It is time to bake a pie in our new home and what would be better than a sweet, juicy peach pie with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla and flaky pie crust? Driving from the south of the country we stopped on the road to buy some fresh fruits for home and my eyes fell on juicy ripe peaches and I though “Peach Pie!”
My summer this year has been unusual – 2 months spent in a rather cold climate of Canada with temperature dropping at nights in July (!) down to 13 degrees and further 1 month in beautiful but nevertheless cold mountains in Uludag, Turkey. When I say cold, I mean a very comfortable day temperature around 18-20 degrees and occasional rain, which urban citizens of Turkish cities are dying for during extremely hot and dry days here in summer but… you know, it is supposed to be HOT in summer :) Anyway, I’m trying to keep summer alive for couple more weeks and doing everything I can! Homemade melon ice-tea, berry galettes, ice-cream, fresh detoxing water with cucumbers, lemons, cinnamon and mint, etc. And what says summer more if not the ultimate classic peach pie? So I decided to give it a try and the result was yummy-yummy-yummy!
Pie Crust (taken from Smitten Kitchen):
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 225 grams tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup ice-cold water
Peach Pie Filling:
- 7 large peaches (I had 6 EXTRA large ones)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Fresh lemon juice, around 1 tbsp
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pack vanilla sugar (5 g)
- minimum 3 tbsp cornstarch (depending on peaches)
- 1 egg, 1 tbsp milk and 1 tbsp sugar for brushing and sprinkling the pie
Let me tell you honestly that the process and ingredients are really simple but your kitchen will get messy :)
The crust making. Cut your butter in small cubes and put in the freezer while you’re measuring and mixing together flour, sugar and salt. The butter has to be extremely cold and it shouldn’t melt much while you’re making the dough if you want to have a flaky beautiful pie crust. Now, all summer I’ve been making pie dough without food processor just by placing butter cubes evenly over flour mixture and “chopping” it all together using a knife until butter is chopped in small but not too small pieces and coated with flour. In my new kitchen unfortunately there’s not a lot of workspace (I use the table for rolling the dough) and this time I decided to try if the pizza/dough cutter can do the job – and it can! :) I placed butter in a bowl on top of the flour mix and started working with pizza/dough cutter from side to side and back and forth and in 5 minutes I had a perfect butter-flour-crumble. Then, I added half of the water and worked it in with a spatula, then added the remaining water and with my hands knead the dough for a couple of minutes just enough for the ingredients to stick together and dough to become soft and smooth (but at no point should the butter really melt. You should be able to see your butter cubes in the dough).
Divide into two pieces, cover with plastic wrap, smash your dough a little to form disks and send to fridge for minimum an hour or up to 2 days. Just before working with the dough later, I put it in the freezer for 5 minutes but that’s just me being always worried that butter will melt and I will not get the crust I want.
Half an hour before it’s time to take the dough out of the fridge, let’s start making the filling for this ridiculously tasty juicy and simply peach-ilicious pie!
Peel, cut in half and cut peaches in pieces. Add fresh lemon juice and mix. Add cinnamon, sugar, vanilla sugar, cornstarch and mix well making sure peaches are coated with dry ingredients. Now, about the corn starch – I used 3 tbsp and it was too little because peaches were very very extremely juicy. My bad. For these ripe peaches that I had I should have probably added 5 tbps. My peach pie was delicious but it didn’t hold the form well and only next day after it spent a night in the fridge I was able to actually cut a nice clean slice from it.
After your filling is ready, set the bowl aside and start working on the crust.
But first, preheat oven to 220C/425F.
Flour your work surface, place the first disk of dough (keep the second disk in the fridge for now), flour the top of the dough and start rolling until you have a 13-inch circle (32-33 cm). Don’t be afraid of using too much flour for rolling, you can always brush away the excess of flour before transferring it in to a baking tin. Make sure you’re working gently but quickly with the dough not giving the butter pieces inside of it a chance to melt down and then he dough will not stick to the table or rolling pin. Place it in a pie baking pan and accommodate it gently on the bottom and sides of the pan, pressing gently and making sure there’s no holes. This dough is very soft and easy to work with. Lightly beat an egg and brush the bottom of the crust. There’ll be some egg left and you’ll use it later to brush the top of your pie before baking. Cut overhanging pieces of dough if necessary. Now you can put the peach filling inside along with all the juices that accumulated in the meantime.
Take out the second part of your dough, don’t forget to flour the surface and top of the dough, start rolling until you have a 13-inch (32-33 cm) circle again, cut it in 1,5-2 cm wide stripes and placing them over the pie tin one by one, put them under and over parallel stripes. When you’re done, cut the stripes to the size of the pan e.g. cut the overhanging pieces and press them together with the bottom crust and make sure they are sealed well. Brush with egg leftover, adding a tbsp of milk to it first and beating lightly. Sprinkle with sugar and now it’s ready to go in the oven.
Bake the pie for 10 min then reduce oven temperature to 180C/350F and bake for another 35-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Cover with aluminium foil midway through if the top crust is getting brown too fast.
Now, the easiest part is over and the hardest part is ahead :) You have to wait! At least for 2-3 hours for the pie to cool down and for the filling to hold its shape better. It stores well in the fridge for a couple of days too, but make sure to cover it well, so it doesn’t absorb any other food smells. Serve warm or cold, alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It is delicious!