A Peach of a Pie
Is there a more enticing fragrance than a dead ripe peach? Perhaps a fresh peach pie baking in the oven? And right along with apple pie, it’s the quintessential comfort food. Here it is, no corners cut, with a crumb crust for more complex flavor and texture.
Peach Pie with Crumb Topping
1 ½ cups flour
¼ t salt
8 T unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
4 T ice water
Pulse flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter. Pulse briefly. There should still be bits of butter visible. Add ice water around bowl and again, pulse briefly, just until dough holds together when pressed between your fingers. Don’t let a ball form.
On work surface, press dough outward with the heel of your hand. Pat into a round, wrap in plastic and chill for a half hour.
½ cup walnuts
1 cup flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup old fashion rolled oats
¼ t salt
½ cup butter, melted but not hot
While dough is chilling, prepare crumb topping in food processor. No need to clean it first. Pulse walnuts very briefly until roughly chopped. Add flour, sugar, oats, salt and pulse for one second. Transfer to a bowl, stir melted butter through and set aside.
3 lbs. ripe peaches
juice from ½ lemon
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup instant tapioca
½ t vanilla
½ t cinnamon
¼ t freshly grated nutmeg
4 T butter cut into a ½ inch dice
Prepare peaches. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut a small cross in the stem end of each peach. Submerge peaches in water, a few at a time for one minute. Remove and let cool enough to handle. With a paring knife, catch hold of the cut skin. It will pull off easily. Cut peaches into ½ inch slices or into small cubes. Place back in pot you have just emptied. Add lemon juice, sugar, tapioca, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Roll out dough to a 12 inch round. Place in a deep dish 9-inch pie pan, crimp edges and chill for 15 minutes.
Pour off liquid that has collected in bottom of peach mixture. This is very important to assure a firm filling and not a soupy one. [Recommendation: add vodka and ice to the liquid and make yourself a cocktail to sip while your pie bakes.]
Place mixture in pie shell, heaping slightly in center. Dot with butter and then top with crumb mixture breaking it into small clumps. Protect edge of crust with aluminum foil or a silicon ring. (can be purchased at Chef Central)
Place in a 400 degree oven for a half hour. Remove protective shield and lower heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another half hour or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.