I was studying at the dining room table in our family living room, when my dad emerges from our backyard clutching onto a basket with a smile on his face. He called me to the door and when I looked inside, I smiled too! He had a big basket of small, pretty, little fuzzy peaches. Our garden has been sprouting all kinds of goodness lately, from Chinese apples to plums to mint and basil! It's such a joy for our family to enjoy things that we have grown from our garden.
Well to grow something is one thing. But to grow something that is delicious, is a whole other thing. These peaches, homely and small they might be, were perfect. Just a bit soft to the touch but still firm, bright and yellow on the inside and sweet like nobody's business. My dad, who loves pie, begged me to make a pie with them. So I did, and here it is!
I used my favorite pie crust, one that is unctuous and incredibly flaky. I sort of created my own recipe, drawing inspiration from many sources. I wanted to make sure I didn't spice it too much, so that the peach flavor would shine and I also wanted to make sure it wasn't overly gooey or runny, which is why I decided to pre-cook the peaches slightly in a pan before baking them in the pie. This pie, simply put, was perfect, just like the peaches. I really felt I did them right, which they deserve, quite frankly!
Not the perfect lattice top, but I like how rustic it is.
Latticed Peach Pie
Yields: 1 9-inch pie, about 8 servings
Pastry for a double-crust pie, my favorite
2 1/2 lbs. peaches, about 5 large peaches
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tbsn. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsn. butter
To prepare the crust, sprinkle a clean surface with some flour. Roll out one disk, large enough to fit a 9-inch pie tin. Fit to the tin and leave one inch hanging over the side, removing the excess. Refrigerate until ready to use, and save other disk for the top.
To prepare the filling, combine the peaches, sugar, flour, salt, and spices in a large pan. Heat over medium heat until the peaches release their juices. Remove the peaches from the pan, using a slotted spoon, leaving the juice mixture. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken, then add the peach pieces back and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie tin. With the remaining disk of dough, roll out large enough to fit the pie tin. Cut into 9 even strips and lattice across the top of the pie, 5 going widthwise and 4 going lengthwise. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F and bake for 20 - 30 minutes until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly.
Add some lightly sweetened cream, and you're all set!
All hail the perfect peach pie!