This pie is simple to make but it depends upon using ripe, in-season local peaches. If it's mid-winter and you're craving a fruit pie, you could substitute the fresh peaches with frozen, but if you've tasted it made with perfect fresh ones, the flavor may disappoint.
Use a simple pie dough for this pie and when putting the top crust on top, crimp the edges securely. Peach pies are notoriously juicy and it's rare to not have one leak in the oven so place a rimmed sheet pan on the rack below your pie to catch any juices from wrecking your oven.
I prefer my peach pie to be simple and subtly spiced, adding only cinnamon and sometimes a little cardamom, a slightly peppery spice that will add a below-the-radar complexity.
This recipe calls for using a little flour to help thicken the juices but you could also use tapioca (add about 1 teaspoon). I prefer my peach pie to be more juicy than set which is why I prefer the flour which isn't as rigorous as the tapioca.
Peach pie and vanilla ice cream are as classic a combination as Rogers and Astaire so have some good vanilla ice cream on hand when you make this pie.
Makes one 9-inch pie that serves 10.
6 to 8 large fresh peaches, peeled and sliced into thick, 3/4-inch slices, enough to produce 6 cups
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar (use a little more or less depending on how sweet your peaches)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small bits
Pastry dough for two-crust pie (see our recipe)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400° F.
- Prepare the pastry dough and roll into two 10-inch circles; reserve one circle and keep it refrigerated.
- Line a 9-inch glass or metal pie plate with the other circle of pastry dough, leaving about 1-inch of dough along the rim.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon and flour, using a fork to blend together. Add the peeled and sliced peaches and lemon juice and stir gently to completely coat the peaches. Try not to do this step too far in advance of assembling the pie because you'll get too much juice.
- Spoon the peaches into the prepared pie plate. If there are juices already in the bowl, leave them behind and don't add to the pie. Scatter with the pieces of cold butter.
- Cover the pie with the second rolled-out crust. Carefully seal the edges by crimping it by hand or with a fork.
- Cut 4 steam vents in the top crust.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the crust is golden brown. If the edges start getting too dark before the pie is finished cooking, gently wrap strips of aluminum foil around the edges to protect them during the last minutes of baking.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely -- at least an hour -- before cutting.
- Serve warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.