one time. Maybe one year we'll get lucky and my tree will bear.