Peaches are absolutely, hands down, my favorite fruit. When they are in season I eat at least two a day, and when they aren’t in season, well… let’s not talk about it. Unsurprisingly, it’s also true that peach pie is my absolutely favorite type of pie. Perfectly sweet and not too heavy, it is my favorite go to dessert during the hot summer months. I love the buttery crust, the flavorful peaches, and the small hints of cinnamon!
The other thing I love about peach pie, besides the wonderful taste, is its ability to bring people joy and appreciation for the current season. It is almost impossible to eat a peach pie without thinking fondly about warm summer days, trips to the beach, and laid back dinners with friends. I brought this very pie into the office where I work, and within ten minutes it was demolished. And even though I work in a room with no natural lighting it felt like summer with those slices of peach pie scattered around the room.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Scatter your shortening and butter pieces over the top of the mixture. Using both hands, massage and crumble the pieces into the flour mixture until it resembles course and crumbly sand. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the top of your mixture. Using a sturdy spatula, pull the dough together by smearing the spatula against the side of the bowl, turning the bowl as you go. If the dough is too dry, sprinkle a tablespoon or more of ice water over and work into the mixture.
- When the dough has come together, divide into two lumps and form each into a round disc, half an inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling you can make the crust.
- To remove the skin from the peaches they need to be blanched. To do this, bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. In another large bowl or pot, fill three-fourths of the way with ice water. At the bottom of each one of your peaches, cut a small X in the skin. When the water is boiling, drop two or three peaches into the water and let boil for thirty to sixty seconds. You want to look for the skin at the corners of the X to start peeling back and become loose. This is a sign that the blanching is working. When the skin looks like it’s starting to pull back around the X on the bottom, pull the peaches out and place in the ice water for thirty seconds. Pull the peaches out and using a knife, pull the peach skin away from the flesh at the X. If the skin does not pull away easily, repeat putting the peaches back in the boiling water and then ice water until the skin pulls away easily. This may not work well on your first time, if all else fails, use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin from your peaches!
- Slice all of your peaches into half inch thick slices and place in a large bowl. Add in sugar, potato starch, cinnamon, and nutmeg to peaches. Using a spatula, gently fold the peaches around the bowl until the sugar and spices are incorporated.
- Preheat the oven to 500•F and put the rack one position below the center.
- Now it’s time to roll out the crust! Flour your rolling surface generously and unwrap one of the dough discs and place down on the floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, start from the center and roll out. Keep doing this all the way around the dough, rolling until you have a large circle and the dough is about an eighth of an inch thick. To easily pick up your dough, roll it up into a log, lay the log on the edge of your pie platter, and roll back out! Roll out your second crust and set aside.
- Finally, scoop your pie filling into the pie dish, including the juices. Then lay your second pie crust on top of the filling and seal the dough together around the edges, pulling off any extra hanging over the edge. If you are fancy, you can do a lattice top instead! If you didn’t do a lattice top, make sure to cut four slits in the center of the pie dough for ventilation while the pie is baking.
- Place your pie on a cookie sheet, and then place in the oven. Immediately turn the heat of your oven down to 425•F. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The crust should be turning a golden color at this point. Turn down the temperature one more time to 375•F and bake for another 25-35 minutes, until the juices are bubbling. Take your pie out of the oven and let cool to room temperature before serving your slices of summer to friends and family!