Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Peach Pie...by (Angela) Jean

I have always been more of a cake person than a pie person, but at certain times of the year, I am drawn to pie. One of those times is right now. Peach season.
There is nothing like the taste of fresh-picked, Ontario peaches in August. In fact, I refuse to eat peaches at any other time of year. They might look good in the grocery store display, but inevitably they taste watery and bland, and I'm disappointed. Instead, I choose to get my fix in August and early September, preferably with peaches from my local Farmers' Market.
This year I wanted to take a stab at peach pie. My sister-in-law has always made an excellent peach pie, and at a recent family reunion I chatted about peach pie with my cousin-in-law, Hannah (an excellent baker herself!) and they both inspired me to give it a shot.

Two weeks ago I bought 4L of fresh peaches from the Farmers' Market.
They were so juicy and bursting with flavour that we ate them all in two days. They didn't even make it into a pie, cobbler or anything else.

The following Thursday, I bought another 4L basket and promised Shawn that I would make the pie. I used the Pâte Brisée recipe from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook for the crust.
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
  2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.
This was my first pie crust ever, so it was a bit lacking in finesse and polish. I need a bit more practice with the rolling out and edging. Every recipe I read, went on and on about making sure not to handle the dough too much, so I was paranoid and worked as quickly as I could. Despite not being the prettiest pie ever, the crust tasted great. It was a perfect texture, flaky and light.

For the filling, I created my own recipe after reading many, many recipes online and in my library of cookbooks.


10 peaches, peeled and sliced (this was the most boring and labour intensive part of the whole thing)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
1 tbsp good quality maple syrup
2 tbsps cornstarch
1/4 tsp course salt
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
2 tbsps of cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp heavy cream for the egg wash

Directions for filling and pie assembly.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together peaches, sugars, maple syrup, cornstarch, salt and lemon juice. Refrigerate.
  3. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator. Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out half the dough to a 12-inch round. Place in a 9-inch glass pie plate. Pour in fruit filling, making a slight mound in the centre, and dot with butter pieces.
  4. Roll out remaining dough to a 12-inch round and place over fruit filling. I cut a little heart in the centre of mine. Trim excess and crimp edges to seal. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with heavy cream. Brush top of dough with egg yolk mixture. Set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown and juices are bubbling. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack, about 3 hours.

I was quite pleased with the result. The filling was perfect...not runny at all, and it was bursting with peach flavour. Many of the recipes I read included allspice, nutmeg or cinnamon, and even though I adore all of those spices, I resisted and just let the peaches speak for themselves. They did not disappoint.

Next pie on my list is apple. Stay tuned!


  1. I'm always a pie person, but especially in fresh fruit season! Congratulations on yours - it looks great!

  2. I am the same way with strawberries and will only eat them in season. However, despite my love of pie I do not like strawberry pie. Makes no sense?