BEST PIE CRUST RECIPE

For the most part I try to stay within the season when shopping for produce.  Not only does it help to keep my grocery bill reasonable, but more importantly my fruits and vegetables are fresh, and therefore richer in nutrients and in taste.  Summer is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons but mostly because of all the stone fruit–peaches in particular.  They have to be one of most beautiful fruits with their imperfect shapes, soft muted colors and fuzzy textures.  But their juicy sweetness wins it all.  Aside from all of this, peaches are a favorite mostly because they can be used a thousand different ways…turning something like an ordinary green salad into something special.

For the obvious reason, my son always wants to add a lending hand when cooking up something sweet.  This pie is simple enough yet involved, so those littles can help at any stage of the game.  Though mine usually insists on the fun part like rolling out the dough…fair warning–everything and everyone will appropriately get covered in flour.  This pie crust recipe is my go-to when it comes to pies of any kind.  Typically I usually double the crust recipe and make enough for two pies.  The house is already a mess and with this pie crust recipe you can make extra dough/crust and store it in the freezer it for a later (unforeseen) date.

Seeing peaches were in season we went ahead and put them to good use.  Instead of adding unnecessary sugar, this recipe lets the tasty peaches do the talking.  It’s perfectly, minimally sweet. Especially when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drizzled with fresh cream.  We recommend bringing this pie to a potluck so all can enjoy…otherwise you might find yourself wandering into the kitchen during the wee hours of the night sneaking bites of the leftovers.

PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus plenty more for dusting surfaces
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup cold water

PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS

6-8 peaches
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch

DIRECTIONS FOR THE BEST PIE CRUST RECIPE

  1. Stir flour, sugar and salt together.
  2. Slice butter into small pieces.
  3. Using a mixer, slowly toss the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
  4. Gently stir in the ice water and mix well using a spatula.
  5. Knead the mixture with your hands and form into 2 similar sized balls with the dough.
  6. Wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour or throw in the freezer for later use.

DIRECTIONS FOR PEACH PIE FILLING

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.
  3. Using a knife, make a small X at the bottom of each peach. Once water is boiling, lower peaches and poach for two minutes.
  4. Meanwhile prepare a large bowl filled with ice water.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and transfer to the ice bath.
  6. Once cooled, gently peel the skin off the peaches.  If you’re lucky the skin will just melt off but for those stubborn peaches use a paring knife.
  7. Halve and pit the peaches, then slice them into about 1/3-inch thick slices. You’ll want roughly 6 cups; it’s okay if you go a little over.
  8. Place in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  9. In a small dish, stir together sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch until evenly mixed. Add to peaches and gently toss to evenly coat.

DIRECTIONS TO ENSEMBLE THE PEACH PIE

  1. Flour the heck out of your counter space…the more the better here!  I always begin using my hands to flatten out the dough then move onto the rolling pin.
  2. Constantly flip the dough and continue to add flour to the surface and the rolling pin each time.
  3. Once your dough is a 12- to 13-inch circle, carefully slide the dough into a pie dish.
  4. Scoop filling into the pie dish including any of the yummy juices at the bottom.
  5. Roll out your top pie dough using the same procedure as above, until it is 12 to 13 inches in diameter.  Place the rolled out dough on top of the filling.
  6. Trim the sides of any remaining dough.  (I usually take any leftover dough and turn it into little cinnamon-sugar strips for Felix.)
  7. Brush the top of the pie with a milk or cream and sprinkle sugar.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees (or until the crust has begun to brown) then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes.  It’s best to let the pie cool for about 3-hours so that the filling can harden, but we can’t blame you if you want to dive in sooner…enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.