Saturday, July 27, 2013

Recipe: Peach Pie

Based on a recipe from the July 1995 Cook's Illustrated. Serves 8.

Read the story behind this dish in Sunday, Dinner for Two.  


Pie Dough
11¼ ounces (2¼ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
⅓ cup ice water
Peach Filling
3½ pounds peaches (about 6 cups)
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 small lemon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger (optional)
¼ teaspoon table salt
3-4 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until mixed.
  2. Cut the butter into ¼-inch cubes and scatter them over the flour mixture.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour, about five 1-second pulses. 
  4. Cut the shortening into pieces (it is softer than the butter so harder to make into uniform pieces, but that's OK) and scatter them over the flour mixture.
  5. Cut the shortening into the flour with 1-second pulses until it is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal. The butter pieces should be no larger than the size of a pea.
  6. Turn the mixture into a small bowl.
  7. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the ice water and sprinkle the rest on the dough.
  8. Press the dough together with a rubber spatula, adding up to 1 tablespoon of ice water if the dough does not come together.
  9. Divide the dough into two portions, one slightly larger than the other, and dust each lightly with flour. 
  10. Wrap each portion of dough in plastic wrap, pressing it into a 4-inch disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  11. Peel, pit, and slice the peaches.
  12. Zest the lemon yielding 1 teaspoon zest.
  13. Juice the lemon yielding 2 teaspoons juice.
  14. If using, mince the crystallized ginger. Feel free to use less than a full tablespoon if you want less ginger flavor in the finished pie.
  15. Toss the peaches with the sugars, lemon juice, zest, tapioca, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger (if using). Let stand for 15 minutes.
  16. Heat oven to 400° with a rack in the lower-middle position.
  17. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  18. Cut 2 tablespoons unsalted butter into small pieces.
  19. Roll out the larger dough disk into a 12-inch circle about ⅛-inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
  20. Fit dough into a 9-inch Pyrex pie plate leaving the excess hanging over the edge.
  21. Add the peach mixture to the pie and distribute the butter pieces on top of the peaches.
  22. Roll the smaller dough disk into a 10-inch circle and place on top of the peaches. 
  23. Trim the edges leaving ½-inch of dough overhanging the pie plate and tuck this dough underneath itself so it is flush with the edge of the pie pan.
  24. Using a fork, press the two pieces of dough together around the circumference of the pie.
  25. Cut four slits at right angles to each other in the top crust.
  26. Place pie in freezer for 10 minutes.
  27. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake until the top crust is golden, about 20 minutes.
  28. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue baking until the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 35 minutes.
  29. Cool on a wire rack until juices have thickened, 1-2 hours, and serve. 
Pulse flour, salt, and sugar to mix, add cubes of cold butter, and cut butter into flour.
Cut chilled shortening into the flour mixture.

Add ice water and press with rubber spatula to bring the dough together.

Press the dough into two 4-inch disks, wrap, and cool in refrigerator.
Gather ingredients for filling: sugars, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, tapioca, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
Peel, pit, and slice peaches, add other filling ingredients, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Roll out dough for bottom crust and fit to pie dish, add filling, and dot with butter.
Roll out top crust, add to pie, trim and fold under edges, press with fork, and cut slits for steam to escape.

Bake, cool on a wire rack, and serve.

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