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Peach Pie

Lord help me when it comes to peach pie. True, I have never met a pie I didn't like, but fresh peaches nestled under a buttery pastry crust is just too much of everything that is good in this life. Tender, sweet and juicy, peaches are somehow at their peachiest when they are baked in a pie. Hold me now.

They say folks are either pie people or cake people. I dunno. That's kind of like choosing between a day at the beach and a picnic in the park. It's all good. But I'd probably bring a pie on that picnic, just saying.

This peach pie was inspired by a recent visit to a roadside diner in Washington State. Mr. Feedbag and I were returning from my book tour date at Book Larder in Seattle, driving north on the I-5 when we pulled off at Marysville for a little lunch. We ended up at The Village Restaurant and Lounge, a classic diner that has been famous for its pies for nearly 80 years. A single glorious taste of the raspberry rhubarb pie had me craving getting home to my own kitchen to make a pie myself, which I hadn't done in a while.

This classic peach pie with a lattice top has just a touch of cinnamon in the filling. Not so much that you even know it's there. It just gives it that downhome country taste that is synonymous with peach pie. Do a lattice top if you like, or simply roll out the top crust and leave it whole, with a couple vents slashed into it to let the steam out.

Get the recipe below...


Peach Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie (serves 8)

3 lb (1.4 kg) fresh ripe peaches (6-7 medium peaches)
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold butter, cubed
1 egg
3 tbsp (50 mL) cold water
1 tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon

Score an X in the bottom of each peach with a knife. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the peaches for 1 minute to loosen the skins. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl of cold water and set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and work into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, or two knives working across each other, until uniformly crumbly. In a small bowl, beat the egg, cold water and vinegar. Add to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork until all the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough. Form into two balls. Wrap up one ball and put it in the fridge.

Roll out the other dough ball on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin until it is big enough to have at least a 1-inch (2.5 cm) overhang all around once transferred to a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer to the pie plate and set aside.

Slip off and discard the peach skins. Slice the peaches, discarding the pits, adding the slices to a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Pour over the peaches and toss to coat evenly. Pour the filling into the pie shell.

Roll out the chilled dough ball to form the pie top. For a lattice top, cut the dough into strips and arrange over the filling. Or simply leave the pie top whole and position over the filling, cutting a couple vents to allow steam to escape. Pull the overhanging dough over the pie top edges and crimp using your fingers or a fork. If desired, brush the dough with a beaten egg or whole milk and sprinkle the pie top with sugar.

Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in the middle of a preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F and continue baking 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbling.

Enjoy warm or allow to cool completely and refrigerate for tidiest slices.

Are you baking with peaches this summer? What is your all-time favourite pie?