peach pie

20th August 2015

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This was another post sitting in my drafts just before I left for our Summer holiday, using those luxuriously delicious, rose-scented peaches from this tree.

Perfectly ripe, with a few organic, nature-loved and blessed blemishes.  I was reluctant to make this, as it seemed a shame to cook them, but there were so many of them.  And of course, all at once, and they needed to be used.  It was delicious.  And for me, pie is such a luxurious comfort food and all the more made better, with home-grown produce.

It has been a good year in our small orchard, with more still to come.

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a summer peach lattice-top pie

for the dough

350 grams flour (I used 200g white & 150g whole-wheat)

1 tsp salt

½ cup sugar

200g unsalted pure butter

100mL very cold water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

for the filling

770 grams of roughly chopped peaches (Use peaches that are not too ripe)

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

 cup light brown sugar

4 Tblsp of cornstarch

to make the dough :

Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix.  Cut the butter into hazel-nut size pieces and add to the flour, making sure all the butter pieces are well coated with the flour.  Cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of an hour or overnight.

In a food processor with an S-blade attached, add the very cold flour and butter, and process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal).

Stir the vinegar with the very cold water,  and pulse in short bursts.  The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth.  If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add iced water, a tablespoon at a time.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface.  Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass.

Cut the dough in half and put each half on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Loosely cover the dough with plastic. Using the wrap as an aid (to avoid warming the dough with your bare hands), shape the dough into a disc.  Wrap each piece tightly in the plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to 24 hours.

to make the filling :

Halve each peach, remove the pit, and slice each half into roughly 2 cm chunks.

Put the peaches into a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice.  Sprinkle the sugar over the peaches and toss gently to mix.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour or overnight.   Transfer to a colander, suspended over a bowl to collect the juices; you should have almost 1 cup of liquid (if the peaches sit for several hours, you’ll have 1½ cup of liquid).  Mine sat overnight, so I was left with a lot of juice.

Pour the juices into a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Boil the liquid to reduce it, swirling until it’s syrupy, about 10 minutes; it should reduce to to ½ cup, depending on how much liquid you started with.  Set aside to cool for 1 – 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer the peaches to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of cornstarch have disappeared.  Pour the reduced peach juice over the peaches, tossing gently.  Set aside to cool.

Rolling out the bottom crust: Remove one of the disc of dough from the fridge.  If it is very firm, let it sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Using a rolling-pin,  roll the dough between two pieces of lightly-floured cling film, and roll out into a circle, an inch bigger than the pie dish.  Butter a pie dish (mine was 26cm diameter) and line with the pastry, and leave an even overhang around the edge.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the other disc of dough from the refrigerator and let it sit until pliable enough to roll.  Roll the dough between two pieces of lightly floured cling film, into another circle.  Leave whole, or cut into strips, no more than a inch thick.  Use a ruler to cut about ten x ¾ inch wide strips lengthwise.  You may have to join the shorter ones together.  The ruler helps to measure and cut a straight edge.  I used a fluted pastry wheel to get a crimped edge.

Take the pie shell from the fridge.  Stir the peach filling a few times, then scrape it into the pie shell. Arrange five strips of dough evenly over the filling, starting with a long strip for the centre. Gently fold back every other strip (the second and the fourth) to a little past the centre. Choose another long strip of dough, hold it perpendicular to the other strips, and set it across the centre of the pie.

Unfold the two folded strips so they lie flat on top of the perpendicular strip.  Now fold back the strips that weren’t folded back last time (the first, third, and fifth ones).

Lay a second perpendicular strip of dough about a ¾ inch away from the last one.  Unfold the three folded strips.  Fold back the original two strips, set a third perpendicular strip of dough ¾ inch from the last one, and unfold the two strips.

Repeat on the other side with the two remaining strips: fold back alternating strips, lay a strip of dough on top, and unfold. Remember to alternate the strips that are folded back to create a woven effect. Trim the strips to a ½-inch overhang.  Lift the edge of the bottom crust over to enclose the top, rolling inwards and pressing to make it adhere.  Crimp or flute the edges if you like.

Lightly cover the assembled pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. After 30 minutes of chilling, set an oven rack on the lowest rung and put a foil-lined baking stone or baking sheet on it.  Heat the oven to 215C/425°F.

When the pie has chilled for 1 hour, brush the lattice with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar.

Set the pie directly on the baking stone or sheet. Bake until the juices are bubbling over (the bubbles should be thick and slow near the pan edges), approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the pie cool on a rack until the juices have thickened, approximately 3 hours.  Enjoy with homemade vanilla ice-cream or thick Greek yoghurt.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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