Ina Garten’s Perfect Peach Pie – when a recipe is called ‘perfect’ you’ve got to try it, right?
Perfect Peach Pie was recently posted to Instagram by Ina Garten and since we have tons o’ summer peaches, I knew this pie had to be made. Besides that, Bret had been hinting that his life would be complete if only he had a fresh peach pie. How could I refuse?
Every year I make my terrific Double-Crust Peach Pie. This year, though, it’s going to be Ina’s Perfect Peach Pie. Or maybe both.
I’ve always had good luck with her recipes. She also includes instructions for Perfect Pie Crust on this one. Since I’ve never made a homemade pie crust (don’t judge – Pillsbury roll-out pie crusts are really good…), I saw this as an opportunity.
The ingredients for Perfect Peach Pie are few and simple – peaches, sugar, orange zest and juice, a touch of butter and cornstarch/flour for thickening. Cook a syrup, mix it in to the sliced peaches, dump it in your pie crust and bake.
The most time-consuming part of making the pie is peeling the peaches. She calls for 6 large peaches – I used more like 9 small-to-medium peaches and still wished I’d used 2 or 3 more because I had a 9.5″ pie dish and it didn’t fill the crust all the way. If you don’t have an abundance of peaches, use a smaller pie dish.
Also, it’s not so time-consuming peeling the peaches if you take her tip and throw the peaches in boiling water from 15 seconds to 2 minutes (depending on your peaches). Then you carefully scoop them out of the water and supposedly the skin peels off easily.
I peeled the peaches by hand. Should’ve tried it her way so I wouldn’t have had sticky peach juice on my feet, the floor, and the counter.
Then, of course, there’s the lattice on top of the pie. How hard can it be? I’ve seen them done on the Food Channel and The Great British Bake-off, so I should be able to do this. As you can see from the photos, not so much. I’d get one side right and the other side wasn’t inee-outee like it was supposed to be (inee-outee = technical term for weaving pie crust lattice).
The dough is beautifully silky and great to work with, but it’s very buttery and it can’t be handled very long or it’ll start stretching and pulling apart. No problem. I made little stars with the leftover dough and covered up the not-so-lovely parts.
I’ll keep practicing and get the lattice down one day. Bret won’t mind. He’ll eat it if it’s pretty or ugly and doesn’t even notice latticing.
The filling is good, but a little drier than I like. The crust, though, is awesome. Next time I’ll roll the dough out a little thinner, but it’s a homemade pie crust I’ll definitely use. No more of the little dough boy boxes! In the future, I’ll use the peach pie filling from my Double-Crusted Peach Pie.
I asked Bret which peach pie he liked better and he diplomatically told me I’d need to make both of them again so he could do a taste test. Guess I’ll be making peach pies for the rest of the Summer. Goodie.
- 2 1/2 lb. ripe peaches (6-7 large peaches, peeled)
- 1/2 C. sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on lattice
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1/4 C. freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- 1 recipe of double-crust pie crust (Perfect Pie Crust recipe follows)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
- For the Pie Crust:
- 12 tbsp. very cold butter
- 3 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/3 C. very cold vegetable shortening
- 1/2 C. ice water
- For the Perfect Pie Crust (double-crust for one 9 or 10" pie): dice the very cold butter and return it to the refrigerator. Put the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Dump the butter and shortening in the processor and pulse 8 to 10 times until the butter and shortening is mixed in and the pea-sized.
- Dump the mixture onto a floured board and gently roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Check at 30 minutes. If refrigerated much longer, it may be too firm to roll out).
- Flour your counter or a working board. Cut the dough in half. Roll one of the halves into a circle from the center to the edge, making the circle slightly larger than the pie dish. Roll up the dough on the rolling pin and gently move it over to the pie pan, making sure not to stretch it. Tuck it into the pan, with the dough overlapping the top edges.
- Cut off the excess dough around the edges with a sharp knife. Put the other half of the dough back into the refrigerator.
- For the Pie Filling: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Peel and slice all but one of the peaches and place them in a large bowl. (Ina Garten's tip is to boil a pot of water, slip the peaches into the boiling water - carefully - for 15 seconds to 2 minutes depending on your peaches. Dip the peaches out and into a bowl of cool water. The skin should be easier to peel off.) Chop the remaining peach into small pieces and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the 1/2 cup of sugar, the cornstarch, orange zest, orange juice, and butter over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the 1 chopped peach only to the syrup and return to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. The syrup will thicken slightly. Pour the peachy syrup mixture into the bowl with the fresh peaches along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour to slightly thicken the mixture even more.
- Pour the peach mixture into the pie crust. Brush the edges of the pie crust with a bit of the egg wash so the top strips will stick to it.
- Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a circle that's larger than the pie pan. Cut strips from the dough and weave them in a lattice on top of the pie (or whatever decoration you want). Using a fork, pinch the top and bottom crusts together, cutting off any extra dough around the edges.
- Brush egg wash over the lattice, including all the nooks and crannies. Then generously sprinkle the sugar over the lattice. Place on the prepared sheet pan and bake the pie for about 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly, turning the pie half-way during baking. Cover edges if they start becoming too dark.
- Remove from the oven and let the pie cool. Serve warm or room temperature.
Tips and Stuff:
The pie crust is silky smooth, but be sure you don't try stretching it or pulling on it while you're trying to do the lattice, as it is buttery and delicate.
I was wishing there was more filling, so may add another sliced peach or two next time, in addition to more of the cooked syrup.
Don't cook down the syrup too much; should still be rather thin in viscosity.
Roll out the lattice dough fairly thin - about 1/8". Mine was about 1/4" and too thick.
I used decorating sugar sprinkled on the lattice - bigger crystals and more crunch.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 743Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 569mgCarbohydrates: 94gFiber: 5gSugar: 30gProtein: 11g