When I started getting into my pie groove last year, I decided to start taking everything a lot more seriously. That involved becoming a more patient person & actually taking the time to properly keep everything cold during the crust making process, because, let’s be real here, we all know that the pie crust is what can make or break a good pie. I had some minor successes with mildly flaky crusts, yes, but they were never the kind of knock-your-socks-off flaky that we all dream of. Until yesterday, that is. Yesterday I finally made that knock-your-socks-off flaky pie crust. It is the exact same crust recipe that I’ve been trying my hand at for a few months, but I decided to actually obey The Rules of Flaky Pie Crust this time, & (obviously) the results were mere perfection.
The idea to make a peach pie came to me in a very simple manner: beautiful, plump in-season peaches were on special offer in our local supermarket, a two-for-one deal. Boyfriend thought it was a fab idea. Four punnets of juicy peaches were bought, & two days later we have this peach pie on our hands.
Under any normal circumstances, having a peach pie on one’s hands would be a delight to behold (not literally), but things didn’t really work out that way for us. Maybe I misunderstood Boyfriend when he agreed to the peach pie plan, maybe he was a little confused when I put four punnets of peaches into our trolley, maybe he was worried about telling me that he actually doesn’t like peaches baked into things but only in their natural peach state of being. Regardless, when the peach pie came out of the oven smelling like summer in a dish, Boyfriend started to prepare me for what was to come by saying things like, “You won’t be offended if I don’t like it, will you?” and “I don’t think I like peach pie.”
After one bite of pie perfection, the news broke that Boyfriend definitely doesn’t like peach pie. You can’t really blame him – he’s a blueberry pie lover & all other pies are automatically at a disadvantage, simple as. Thankfully, I love peach pie, & any worries I had about the pie being substandard after Boyfriend’s reaction quickly disappeared after my first bite. The filling was sweet, juicy, full of flavour, & encased in the most perfect pie crust ever. I decided not to flavour the filling with any spices because I really wanted that peach flavour to come through, & I am so glad that I didn’t. Pure peachy bliss.
As an aside from all things baking, let’s talk about the photos for a second. Isn’t it funny how our styling changes over time? A handful of months ago I wouldn’t have been happy with a food scene unless there were all sorts of props & flowers & random ingredients dragged into the shot. Today, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When shooting this pie it didn’t even enter my mind to get some extra fillers for the scene – I was, and am, perfectly content with my rustic background & a decorative towel. This suits us fine, as cleaning up after taking photos is suddenly a whole lot faster than before!
Makes one 9-inch pie | Adapted from Yossy Arefi
- 340g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 255g unsalted butter, very cold & cut into small cubes
- 4-6 tablespoons of ice water (I only used 4)
- 7 medium peaches (about 3 ½ lbs), ripe but firm; peeled & sliced into ½-inch wedges (Yossy recommended peeling with a vegetable peeler & it was surprisingly easy!)
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornflour
- juice from ½ lemon
- 1 egg, beaten
- sugar, for sprinkling
- First, we make the pie dough. Whisk together the flour & salt in a large bowl. Working quickly, add the butter to the flour & toss it around. Use your fingers to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter to make sure each piece is covered in flour. Yossy says that if at any time the butter seems warm, then refrigerate the bowl briefly (& in Yossy we trust, so do it). Sprinkle about 4 tablespoons of ice water into the bowl & use a gentle hang to stir together until just combined. You’ve added enough water to the mixture if you can pick up a handful of the dough & easily squeeze it together without it falling apart, but without it being all sticky. Split the dough into two disks, each wrapped in cling film & leave to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using. (Remember, we need to keep the dough extra chilled if we want it to be extra flaky.)
- Once the dough has chilled, remove one of the disks from the fridge & on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a roughly 12-inch circle that is about ¼-inch thick. Carefully press the dough into your pie dish/tart tin & store in the fridge while you prepared the filling. (Think of the flakes.)
- Remove the second disk from the fridge & roll out into a circle roughly 12-inches. Place on a sheet pan & leave to chill in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Now, the filling. In a large bowl, gently stir together the peaches, caster sugar, cornflour, & lemon juice.
- Fill the prepared pie shell with the filling & cover with the second prepared crust (or make make this crust into a lattice topping. I watched a tutorial on youtube), crimp the edges together, and slide the whole thing into the freezer for at least 15-minutes. (I believe this was crucial to my success.)
- When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with some sugar before baking in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling & the crust is a deep golden brown.
- Leave the pie to cool & serve warm with some lightly whipped cream.