I had to go to Landrum, SC one day for work last week and stopped at Peach Country while I was out that way. Peach Country is basically a mega, roadside produce stand in Campobello, SC that’s open a few months of the year. As I sipped on one of their delicious peach slushes while looking at all the different kinds of peaches (who knew there were 7+ different varieties?), I decided to buy a pint of fresh blueberries, and two bags of peaches – one for cooking and one for eating.
Andrew and I went to the lake last weekend with my extended family on my mom’s side. My cousin was home from the Marines, so it was the perfect time for everyone to get together for a day at the lake. It was the perfect time to use my fresh peaches to make a peach pie. I found a recipe on Cook’s Illustrated and got to work.
The original recipe called for a homemade pie crust, but in my opinion, pie crusts are a lot of work and the difference between homemade and store-bought is not big enough for me to do all that work. I’m a big fan of Pillsbury pre-made pie crust.
Lattice-Top Fresh Peach Pie
6 – 7 medium peaches (ripe, about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch table salt
3–4 tablespoons potato starch (or substitute pulverized Minute tapioca)
Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (1 package = 2 crusts)
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large saucepan, and fill large bowl with 2 quarts cold water and 2 trays ice cubes.
To peel peaches; first, with a paring knife, score a small x at the base of each peach. Next, lower the peaches into boiling water with a slotted skimmer. Cover and blanch until their skins loosen, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted skimmer to remove the peaches to ice water and let stand to stop cooking, about 1 minute. Finally, cool the peaches, then, starting from the scored x, peel each peach, halve and pit it, and cut into 3/8-inch slices. Toss peach slices, lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and potato starch or Minute tapioca (3 tablespoons for moderately juicy peaches, 4 tablespoons for very juicy ones) in medium bowl.
Put 1 pre-made crust into 9 inch pie plate. Put peach mixture on top of crust. Use the other crust to form lattice top and place on top of peaches. Lightly brush lattice top with 1 tablespoon water and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Place pie on baking sheet and bake until crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack 2 hours before serving.
Recipes from Cook’s Illustrated might not always be the quickest, easiest recipes, but I know that they’ll always be good. This recipe required a little more work – blanching, peeling the peaches, etc. – but it’s a lot easier if you use pre-made dough. It was definitely worth it in the end. I’ll be adding this to my list of go-to summer recipes.