Today is Pi Day and I just posted about it on my Techy Mom's Blog so I thought it would be appropriate to post my favorite pie recipe too. Plus, being that we are seeing signs of spring I am celebrating the first buds on my peach tree. After 3 years of being in a pot it finally found a spot in my yard. I love to see the little blooms coming out since I know it will soon have beautiful pink flowers to show off. Plus, I can't wait to see how many peaches we have this year.
The best thing about pie is that it is so easy to make and has such few ingredients. This is one of my favorite recipes for making peach pie. On a day when I am limited with time I will use Pillsbury pre-made dough but there is nothing like making it at home. I use to love watching my mom make it and was always so impressed with how perfect her pie edges came out. For the record I can never make the edges as good as she did but its not about the edges its about the taste, right?
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) cold solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice water
8 large, ripe but firm peaches (3 1/2 pounds) or you can use the canned well drained peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
Egg wash made with 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water
PREPARE THE CRUST:
1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle the ice water on top. Stir with a fork until a crumbly dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until the dough comes together. Cut the dough in half and form into 2 disks; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. Ease one of the rounds into a 9-inch glass pie plate and transfer the other round to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough.
3. Or if you have pre-made the pie crust you could remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.
MAKE THE FILLING:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a sharp knife, mark a shallow X in the bottom of each peach. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water for about 1 minute, until the skins begin to loosen. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to the ice water to cool. Drain and peel the peaches and cut them into 3/4-inch wedges. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice and flour, toss well and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Pour the peaches and their juices into the chilled pie shell and scatter the butter slices on top. Brush the edge of the pie shell with the egg wash and lay the round of dough from the baking sheet on top. Press the edges of the pie shell together to seal and trim the overhang to a 1/2 inch.
4. Fold the edge of the pie dough under itself and crimp decoratively. Brush the remaining egg wash on the top crust and cut a few slits for venting steam.
5. Transfer the pie to the oven and place a baking sheet in the bottom to catch any drips.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°, cover the edge of the pie with foil and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deeply golden on the top and bottom.
Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month and the peach pie can be stored overnight at room temperature.
Apple Pie Filling Variation:
You can also make this same pie crust recipe with the following Apple Pie filling.
Apple Pie Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 pounds of 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices of peeled and cored good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Golden Delicious (see cooking apple varieties)
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
Directions for Apple Filling: Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add brandy and vanilla extract. Pour the content into the crust and then brush with egg yolk.