There’s definitely something magical about peach season. I think it’s one of our rewards for surviving the sweltering heat in the South each summer. 😉 I love a good sweet peach just on its own, peeled and sliced, and so juicy that it drips before your fork reaches your mouth. They are a delightful part of summer for our family and I’m so glad God saw fit to create peaches.
A perfect peach pie recipe is absolutely necessary this time of year. I forgo the cooked peach pies here, because all too often, the baked peaches turn into soft globs that are reminiscent of canned peaches…that you can get ANY time of year. 😉 My only exception is a blueberry and peach crumble that is so simply delicious, I’ll always give in. But the crowning glory of Peach Season around here is Fresh Peach Pie. Homemade crust? Check. Fresh juicy peaches? Check. An easy glaze? Check. And a dollop (or three!) of whipped cream? Check. It hits all the high notes, let me tell you. You won’t be able to resist. And with every year from now on, the moment that the summer heat threatens to melt you and you want to fast forward to glorious mild-mannered autumn, you’ll repeat to yourself, “Don’t wish your life away. After all, we’ve got peach pie to look forward to!”
Last year my friend Elizabeth came over to make peach pies with me. She DEFINITELY wanted to do it again this summer – she had been craving more. It happens. =) And this time Ashley found out that the recipe we used from my grandma was one that her mother-in-law made once – and Ashley said while everyone else in the family was fawning over some chocolate delightfulness, she probably ended up eating half of that peach pie herself. It may look unassuming and some may pass over it because there’s no chocolate involved (that used to be me, too) BUT one bite (one!!) and you’ll be won over. Chocolate who???
By the way, when you’re making this pie, please please PLEASE make this homemade pie crust. It’s super simple – stir a few ingredients together and then press it into a pie plate. Um, done! Easy as that! No rolling it out or anything. I do have a few tips for you about making a pretty fluted edge. Also easy! And it’s the same crust recipe I use for EVERYTHING. It’s the one from our Chocolate Chess Pie recipe, by the way. =)
Let’s get down to business, shall we?
The crust is first, as it needs to be baked. As I said before, you’ll stir the crust ingredients together (this recipe makes 2 crusts) and then divide it in half equally. This is called an oil pastry. I have experimented and experimented for years with variations of this recipe and can confidently say that pie crust perfection can be achieved with a mixture of canola oil and avocado oil. Both of these are neutral flavored oils. I used to make this recipe with only canola oil, but canola oil is not that healthy. And also the crust is so flaky that it has a hard time staying together, even though the taste is delicious. I have only recently discovered avocado oil – it doesn’t taste like avocados, if you’re wondering, and is very healthy because of the Omega-3s in avocados. So a mixture of these two oils makes for a slightly healthier recipe – and the crust holds together better! I highly recommend this method. =)
I start by flattening a disc in the bottom of the pie plate. Make sure your bottom crust is not too thick. Then I pull out my trusty play-doh skills and roll out little “snakes” to go around the edge of the pie plate. This ensures that there’s plenty of pie crust dough to flute the edges. I slightly press them down so they’ll stay and then join each of the ends together. Then I patch the remaining empty spaces on the sides with the remaining dough.
Next you’ll flute the edges. Using your thumb and forefinger of your left hand in a U shape, you’ll press your right index knuckle into the dough, against your other fingertips. Voila! Keep going around the whole pie plate and then go back and gently pat any places that have cracked during the fluting process.
To finish up, gently prick the whole crust with a fork. This prevents the crust from ballooning up in spots while it’s cooking.
Once the pie crusts are in the oven, it’s time to peel the peaches. The number of peaches you’ll need will vary with the size of your peaches and also the size of your pie plate. I’m going to guesstimate that we used 5 or 6 medium to big peaches per pie. If your peach are at the height of ripeness, they’ll peel easily without taking much of the flesh with it. If they’re not quite ripe enough to do that (ours weren’t exactly this time), you should still be able to peel the peaches as thinly as possible. If they’re still hard to the touch, you’ll want to wait a few extra days for them to ripen up before they’ll be delicious in a pie. But hopefully you’ve already figured that out if you’ve got pie crusts in the oven! 😉 😉
I like to cut the peaches off in big sections as close to the pit as possible without getting any of the red stringy insides involved. They’re not so tasty, you know? Then you can chop the peaches into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Set aside, but keep an eye on them. You don’t want them to start turning brown.
After the pie crusts are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool on wire racks while you complete the last step.
You’ll whisk sugar and cornstarch together, add cold water, mixing well, and then bring the whole thing to a boil. It’ll need to boil until it’s pretty thick and has turned clear. Stir frequently.
Then add the peach Jello packets, stirring well to incorporate. Remove from heat.
In meantime, after the pie crusts have cooled, you can add the chopped peaches and flatten down the layer as much as possible. You want the glaze to cover them because peaches can start to turn brown very easily.
Then pour the glaze over each pile of peaches! Smooth the top layers down again. The glaze mixture is a lovely peachy pink color and offsets the yellow peaches perfectly. =)
I mean, stop it! How pretty is that????
Refrigerate the pies until completely set up. Depending on how long you cooked the sugar/water/cornstarch mixture, this may take overnight, so plan ahead. Ashley and her girls made peach pies again a couple of days later (look how cute the girls are with their own mini pies they made!)…
…and she actually forgot the cornstarch mixture was boiling for a bit – this was a good thing, though, because her pies set up much quicker in the fridge…within just a few hours.
One more thing…this is the same exact recipe that my family makes strawberry pie with – just subbing strawberries and strawberry Jello – and it is also a Family Favorite!! Easy and always a crowd pleaser. =) Whether strawberry or peach pie, you’ll be glad you’ve made two!
Now get out to the Farmer’s Market before Peach Season ends, recruit some friends for a pie making party, and enjoy this incredibly delicious taste of summer!
- 3 c. all-purpose flour (I love White Lily)
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. canola oil + 1/2 c. avocado oil
- 6 Tbsp. milk
- 2 c. sugar
- 6 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 c. cold water
- 2 small packages of peach (or apricot) dry Jello mix
- 10-12 medium to large ripe peaches
- Whipped cream - we use Redi Wip
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix ingredients together and press into two 9" pie plates. (This dough is too soft to roll out.)
- Flute edges.
- Prick gently all over with the tines of a fork to prevent crust puffing up while cooking.
- Bake for about 15 minutes; you may need to broil the crusts on High for 2 or 3 minutes at the end of the cooking time, turning when necessary, to achieve a golden brown color.
- Cool pie crusts on wire racks.
- Peel and chop up fresh peaches; set aside.
- Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and water and heat until boiling.
- As you are waiting for the cornstarch mixture to boil, divide the peaches into the two cooled pie crusts; level off.
- Stirring often, cook the cornstarch mixture until it thickens and turns clear. Probably 5+ minutes.
- Stir in packets of dry Jello mix and remove from heat.
- Pour glaze over peaches.
- Refrigerate until completely set up. If you've cooked the cornstarch mixture long enough, it won't take nearly as long to be refrigerated, like 2 hours. If you don't cook it long enough, you will need to let it rest in the fridge overnight.
- Top each piece with whipped cream - we like Redi Wip - and savor each bite!