Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lattice Crust Peach Pie

We are a mixed family.

Mixed, meaning, El Hub likes chocolate desserts.  And I like fruit desserts.

Mixed, meaning I cook, and El Hub eats.

Mixed, meaning, I cook what I like and "force" him to like what I cook.

Mixed, meaning, I expect him to be flexible and me to be happy.

Ok, I'm kidding about that last part.


I can be flexible too....I sort of like chocolate chip cookies and brownies.

Anway, all that to say that one bite into his piece of peach pie, El Hub declared this pie the "best pie he's ever had."

My simple fruit dessert topped his decadent chocolate dessert concoctions that he always orders out.  ('Cause I don't make those types of desserts!)


I will admit to this being my first attempt at a lattice crust.  It was way simpler than I thought it would be.  It was fun.

It is seriously hard to go wrong with fresh, juicy, perfectly ripe peaches.  This pie showcases them and lets them soar!  The filling is simple, the spices are scantly used, only to enhance the flavor of the peaches.

In a word, it is perfect.

Even my chocolate-loving husband thought so.

Lattice Crust Peach Pie
Adapted from The New Best Recipe, by America's Test Kitchen

Pie Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. sugar
17 Tbl. unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
10 Tbl. ice water

Pie Filling
6-7 medium, ripe peaches (about 7 cups sliced)
1 Tbl. lemon juice
1 cup sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg (use the best quality possible)
pinch of salt
3-5 Tbl. of Minute tapioca, ground fine in a food processor
1 Tbl. water
1 Tbl. sugar

To make the pie dough, process the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined.  Add the butter and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs.  Slowly drizzle the ice water into the food processor while processing, until the dough comes together.  Remove from bowl and divide into 2 balls, one larger than the other.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Adjust oven racks to the lowest position and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack.

Remove the dough from refrigerator.  On a floured work surface, roll the larger piece of dough to a 15x11 inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.  Transfer dough to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  With a pizza wheel or fluted pastry wheel (or a paring knife), trim the long sides of the rectangle to make them straight, then cut the rectangle lengthwise into 8 strips, 15 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide. Freeze the strips on the baking sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.

Remove the strips of dough from the freezer; if they are too stiff to be workable, let them stand at room temperature until malleable and softened but still very cold.  To make the lattice, lay out 4 strips of dough parallel on parchment paper.  Fold the first and third strips back, then place a long strip of dough perpendicular slightly to the right side of the center.  Unfold the first and third strips over the perpendicular strip, and fold back the second and fourth parallel strips.  Add a second perpendicular strip.  Now unfold the second and fourth strips.  Repeat this process with 2 more perpendicular strips (you will have a total of 8 strips of dough, 4 running in each direction).  Freeze the finished lattice until very firm, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll the smaller piece of dough on floured work surface to a 12-inch circle.  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch glass pie plate by rolling the dough around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan.  Working around the circumference of the pan, ease the dough into the pan "corners" by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing it into the pan bottom with the other hand.  Leave the dough that overhangs the lip of the pie place in place; refrigerate the dough-lined plate while you prepare the peach filling.

Peel the peaches, removing only the skin.  Slice each peach off the pit.  Toss the peach slices, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and tapioca in a large bowl.

Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and turn the peach filling into the dough-lined pie plate.  Remove the lattice from the freezer and slide it over the top of the pie.  Trim the lattice strips and crimp the pie edges.  Lightly brush the pie crust with water and sprinkle with sugar.

To bake, lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees.  Place the glass pie plate on the hot baking sheet and bake until the crust is set and begins to brown, 20-25 minutes.  Rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until the crust is a deep golden brown and the juices bubble, about 25-30 minutes longer.  Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.  Any runny filling will set up during this cooling time.

For the most enjoyable dessert experience, top each slice of pie with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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