I am the only person feasting on this amazing pie. It's criminal, I know. What's a girl to do when she has a craving so overwhelming she is willing to schlepp peaches from the store in the middle of one hundred-plus degree temps and buying out nearly half the store inventory of "locally-grown"? Well, make peach pie, of course--in a 425 degree oven, no less! Godforbid . . . am I acclimating to this semi-jungle climate, that I think nothing of cranking up the old stove for pie-baking in July? Heat be damned! Me of Northern roots and all? Hubby is not a fan--of the peach. Shame. And I cannot get him to budge on the matter either, even as I give commentary during each and every bite. (OMG, this is sooo good . . . my crust--it turned out PERFECTLY! I LOVE this pie!)
As is the case with all pie. . . it's all in the crust. After my sixth piece, I thought it was time to get this out here for you all. I guess you either are a fan of the peach or you are not. I am, of course, a fan. I am trying really hard to get in the habit of baking with more "available now" summer fruits. I have been a dabbler in fruit pie making in the past, but this year I took myself to a whole new level after I purchased The Pie And Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This happens to be her Perfect Peach Pie recipe. And I concur. A hundred percent! Rose has perfected a technique of no mushy bottom pie! You drain the juices from the fruit, then after reducing the juices--toss this back in with the fruit and fill the pie and viola! It's magic and results in a miraculously baked pie shell: no mushy bottom! It is brilliant!
I don't blanch my peaches. I just peel 'em by hand, the old fashioned way. Sure, I had a hand cramp afterward, but totally worth it (that's why god made ibuprofen). And I am a careful peeler. It was an exercise in meditation and self awareness--the whole zen moment taking place as I ran the knife across the ninth peach. I think my affinity for knitting and the act of repetitive motion lends itself nicely to my peeling-ness.
I will offer you links to both the crust recipe and the Perfect Peach Pie recipe. I'm sure I've mentioned that my go-to pie crust is the one from my Baking with Julia cookbook. It's a no-fail recipe and since I own the PBS series on DVD, whenever I need a refresher course on the art of handling the pie dough, I turn to it. I would like to note that for this pie crust this go-around, I used Pastry Flour. In pies of the past, I've usually used plain old AP flour. I will state for the record, I am now a fan of the Pastry Flour and will try very hard to keep this a staple in the home for all things pie.