After all this talk about pie, it was time for me to walk the walk, as they say. Do they still say that? I have no idea. Anyway, on a day with some of the nicest weather I’ve ever experienced, I spent the afternoon in the kitchen cursing at peaches. It turned out to be worth it, though, because the pie was delicious.
The pie crust is a family recipe, handed down through the generations. For all I know, it originated on the side of a container of Crisco. The filling is adapted from this recipe.
Preheat oven to 450F.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable shortening, chilled (I try to put the whole container of shortening in the refrigerator a few hours before I’ll start making the pie)
- 6 tablespoons (or more) ice water
- for later: one egg and a bit of milk (1 to 3 tablespoons) beaten together, plus sugar (this is an addition to the original recipe)
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt together with a fork. Cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I don’t have one of those pastry doodads, so I use a fork and/or two dinner knives, one in each hand.) Drizzle 4-6 tablespoons ice water over the mixture (I always need at least 6). Mix with a fork, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together. Gently gather the dough into a ball, then cut in half and form each half into a ball. Wrap each half in plastic wrap or put both halves into a large plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to do the bottom crust, remove half of the dough from the fridge, put it on a piece of parchment or wax paper, and smack it with a rolling pin a few times to flatten it a little. Cover with another piece of parchment or wax paper and roll out to your desired size. My trick with this is to let a corner of the wax paper stick off the edge of the counter so I can hold it in place by leaning my belly against the counter (sexy). Carefully put the dough in your pie pan.
When you’re ready to do the top crust, follow the same procedure but carefully place the dough over your pie filling. After putting the crust in place, do whatever it is you do to crimp the edges together. I’m no professional and just squish and try to make the edge of the crust look sort of decent. Then, poke holes in the crust, cut out some shapes, or do what I did today and use a cookie cutter to cut out a shape. If you’re fancy, do a lattice, but at this point in the process, I never feel like bothering.
- 10 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into relatively uniform bite-sized-ish pieces (Note: The internet told me that the best way to do this is to boil the peaches for 1 minute then plunge into cold water and the skins will come right off. Lies, all of it. Well, that’s not entirely true. This procedure worked for 2 of my 10 peaches, which, full disclosure, were on the less-ripe end of the ripeness spectrum. Maybe this works better with really ripe peaches. In any event, I didn’t think it was worth it. Also, peeling, pitting, and slicing peaches into relatively uniform bite-sized-ish pieces is a pain in the ass, but worth it.)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, fresh from the fridge (not softened)
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugars, corn starch, cinnamon, allspice, and butter with a fork until, like the pie crust, the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour over your sliced peaches and mix everything together. Pour the peach mixture into the bottom pie crust and cover with the top pie crust. After your pie crust is assembled and you’ve poked holes/cut out shapes/cookie-cuttered, brush the top of the crust with your egg/milk mixture. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top of the pie.
If you want to be extra careful (I did today but I’m not certain it’s necessary), cover the outer edge of your pie crust with tin foil and put your pie pan on a cookie sheet before putting it in the oven (to catch drips — I didn’t have any, possibly because I have an extra-large pie pan). Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Decrease heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes, removing tin foil after 15. Turn the oven off. Let the pie stay in the oven for 2 hours if at all possible, to make extra sure your pie will set up nicely and not be runny.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or nothing. It’s all good. Enjoy!
Here are some iPhone pictures. I always mean to at least try to take better pictures of food-related things I’m going to post here, but the truth is that I’m just not that dedicated.
This is what the dough looks like when it’s coming together. At this point, you’re ready to gently gather it into a ball.
Do you like my cat? (I have a set of Martha Stewart cat cookie cutters from I don’t even know when. I think this is the first time I used one of them.)
This is after dishing out two big slices and one reasonable slice. It’s not the most attractive thing in the world, but as you can see, this pie is not runny. Also, it got rave reviews from Ben and Soren. Yay!