Peaches, more than any other fruit, make the best summer pies, in my opinion. But they must be perfectly ripe peaches – the kind that cause juice to dribble down your chin when you take your first bite. And you must peel the peaches, which is really not such a big deal. There are two ways to do that: the first way is to peel them with a soft fruit peeler, such as this one. The second option is to cut a small ‘X’ in the bottom of each peach and blanch the whole peaches in boiling water for 20 seconds, then plunge the blanched peaches into ice water to stop the cooking. Then you can easily peel the peaches with your fingers, starting at the ‘X’. I decided to make a simple wide lattice for the upper crust, but you can opt for a traditional round crust instead – just make sure to cut a few vents in the dough to let the steam escape.
Makes one 9-inch pie
- 3 cups (426 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons (71 grams) vegetable shortening, frozen for 15 minutes
- 12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (118 grams) ice-cold water
- 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms) fresh ripe peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch wedges (about 6 to 7 peaches)
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (54 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly (15 grams) squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons (33 grams) quick-cooking tapioca
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Make the pie dough:
- Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the shortening, in chunks, and the butter pieces over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Mix the vinegar with the ice-cold water, add it to the flour mixture and pulse about 10 times, until the dough just starts to come together. (Don’t allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust may be tough.) Turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape it into 2 thick disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to two days).
Make the filling:
- In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, tapioca, cinnamon and crystallized ginger. Cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the peach juices to be released and absorbed by the tapioca.
Assemble the pie:
- Lightly flour a large work surface. Place one of the chilled dough disks on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round about 1/8 inch or slightly less thick and about 12 inches in diameter.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling it carefully over the pan. Press the dough first into the bottom of the pan and then against the sides. Patch any holes or cracks with dough scraps. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about 1/2 inch of overhang. Refrigerate the pie shell while you roll out the lattice top.
- Remove the second round of pastry from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured work surface, roll it into another 12-inch round. Using a fluted or plain pastry wheel or chef’s knife, cut the round into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips.
- Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and pile the peach filling into it. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Lay half of the pastry strips on top of the filling in one direction, spacing them 1 inch apart and leaving a small overhang at the edges. Fold back every other strip just to the center of the pie. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips and unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip. Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip, as you did before. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with 1 inch between the strips, then unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Repeat this pattern until the pie this pattern until the lattice covering is complete (you may not use all the strips). Trim the edges of the strips flush with the bottom crust dough. Tuck the edges of the dough under itself to create an even rim of dough. Crimp the edge of the dough. Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes, until firm.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Brush the lattice pastry and the edge of the pie crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the lattice with the turbinado sugar. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and bake until the pastry is golden brown and the pie is bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes (cover the pie with tented foil during baking if the crust is browning too quickly). Cool the pie before serving with vanilla ice cream.