Peach pie is a summer classic that shouldn't be messed with! It doesn't need a shot of bourbon or rum, or vanilla or almond extract, or a lot of spices, or blueberries or pecans, or a layer of sour cream or cream cheese. And it especially doesn't need an excessive amount of sugar (unlike a famous, and currently beleaguered, Southern chef's recipe that calls for a whopping 1 1/2 cups!)
"An apple is an excellent thing--until you have tried a peach." ~ George du MaurierI love all fruit, but peaches are my favorite. (If I were a fruit, I'd be a peach!) I usually make Peach Pie with Lattice Crust, sometimes Peach Cobbler or Peach Galette. This time I decided to go with pastry rounds instead of lattice for the top crust. And since this is the month I've chosen to go gluten-free, I used my special recipe for an excellent gluten-free crust.
If you've never made a peach pie without peeling the peaches, give it a try. Just rub all the fuzz off while you're washing and drying them. Once the pie is baked, I promise you, you won't even notice -- other than the fact that the crimson blush of the peach skin makes your pie even more beautiful.
What fruit will you miss most when summer is over?
Gluten-Free Peach Pie
(Makes one 9-inch pie, 8 servings)
The Pastry (food processor method)
3/4 packed cup sorghum flour
3/4 packed cup potato starch
1/2 packed cup tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1 tablespoon lemon juice or cider vinegar
Ice water to make 2/3 cup
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 large) ripe yellow peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (No, that "1/8" is not a typo!)
1/8 teaspoon mace or nutmeg (I want you to taste the peaches!)
1 With metal blade in place, add sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and process for 10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses, or until the frozen butter is the size of small peas.
Note: Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup food processor is a convenient size.
2 In 2/3-cup measure, combine lemon juice or vinegar and ice water. Pour over all of flour mixture; pulse for six 1-second pulses or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process.
3 Turn dough out onto lightly floured (gluten-free, of course) surface--a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper makes it easier. Divide dough, 2/3 for bottom crust and 1/3 for top crust. Do not refrigerate dough at this point as you would do with regular all-butter pie crust; but if it's a really hot day, you can wrap it and refrigerate it for 5 or 10 minutes or so.
4 Form the larger piece of dough into a round disk, sprinkle lightly with gluten-free flour--topping it with another piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper makes it easier--and roll out to 12- to 13-inch circle. Transfer to Pyrex 9-inch pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Crimp the edge in your favorite way, then pop the pie plate into the freezer. On a piece of parchment, roll out the smaller piece of dough to a 9-inch square. With 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 16 pastry rounds. Cover and place in refrigerator while preparing pie filling.
5 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line 9-inch glass pie plate with pastry, trimming overhang to about 3/4 inch. Place in refrigerator.
6 Peel peaches only if you must--do try NOT peeling them--and slice into a large bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure). You'll have about 6 cups of sliced peaches. (I slice them like this: Quarter peach, cut each quarter into 4 wedges, cut wedges in half.) In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, tapioca flour (take it from me, THE best thickener), salt and spices; add to peaches and mix gently but well. Pour into pie shell.
7 Working from outer edge, place 10 2-inch pastry rounds. Use 5 pastry rounds for next circle, and place one in the center.
8 Place a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in the middle of the oven to catch any drips, and place the pie on the baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 350, and bake for an additional 35 minutes (juices should be bubbling). Cool on wire rack for at least 3 hours before serving.