The District is suffering from quite a heat wave. As most of you know, there seems to be a “heat dome” making its way east after tormenting the Midwest. According to the Washington Post, heat waves and compressed air particles are to blame, along with streams of hot, humid air moving north, but, regardless of the cause, this heat is unbearable. If I could submerge myself in an ice bath and consist on a diet of smoothies and ice cubes, I would.
There are redeeming features to this time of year, however. The most important one of all is that stone fruit season is upon us! In terms of fresh produce, this is quite possibly my favorite time of year. While I hate summer heat, I adore the variety of fruits and vegetables that the season brings, and nothing makes me quite as happy as a grocery bag full of peaches, plums, and nectarines. My mom loves stone fruit even more than I do, so our house is always well stocked with a variety of juicy fruit.
Ever since I was a senior in high school, I have made peach pie at least once every summer. I don’t know how or why this tradition started, but I get antsy when July is coming to a close and I have yet to bake one of these. The recipe I use is incredibly simple and took less than an hour to assemble. The recipe for the crust comes directly from Williams-Sonoma and doesn’t even need to be chilled; the filling is always the result of randomly dumping in the ingredients that I have on hand. I almost added blueberries in this time around, but we’re pie-purists in my house and the blueberries were saved for pancakes this weekend.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe. As with all fruit desserts, taste the fruit before you add sugar. Happy eating!
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma
For the filling:
- 5-6 cups fresh peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches – aim for ¼ inch slices
- ½ cup – 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white, beaten
For the crust:
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup shortening
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 6-7 tablespoons ice water
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for your filling except 2 tablespoons of flour and the egg whites. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, make your crust. Use a pastry blender or two forks to combine the flour, salt, and shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs or cornmeal. It’s ok if there are a few pebbles of shortening remaining as that makes for a flakier crust.
- Begin to add one tablespoon of ice water at a time, tossing with a fork or cutting with a pasty blender until you have a shaggy mass that just comes together. Don’t make it too wet!
- Divide your dough in half. Roll out each half into a 12-inch circle (this can be an artistic circle – doesn’t have to be perfect). Use one round to line the bottom of your 9-inch pie dish and cut the other into ¾ to 1 inch strips.
- Brush the bottom crust with your egg white. This will keep the bottom from getting too soggy.
- Pour your filling into the lined pie dish. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of flour on top.
- Using the strips of dough, weave a lattice top for the top of your pie. Flute your edges (done by holding two fingers on the outside of the edge of your crust and using one to make an indentation between the two).
- Bake in your preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and your filling is bubbling.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.