New York Times Perfect Peach Pie
Are you intimidated by pies? I sure use to be. The best ones really are from scratch, but making your own dough, rolling it out, creating the filling….and the fancy designs or lattice work on the top? Forget about it. It all seemed to be too much hassle.
Until I actually made one. And then I realized that the hardest thing about making the dough is that you need to plan a little bit for it in advance (it needs to chill). You can use almost any filling you want (even savory ones!), and there’s no need to get all Martha Stewart on the top – a full pie crust is just fine and tastes exactly the same. I promise.
We had guests in town this past weekend, which made it the perfect time to whip up a fruit pie in advance, and lucky for me, it’s peach season here in Colorado so they are literally EVERYWHERE.
Palisade Co, a town on the Western slope of Colorado is known for their peaches (and their wine!). Apparently, the high elevation climate and over 300 days of sunshine make Palisade peaches so sweet and flavorful. Palisade even has an annual peach festival (that they refer to as “Peach Mania” on their website) with everything peach you can imagine, activities for kids, 5 and 10K races, and a peach eating contest, among other things.
Unfortunately for me, Palisade is about 4 hours away from my little town. But, I was lucky enough to score some Palisade peaches over the weekend at the Louisville Farmers Market, where C & R Farms had a booth. (Yay!) Let the pie making begin!
There’s no shortage of great peach pie recipes out there, but one I come back to over and over is the New York Times Perfect Peach Pie. The crust is delicious, the pie filling has a good consistency, and it comes together pretty easily. (Also, did I mention your house will smell AMAZING when this baby is cooking? Prepare yourself!) The only adjustments I made to this recipe were to add a bit of cinnamon to the flour, which gave the crust a good flavor, and to reduce the sugar to ½ cup from 1 cup, which makes the filling less runny.
Really, the making of the pie dough is the most work, but only because you have to plan for it in advance. I often make the dough a day ahead so that when it’s time to cook the pie, it’s easy to pull together quickly. You can also make a double batch of this dough and freeze it to use later when the mood strikes you.
The other “sort of” hard part of this is peeling the peaches, but it actually isn’t hard at all if you know how to peel a peach. Once you have those steps done, this pie is totally easy and definitely worth the extra planning. Serve it hot, with a large scope of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
New York Times Perfect Peach Pie
For The Pie Dough
2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon(this is totally optional and not in the original recipe, but I think it adds to the crust)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Yolk of 1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup water, from ¾ cup ice water
White of 1 egg, beaten
Pinch granulated sugar
For The Filling
6 or 7 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
To Make The Dough
1. To start, blend your flour, cinnamon (if using), butter and salt until the mixture becomes coarse and pebble like. You can use a food processor for this, but I typically just cut the butter into the flour and then use my fingers.
2. Mix the egg yolk, vinegar and ¼ cup of ice water together. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of the mixture over the dough at a time, and gently stir to combine. Keep adding a little more liquid at a time until the dough starts sticking together a bit. (Note – I ended up adding the extra ½ cup of cold water to my dough because it wasn’t sticky enough.)
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll up into a ball. Divide the ball into four with a knife, then flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to expand the pebbles of butter. Gather the dough together again and then divide into two pieces – one of these will be for the bottom portion of the crust, and the other for the top, so make one slightly larger than the other.
4. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap them in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes. (I refrigerated mine for about 24 hours since I wasn’t using it until the next day.)
To Make The Pie
1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. If your dough has been chilling a while, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This will make it much easier to roll into your crust later.
3. Combine the sliced, peeled peaches, lemon juice, sugar and flour in a large bowl, and mix to combine.
4. Roll out your larger pastry disc on a lightly floured surface and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Add your peach mixture and sprinkle in the ground nutmeg.
5. Roll out the second disc of pastry and place on top of the filling. Wet the top edges of the bottom pastry disc with some cold water, trim any excess pastry off the sides, and pinch the bottom and top edges of the pie together (the water helps hold the crusts together while baking).
6. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape from the pie when baking.
7. Brush the egg white on top of the pie, especially around the edges, and sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar and cinnamon.
8. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 375. Cook the pie for an additional 45 minutes to an hour (you’ll know your pie is done when the peach mixture is bubbling and the crust is a nice golden color.
9. Serve, and don’t forget to add ice cream!