Look at these peaches. Just LOOK.
Aren’t they beautiful?
The dog thinks so:
Living here in the south, we are lucky to have an abundance of vegetables and fruits like okra and peaches. Driving around town, there are sign everywhere that say “Georgia Peaches.” So I thought, “Why not make a peach pie?”
I love pies. Apple pies, blueberry pies, key lime pies, all of them. But truthfully, I hate buying them pre-made. Every bite I take, I wonder “How much sugar is in this? There has to be tons of preservatives. What makes this crust stay fresh for ages?” So many questions!
I love peaches in all forms. Candy, drinks, tarts, everything. But I find quite often when I eat a pre-made peach pie, it tastes eerily like barf. Is it just me? I don’t know. Gross? Yes. But the goopy texture with bits of peach doesn’t help either.
I spy with my little eye..
Sad because Mom’s not paying attention to her.
If you haven’t noticed already, I make almost everything from scratch. I promise, I’m not some snooty wanna-be chef who thinks this makes me a better person. No. But it does make the food taste way better. Like, WAY better. Maybe it’s because growing up, my parents did the same. So lo and behold, yes, I do make my crust from scratch. And it’s easy. Seriously.
The crust is one of the most important parts of a pie. The store bought ones are just too dry and crumbly. An ideal crust should be flavorful and not dry, binding with the flavors of the filling. Many crust recipes use butter but I go for vegetable shortening.
Now don’t go saying “Ew” just yet. I’ve taken the butter route. It’s just not that good. Yes, it’s flaky but the crust just falls apart. It feels like I’m eating drywall. Don’t get me started on the preparation of it either. The fear of melting your butter and ruining your crust makes the process laborious.
Vegetable shortening really keeps the crust together and gives the crust a great texture. Follow my instructions and I promise, you’ll never buy pre-made crust again.
First: take 2 cups of flour (you can use whole wheat), 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 cup of shortening. Take a fork and start cutting the shortening, flour, and salt. By this, I mean you’re basically making the shortening into a coarse mixture. This in turn, creates the flakiness in the crust as it bakes.
Second: Once crumbly (see pictures below for reference), as you are mixing with one hand, start adding ice water tablespoon by tablespoon. You definitely do not want to add too much water; better to add too little than too much. Essentially, you want to add enough water to bind the ingredients together into a shaggy dough. Once you are at this point, get a large piece of saran wrap and dump your contents onto it; take 1 corner of the saran wrap at a time and start compressing the dough inside into a big disc. Wrap tightly and put in the freezer.
Note: it WILL look dry and crumbly. You’ll think to yourself “How is this going to become crust?” Trust me, just put it on the saran wrap and start pushing the bits together. It’ll work.
Third: take 2 large peaches (or however many you may need for the size of your pie pan. Mine is pretty small) and peel, core, and slice. Place this into a bowl and squeeze 1/2 lemon over it and mix. Set aside.
Fourth: take 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar (this all may be adjusted. I hate putting a ton of sugar in baked goods so if your peaches are sweet, I say reduce the amount of sugar. Remember, I don’t strictly follow recipes), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I didn’t have any) and mix. Pour this onto your peaches and mix.
Fifth: get your pie crust out and preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Get your crust into your pan and leave any leftovers for the top. I baked my crust by itself for 10 minutes prior to filling it with the peaches.
Note: I didn’t have much so I made a quick crumb topping (1/2 stick melted butter, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar mixed)
Sixth: pour in your peach mixture into your crust and create whichever top crust you desire.
Seventh: place in your oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees F and bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy!