Flavorful, fresh and plentiful this time of year, everyone loves a good juicy Southern peach. While the crop is abundant, time to fill your basket and head to the kitchen with the surplus.
The flavor of peaches is enhanced and complemented by an array of other foods: cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, fresh and dried ginger, lemon, lime, stone fruits, tarragon, rosemary, mint, basil, and champagne.
Get creative and try a variation on our below theme with your pie. Just remember to use a light hand with the seasoning and let the peaches speak for themselves.
Makes one 9-inch pie
12 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups all purpose flour
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
2 egg yolks
2-4 Tbs ice water
5-6 cups of sliced peaches, unpeeled
1⁄4- 1⁄2 cup sugar to taste
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg or ground cloves
1 vanilla bean
To make the crust, combine the butter with the flour, salt and sugar using your fingers or a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk the egg yolks with the ice water and add to the flour mixture; stir quickly with a fork, and add more ice water as needed until dough is elastic. Don’t over-blend. Form the dough into two balls and wrap in wax paper. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Roll out one ball of dough and line the bottom of the pie pan with it, trimming the excess crust hanging over the edges.
To make the filling, slice the peaches and add sugar to taste, lemon zest, and freshly grated nutmeg or ground cloves. Place the vanilla bean on a cutting board, and holding it between two fingers, carefully use a pairing knife to slit the bean lengthwise. Pry open the outer skin, and using the knife, gently scrape the inside of the bean and add the contents to the bowl. Discard the outer skin. Stir everything to incorporate, and pour it into the pie shell.
Roll out the remaining ball of dough and place over the bottom of the pie. Tuck the overlapping dough underneath itself and using index finger and thumb, crimp the crust around the rim. Cut a few slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet with sides to catch any drippings, and turn the oven down to 350°. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden.
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