Peaches are one of my favorite late summer, early fall fruits. When I was still in grade school, there was this incredible peach stand by our house that had the most massive peaches. My mom would buy them for us for school lunches, and they were the most fantastic peaches I’ve ever had; they would be perfectly ripe and juicy without any blemishes, and the skins would easily pull off in large sections. So good.
Aside from eating peak of the season peaches, I love baking them into a lattice crust pie. A buttery crust, a few simple spices, a splash of lemon juice, and you have a simple, yet perfect pie.
Classic Peach PieAdapted from Cooks Illustrated If you’re using Minute tapioca to thicken the pie, grind in a food processor or spice grinder to make sure there aren’t any tapioca beads in the finished pie. 1 double pie crust of your choice, top and bottom divided into two equal portions 6 to 7 medium, ripe peaches (about 7 cups) 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling on lattice crust 3-5 tablespoons potato starch or Minute tapioca pinch of ground cinnamon pinch of freshly ground nutmeg pinch salt
Remove one chilled portion of pie dough from refrigerator. If dough has been in the refrigerator for over an hour, it will probably need a few minutes to come up to temperature before it can be easily rolled. Roll dough on a floured surface, rotating dough a 1/4 turn between every few strokes of your rolling-pin, re-flouring the surface, top of dough and rolling-pin as needed. Stop rolling when dough is about 1/8″ thick, and measures 12″ in diameter. Roll it onto the rolling-pin. Carefully lift rolling-pin, and unroll dough over a 9″ pie plate. Gently ease the dough into the corners of the dish. There should be about 1″ of dough hanging over the plate; trim any excess dough. Place pie plate in refrigerator until ready to use.
Remove second piece of dough from the refrigerator, and roll out following the same steps from above. Stop rolling when dough is about 1/8″ thick, and measures 12″ in diameter. Roll it onto the rolling-pin. Transfer to a large parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet (rimmed cookie sheets work best inverted). Cut the strips for the lattice using a straight sided or fluted pastry wheel, cutting about 1″ to 1 1/4″ inches wide. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until ready to use.
Adjust oven rack to lower third of oven and pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
To easily peel the peaches, bring a pan of water to a boil. Cut a small “X” in the base of the peach with a pairing knife, and carefully place peaches in boiling water, being careful not to overload the pan. Let the peaches simmer for 30 seconds to a minute, just long enough for the skins to start to loosen. Remove with a slotted spoon to an ice bath for 1 minute. Repeat with any remaining peaches. Peel peaches, starting at the base where the score mark was made, and remove skin.
Cut peaches into slices about 3/8″ thick. Toss peach slices with lemon juice, 1 cup of sugar, salt spices and thickener of choice.
Remove prepared pie plate from refrigerator and pour peach filling inside. Remove prepared lattice strips from refrigerator and weave over the fruit as desired. When finished, trim any lattice strips that over hang the dish to the outer edge of the pie plate. Fold bottom crust up over lattice strips and crimp edges as desired. Lightly brush or spray top of lattice with water, and then sprinkle on remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake in 425 degree oven until the crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and finish baking, about another 25 to 30 minutes. The juices in the pie should be bubbling, and thickened. If at any time the edges of the crust start to brown too quickly, you can make a quick pie shield out of aluminum foil and drape it over the crust.
Cool pie on a wire rack for at least two hours prior to cutting.