Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just Peachy

Perfect Peach Pie to Put in Your Face

For a long time I was intimidated by the concept of pastry. I was convinced I would somehow screw it up. Growing up, my mom would consistently turn out the most delicious desserts (among other things) and encourage me to bake a pie. When I refused she would comment with exasperation, "They say 'easy as pie' because pies are easy to make." Well, Mom was right after all. I didn't discover this, of course, until I actually went an made a pie myself. Yes . . . it is easy. Particularly when you have a perfect buttery crust recipe and delicious fresh fruit or berries with which to fill it. Late summer and early fall is the perfect time for pie. Stone fruits abound! My mom gave me this crust recipe years ago and it's my favorite- perfect for almost any pie and a snap to whip up in the food processor. The key is- don't handle to dough too much and work with COLD butter and COLD water.


- 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes (my favorite is the Irish Kerrygold butter)
- 4-6 Tbsp. ice water

- 6 c. fresh peaches, peeled, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. minute tapioca
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 3/4 c. sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. butter

To make the crust. Place flour, sugar, salt, and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined and crumbly. With the motor running, add water one tablespoon at a time through the feed tube until mixture gathers on top of the blade. Remove dough from food processor, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use. This makes enough dough for a two-crust 9" pie.

For the filling combine peaches, tapioca, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir gently and allow to sit for about 20 minutes to soften the tapioca.

While filling rests, cut dough into two equal pieces and roll each out onto a floured surface. Roll pie bottom out into a 9" pie pan. Fill with filling and trim crust to about 1" from the edge of pan. Cut 1 Tbsp. of butter into the pie and top with other piece of crust. Cut vents in top crust and crimp together edges. Sprinkle top of crust with extra sugar.

Place pie onto a heavy foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and bake an additional 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Let cool at least one hour before serving with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. Easy as pie . . .

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