There’s nothing quite like a fruit pie to round out your table during the hot summer months. This time of year, there’s fresh produce on every corner and if you’re in the South, you’re sure to find local peaches or peaches that have been brought in from South Carolina or Georgia somewhere in your neighborhood. Whether you have your own peach tree in the backyard (in which case, I’m extremely jealous I’d love to have an orchard full of peach trees, if only my black thumb didn’t seem to constantly prevent things from growing!) or you need to stop at a local produce stand, this peach pie is the perfect way to take advantage of summer’s bounty.
I’ll be honest: I have a really hard time not sneaking tastes of this peach pie well before it cools and is ready to be cooked, even though I know the leftovers will be so much better once the pie has a chance to cool. Oops! Luckily, there are plenty of fresh peaches around. Maybe I should make two pies next time so that there will be plenty left over.
How to Prepare Peach Pie
Ingredients for Peach Pie
- One 9” unbaked pie shell, preferably homemade for that extra touch
- 5 medium-sized fresh peaches, just-ripe with a hint of firmness
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons refined cornstarch
- A gentle pinch of fine kosher salt
- 1 cup of rich heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions for Peach Pie
- Begin by preheating your oven to a toasty 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While awaiting the oven’s warmth, delicately place your unbaked pie shell into a deep pie dish. The depth ensures every drop of the luscious peach custard is contained.
- In a sizable pot, let water come to a rolling boil. Carefully immerse each peach into the boiling water for a span of two minutes. This process eases the peeling phase.
- After boiling, gently make a small incision in the peach skin. Using your fingers, let the skin slide off seamlessly. Employ a thin knife for stubborn bits. Segment the peach into quarters, discarding the pit.
- Arrange these peach quarters in the pie shell. An artistic touch is always welcomed!
- In a separate bowl, sieve the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Introduce the heavy cream and vanilla to this mixture, blending until it achieves a silken consistency.
- Pour this delightful custard over the awaiting peaches and position your pie in the oven. A baking sheet beneath catches any potential spillage.
- First, bake for 15 minutes, then moderate the temperature to 325. Continue baking for an additional 30-35 minutes. Monitor to avoid overcooking.
- Once baked to perfection, let the pie settle on your counter. For an exquisite taste, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, and serve chilled.
Can I use frozen peaches for this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute fresh peaches with frozen ones. Ensure you thaw and drain them thoroughly to avoid excess moisture. The flavor might vary slightly, but the pie will still be delicious!
How do I store leftover peach pie?
Store any leftover peach pie in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. This helps in retaining its freshness and prevents it from getting soggy.
Can I make the peach pie filling in advance?
Definitely! You can prepare the peach pie filling a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, just pour the filling into the pie shell and follow the baking instructions.
How do I ensure my pie crust doesn’t get soggy?
To avoid a soggy bottom, you can pre-bake your pie crust for a few minutes before adding the filling. Additionally, ensuring that your peach filling is not too watery can also help.
Can I use a different sweetener instead of sugar?
Yes, alternatives like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar can be used. However, the consistency and flavor of the filling might vary slightly based on the sweetener chosen.
What can I serve with peach pie?
Peach pie pairs beautifully with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or even a dollop of fresh yogurt. It’s a versatile dessert that complements many accompaniments.
How do I know when my peach pie is done?
Your peach pie is done when the filling bubbles and the crust turns a golden brown. If uncertain, inserting a knife in the center can help; it should come out clean.
Is it okay to use peaches that are too ripe?
It’s best to use just-ripe peaches as overripe ones can make the filling overly mushy and sweet. If the peaches are slightly firm, they hold their shape better during baking.
Can I add spices to my peach pie filling?
Of course! Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger can enhance the flavor profile of your peach pie, giving it an extra layer of warmth and depth.
Fresh Peach Pie
- 1 9” unbaked pie shell
- 4 to 6 just-ripe peaches slightly soft to the touch but not so soft that they squish in your hands
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the oven is preheating, drop your unbaked pie shell into a pie pan. You want a deep pie dish that has plenty of room for all of your ingredients so that the pie doesn't bubble over! After all, you don't want to waste even a drop of that yummy peach goodness.
- Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Drop each peach, one at a time, into the boiling water for two minutes. This should make peeling the peaches easy: simply make a cut in the skin of the peach, then slip it off in large sheets with your fingers. If needed, use a thin knife to remove any remaining peach skin. Cut the peach into quarters, removing the pit as you go. Place the peach quarters carefully in the pie shell. If you want to be fancy, you can make a pretty design. Make sure to just fill the dish without cramming in peaches. (If you have extras, you can always eat them!)
- In a bowl, sift together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add heavy cream and vanilla, mixing until thick and smooth. Pour the custard over the peaches, then slide into the oven. Using a baking sheet under the pie plate will help prevent a mess if the custard boils over during cooking.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature to 325 and bake for 30 to 35 more minutes. If the pie is still runny, you can continue to bake in five-minute increments; however, you don't want the pie to burn!
- Allow pie to cool on the counter. Once cool, refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve straight out of the fridge for the best flavor and thickest custard.