Thursday, July 03, 2008

Summertime Peach Pie

Fresh peaches, scented with almond and vanilla and lightly sweetened, are baked in a golden wraparound crust. Serve with vanilla ice cream for a dessert that fairly sings of summer. Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make this pie are available at Bakers’ Banter, our King Arthur blog.

1 ½ cups (6 ¼ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
1 ½ tablespoons milk, or enough to make a cohesive dough

6 cups (2 pounds, 6 ounces) fresh peach slices (about 10 peeled peaches, sliced; about 2 1/2 pounds whole peaches)
3/4 cup (5 ¼ ounces) sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup (1 1/8 to 1 7/8 ounces) Signature Secrets; or 4 to 6 tablespoons (1 3/4 to 2 1/2 ounces) Pie Filling Enhancer; or about 3/4 cup (3 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

To make the crust: Whisk together the flour and salt. Work in the butter until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it, with pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible. Beat the egg lightly, and add it to the dough, mixing to combine. Drizzle in the milk as you mix, adding enough to make the dough cohesive. When you grab it in your hand, it should hold together easily, and not feel at all crumbly.

Pat the dough into a 5" disk, and smooth its edges by rolling it along a lightly floured surface like a wheel. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or for up to 2 days.

While the crust is chilling, prepare the filling. Peel the peaches; the best way to do this is to plunge them into boiling water for 30 seconds, then place in a bowl of cold water. Their peels will slip off easily. Pit the peaches, and slice them about 3/8" thick.

Whisk together the sugar and thickener. Combine the peaches with the sugar mixture, vanilla, almond, salt, and lemon juice, mixing thoroughly. Set the filling aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If it’s been chilling longer than 30 minutes (e./g., overnight), allow it to warm up and soften for about 20 to 30 minutes. Flour a large work surface. Roll the dough into a 17" circle.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Roll the circle in quarters, pick it up, and place it in a 9" x 1 ½" pie pan. Spoon the filling into the crust. Gently drape the dough up and over the filling. Don’t stretch it; it shouldn’t cover the filling entirely. A 3" to 4" bare patch will remain in the center; that’s OK.

Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, to catch any spills. Bake it for 30 minutes, then tent it lightly with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 90 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool overnight. If you don’t let it rest long enough, the filling will be too soft. You can certainly choose to serve the pie hot, so long as you understand it’ll be very soft. Our preference is to let it rest overnight, then microwave individual slices briefly just before serving, if desired, to warm them.

Yield: one pie, about 8 to 10 servings.

©2007 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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