For me pie is usually a two day event, which I think makes it all the more special. On day one I make the dough. I'm one of those bakers who likes to use my (clean) hands to incorporate the cold butter into the flour. It's kind of a forearm workout. I try to remember to take my wedding ring off before I begin so it doesn't get filled with crusty butter. I'd say I remember to do this about 75% of the time.
On day two I make the filling and bake the pie. This is clearly the most fun of the two days because after the baking comes the eating. But, even though the eating is arguably the whole point of baking the pie at all, I can't help but admit that day one holds a little bit of joy for me. Is it the anticipation? Or maybe just the simple victory of turning a handful of ingredients into something else? I'm not exactly sure.
Maybe you're like me and you've got a little bit of baker in you. I mean, I am the girl who got an electric mixer tattooed on her forearm. There's just something so comforting to me about playing around with, and ultimately, making good food. I guess I feel a little bit of a connection to my mom and my great-grandmother because they are (or were, in the case of my late great-grandmother) enthusiastic about both making and eating food. And I joined that legacy many years ago. 🙂
Actually, this pie very much reminds me of my great-grandmother. She will always be known to me as grandma Lula. She was a Texan by way of Oklahoma, and she was a classic, which never goes out of style. I guess that's kind of what this peach pie recipe is—no frills, but anything but plain.
For the crust:
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
24 oz. frozen peaches, thawed*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
*You can use fresh peaches instead—especially if they are in season! You will want to add the juice from one lemon or a tablespoon of water if you do though because fresh peaches will likely be less liquid-y than frozen.
First we make the crust. This is going to make a little more than two (for the top and bottom) because I like to encourage decorating the top. Add some words, fall leaves, smilie faces, really whatever cookie cutters you can find. It's silly and oh so fun. 🙂 In a large bowl stir together the flour and sugar. Add the cubes of cold butter and mix together until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles or large grains of sand. Like I said, I like to use my hands, but a pastry blender works well too. Then add 1/4 cup cold water. Mix together and try to form a dough ball. If the mixture is too crumbly, add another tablespoon or two of cold water. Just enough so the dough comes together. Then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple hours or overnight.
Now let's make our filling. If you are using frozen peaches, thaw them and try to remove any excess liquid. You don't have to pat the peaches completely dry as some liquid is good, but you don't want them sitting in a big puddle of water after they thaw either. Just give them a good drain and you're good.
Toss them with the flour, sugars, salt, and vanilla extract. Once you've rolled out about 1/3 of the dough for your bottom crust, place in a buttered pie pan. Then add your filling. Top with the 2 tablespoons of butter cut into four pieces (for even distribution).
Roll out the remaining dough and cover the top of the pie. You should have about 1/4 or 1/5 of the dough left over, you can use this to decorate the top. Once you have your design cut out, dip your fingers in a little water to wet the top crust. Press the design onto the moistened top crust. This will help to make sure your design doesn't move around while baking. Always a bummer to spend time spelling out a word only to have all your letters move around in the oven. Tastes the same though. 🙂
Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes. I like to check on the pie after the first 30 minutes to make sure the edges of the crust aren't browning too fast. If they do, remove the pie from the oven and carefully wrap the edges in foil. Then continue to bake.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing into it.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.