labor of love: the best {classic} peach pie

By far one the best pies you will ever eat. Even the non-crust lovers in my family LOVED every inch of this pie - especially the crust! 

By far one the best pies you will ever eat. Even the non-crust lovers in my family LOVED every inch of this pie - especially the crust! 

I used to think I was a person that dealt with change and stress really well until recently when I was asked: 

"Most women find that they need to distract themselves in order to deal with stress. Do you find that you seek distractions in order to deal with stress?"

I laughed, which seems to be the reaction to most things these days.

"Yes. Absolutely.” I answered.

“What type of things do you distract yourself with?” She asked, looking at me with her adorable, but unreadable face. See, I’ve been a part of this academic pregnancy study where they interview “healthy pregnant women” asking lots of personal questions on how they’re handling pregnancy and pre-motherhood. It's for science. 

“Online shopping, pinning nursery ideas on pinterest and reading post-dramatic birthing stories...Sometimes I get distracted and just stare at how big my stomach is in the mirror."

She smiled. 

“Don’t read birthing stories by the way,” I said. "They don’t relieve stress at all, but there’s something about not knowing what I’m in for that makes me want to read a lot about it... I don’t know if that’s healthy or not.” 

She nodded and continued: 

“Do you feel ready for your baby?” 

“Absolutely not.” I laughed again and talked fast, "I’ve never felt more unsure about anything in my entire life. Am I excited? Yes. Terrified? Yes? Do I think everything will be okay? I HAVE NO IDEA. Do I eat more ice cream now and weigh more now than I ever have in my entire life? Yes. Sometimes I think I’m more terrified of how heavy I'm getting more than the actual birthing process!" I joked.

She smiled. “You’re gonna be a great mom.”

I looked at her puzzled thinking back to the original question, “Because... I distract myself when stressed?"

She laughed this time, “Because you have a sense of humor.”  

Any advice on how to handle stress, change and the third trimester completely welcome. I need all the help I can get! ;) Love you friends. xo

the best {classic} peach pie 

adapted from: The Four and Twenty Four Blackbirds Pie Book, by sisters Emily + Melissa Elsen

Whoever made up the expression "easy as pie" needs to check themselves. Pie is one of the most labor intensive desserts you will ever make and a far cry from easy (I imagine it's kind of like growing and rearing a child? Lol). I know, I'm totally convincing you to make this huh? Here's the thing though, the more you make pie, the easier it gets - but so many of us never get there because it's SO much easier to just pick up a stupid pie from some bakery instead - but I promise you, homemade pie is one million times more delicious than any store bought pie. It is the ultimate labor of love. It is worth all the curse words you'll think and achy feet you'll endure when your loved ones exclaim, "Holy crap! This pie is amazing!" Because it is, amazing.

 

note: Making pie is really a two day process. Keep that in mind and really read this whole recipe through before tackling the beast and it will actually be a pleasant stress-free pie making experience. xo

ingredients:

for the butter double crust: 

2 ½ cups / 313g unbleached all-purpose flour (preferably organic)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup / 227g (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 cup / 250ml cold water + ¼ cup / 60ml apple cider vinegar + 1 cup ice, combined

 

for the peach filling: 

2 ½ pounds peaches (enough for about 5 cups sliced)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or 2 - it just depends on how juicy your peaches are)

3 tablespoons arrowroot or potato or corn starch (I use arrowroot)

⅔ cup / 133g sugar

¼ cup / 55g light brown sugar, packed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 

 

egg wash (for the crust):

1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water (or cream) and pinch of salt

Demerara or Turbinado sugar for sprinkling 

 

for the crust: 

note: The Elsen sisters (the creators of this crust recipe) highly recommend making pie crust completely by hand, but I didn’t do that here. 

In a food processor with your dough blade, mix/pulse together all your dry ingredients. Next add your very cold butter cubes and pulse until your mixture resembles a pea-sized crumb. Be careful not to over mix.

Slowly add 1-2 tablespoons of your cider vinegar + water mixture. Dough should come together but not be completely combined yet. 

Take the mixture and put it on a clean cutting board, working the mixture with your hands, adding a little more of the cider + water mixture until it forms a dough. note: Take care not to over mix. You may want to add a bit more water until all the dry bits are blended into the dough.

Split the dough into two equal disks, wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. 

for the prepared pie crust (do at least one day ahead of time):

Get a 9” / 23cm pie pan, preferably with a lip.

Roll out the two disks of dough to be ⅛ inch thick. (If dough is too cold it will crack, let dough sit 10 mins or so before rolling out).

One dough disk will be your pie base and the other will be your pie top. base: Press dough into the pie dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before adding your filling. top: Store your other rolled-out disk on parchment on a cookie sheet, stored in the fridge until it comes time to top your pie. 

 

for the filling:

to peel the peaches: Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Have a large bowl of ice water near by. Score the bottom of the peaches with an “x” - this helps you peel them easier. Dunk the peaches in the simmering water for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then immediately put peaches in the ice water. Leave them there until they’ve cooled and then peel the skin with your fingers. If it doesn’t work that great, try using the back of a knife to work the skin off. 

Cut peaches into 1 ½ - 2 inch slices and in a bowl toss with sugars, lemon juice, starch and salt. 

Place filling in refrigerated pie shell, taking care to leave ALL extra juices behind.

Now create your pie top! :) Cut out shapes or create a lattice - whatever you choose. 

Top with your lattice / pie top. 

Chill the whole pie for 15 minutes. 

Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the pie, taking care not to touch the pie filling. Sprinkle generously with your Demerara or Turbinado sugar. 

 

to bake: 

Preheat oven to 425° F / 218° C and place oven racks on the bottom rack. 

Place pie on a cookie sheet for ease. 

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes on lowest rack. 

Then remove pie, and lower oven temperature to 375° F / 190° C and bake for an additional 30 - 35 minutes, or until juices are bubbling and pie top is browned. 

Cool for 2 - 3 hours before serving. (I could only wait an hour and a half ;)

Pie will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.