Turning a year older, to me, is an exciting thing. More things to learn and explore!…and more time to celebrate life. Doesn’t hurt to celebrate a little, right? With a dessert of course! I love what Zen Master Edward Espe Brown writes in The Tassajara Bread Book about sweet treats,
“A good dessert is a celebration of any occasion. Not that we have to treat ourselves royally every day, but offering dessert with generosity and warmth, we can appreciate the bounty of our lives and celebrate a moment of our aliveness…But I am not also going to scold people for eating a dessert that is really a dessert. Every moment is a gateway to the truth. Which way is in? Which way is out? Are you entering or leaving?…May all beings be healthy, happy, free from suffering. And may desserts celebrate our wondrous nature. Fully.”
Today is my birthday and I’m going to raise my glass, eat a dessert and say “Cheers to the world!” LOL. It’s fun to be a bit kooky, especially on such a day! Despite being a chocolate lover (who always has a chocolate stash!), if there was only one dessert in the world that I would pick, it would be this peach pie made with my dad’s homegrown peaches.
After the move, I went to visit my family and stayed at my parent’s house for a bit. Got a chance to celebrate my birthday with them on Friday and make some peach pie!
Bella, my sister’s dog, a Dorgi (dachshund-corgi mix) is one of my cooking buddies while I’m visiting. She’s made an appearance before, on this post. My dad says that she’s in the kitchen with you to wait for a “food drop.” The dogs in my family are so funny. I love them like they are little kids. She didn’t have to wait for “food drop” as I snuck in a small piece of the crust from the finished pie to give to her. 🙂
I made two pies: a humungous pie in a 12-inch cast iron and a standard 9 inch one. I never made a pie in such a big pan! I started making peach pies when I was a teenager and at that time my dad perfected the art of peach growing. Thanks dad!
Making a mess and before the bake. They are even beautiful when pale. This time, I used a different recipe for the crust. I’ve done pate brisee and even storebought pastry, but this pastry, originally used for homemade pop tarts, is my favorite at the moment. As for the filling, I normally like to make it by taste and eyeball measurements, but I’ve included a recipe guide. But whatever you do, get the best peaches you can find, especially those of the homegrown organic variety! Maybe that’s the secret to a extraordinary peach pie?
Golden brown, thick, and stunning after the bake, but it’s time to let it rest and cool for a while.
A nice slice of peach pie. Not the prettiest “magazine” looking pie slice, but fit for a party. Party in the mouth and for mental well-being. Cheers to that! 🙂
I admit, I’m not the best at cutting pies. But it’s okay to dig in there like a little kid who wants to smash their cake 😀
Party Peach Pie
Makes a 12-inch cast-iron skillet sized pie and a 9-inch pie
Crust – adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (4 sticks or 16 ounces) very cold unsalted butter, diced(alternative: maybe coconut oil? Let me know if you try it)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2-4 tablespoons vodka (alcohol aids in preventing gluten formation for a flaky crust), cold dry white wine, or cold milk (non-dairy or dairy is fine)
- 1 large egg (for egg wash), beaten
- Turbinado sugar (for crunch on crust, optional)
- Oil or butter for greasing pans
- 12-14 medium peaches (ripe, about 12 cups, cut into desired size)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2-1 cup granulated sugar (start with half and add as needed)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 6-8 tablespoons Wondra or corn starch
- 2-4 tablespoons butter, diced (optional)
- Make crust: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and work it in with your hands, pastry cutter, or do this in a food processor. Keep working it until the mixture starts to hold together and there are pea-sized lumps of butter. Don’t worry if it seems like there is too much butter. Lightly mix in the milk or alcohol and eggs until a cohesive and soft dough forms.
- Divide the dough in four, shape into a disc and wrap each portion of dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, making the filling: In a large bowl, mix together the peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, half of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and half of the Wondra. Add more sugar and Wondra if needed. Cover the bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease the pie pans with your favorite greasing agent.
- On a well floured surface, roll out the portions of dough to a circle ~1/8 inch thickness. Start with the 9-inch pie first as you can use the scraps for the 12-inch crust. Place the bottom crust on the pans, then fill with the peach mixture. Sprinkle on the diced butter on each pie.
- Roll out the remaining portions of dough to a circle of ~1/8 inch thickness and top the pies. Crimp edges to the design of your choice and poke some holes/decorative slashes on the top crust for steam to escape.
- Brush the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle on Turbinado sugar. Bake for ~50-minutes to an hour or until crust is golden brown and some of the filling is bubbling out of the steam vents. Check half-way into the baking time. If crust is browning relatively fast, cover with foil or a crust cover gadget. Once done, set on a wire rack to cool for at least a couple of hours, better if overnight.
How about another slice? I sent some of the pie with my mom for her work. The Kaiser Riverside ER nurses enjoyed this treat on a very busy day. I’m glad that they could enjoy something sweet! We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication. It’s an honor to share dessert with you all!
There’s the 9-inch pie. I don’t mean to brag, but I must say that this is one really really fantabulous pie! People have told me that its the best pie that they have ever eaten. No joke. So why not celebrate with this peach pie? My husband likes pie more than cake and I’ve made him pie for his birthday many times. I think he’s converted me. I like pie better than cake to celebrate a birthday. But I like any dessert, in any form, in general. Desserts are so comforting.
Makes you feel content as a doggy like Bella.
Celebrated with my family at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Was a great time with good food–like the garlic shrimp fettuccine that I had. Really nice strawberry lemonade too. Sorry I forgot to take pictures of everything else, we were all too busy enjoying everything! And…sometimes it’s okay to be sung to by your family and also by people you don’t know 😀
I don’t know what my husband has planned for me today. He likes to surprise me on special occasions. But I do know that this day is off to a beautiful start.
- Peaches ‘n Cream Bars. (sallysbakingaddiction.com)
- Foodie Friday: Healthy Peach and Cantaloupe Pie (morganschreiber.wordpress.com)
- Summer Recipe: Peach Pie Ice Cream – Recipes from The Kitchn (thekitchn.com)
- Peach Bourbon Crostata (localforkful.com)
- Making Perfect Pie Crust – A Scratch Course on Avoiding Pastry Dough Disasters (sloanglenn3.wordpress.com)