Fresh Peach Pie

A fresh peach pie is a thing of beauty, but that's nothing to compare with how it tastes. Use your favorite recipe for double crust pastry (standard, butter or butter/lard) and crimp the edge high to accommodate the juice. When selecting peaches, feel is a better indicator of ripeness than color or scent. Overripe peaches will feel squishy and may have dark spots. Underripe peaches will be very hard. Aim for firm with a little "give", and you'll get it right.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups sliced, fresh, ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or ground mace, for an old-fashioned flavor)
  • Pastry for 9-inch double-crust pie
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine white sugar, brown sugar and flour in a large bowl.
  3. Add the sliced peaches, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg or mace and stir until sugars are dissolved and mixture is well combined. Set aside.
  4. Peach mixture should be juicy, but not too juicy. The peaches will create even more juice when they are baked. If necessary, spoon off extra juice.
  5. Pile the peach mixture in the pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with top pastry layer, and crimp edges high. Make one or more vents in the top crust.
  6. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F, and bake until juices bubble around edges on top of pie and crust is lightly browned, about 40 to 50 minutes more.

Note: Here's an easy way to peel peaches: Make a small slit at the stem end of each peach. Then drop them into a pot of rapidly boiling water for one to two minutes (about 1-1/2 minutes is right for medium-size peaches). Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and put them directly into a container of very cold water. After a few minutes, you can begin peeling and the skins will easily peel off. Use the slit you made at the stem end as a starting point. You can do two or three at a time.

Good peaches contain lots of juice, so a deep-dish pie pan is good for this recipe. If you don't have one, just make sure the pastry edge is crimped nice and high, and make one or more vents in the top crust.

Suggested pie crusts for this recipe: Standard Pie Pastry, Butter Pastry, Butter and Lard Pie Pastry.

Total time: 1 Hr 30 Min

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