It was one of those days. Nothing seemed to be working for me. I went from one task, to the next, to the next last Saturday…yet, nothing seemed to get done. I had gone to the local orchard and picked some peaches the previous day. The peaches you pluck off a tree do not last as long as those you would buy at your local grocery store, so I knew I had to get this pie made. I followed Cooks Illustrated’s recipe, and it turned out great. However, I had issues with the lattice-top.
The recipe had me freeze strips of dough to use for the lattice before “weaving” the top together. I guess I left it in there too long, or my freezer is too cold…but the strips were just snapping and breaking at every turn. I was getting ready to throw the whole damn pie out the back door. Thankfully, my husband talked me into putting it in the oven. I’m glad I did, because it really was delicious. The prettiest pie? No. But, sometimes the best things to eat certainly aren’t the prettiest now, are they?
Lattice-Top Peach Pie
1 recipe Pie Dough for Lattice Top Pie (recipe follows)
Flour for dusting the work surface
6-7 medium, ripe peaches (7 cups sliced)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3-5 tbsp potato starch or Minute tapioca (see note)
1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Roll the larger piece of dough to a 15 by 11-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick; transfer the dough rectangle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a pizza wheel, fluted pastry cutter, or 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.
2. Roll the smaller piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface or between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling the dough around a 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 plate in place; refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate.
3. Remove the dough strips from the freezer. If they are too stiff to be workable, let them stand at room temperature until malleable and softened slightly but still very cold. Form lattice top crust on a parchement lined baking sheet, then place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan and fill a large bowl with 2 quarts of cold water and 2 trays of ice cubes. Peel the peaches by blanching them. Cut a small “X” in the bottom of each peach, dunk them in the boiling water for about 40 seconds, remove them and place in the ice water. The skins should slip right off. Halve and pit each peach, and cut into 3/8 inch slices.
5. Toss the peach slices, lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and potato starch in a medium bowl.
6. Turn the peach mixture into the dough-lined pie plate. Remove the lattice from the freezer and place on top of the filled pie. Trim the lattice strips and crimp the pie edges. Lightly brush the lattice top with 1 tbsp water and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
7. Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake until the crust is set and begins to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until the crust is deep golden brown, and the juices bubble, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.
* If you don’t have or can’t find potato starch, substitute an equal amount of Minute tapioca ground for about 1 minute in a food processor or spice grinder.
Source: The New Best Recipe Book
Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled
10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 tbsp ice water
1. Process the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with the butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle the 10 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tbsp more ice water if the dough will not come together. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other (If possible, weigh the pieces; they should weigh 16 oz and 14 oz). Flatten the larger piece into a rough 5-inch square and the smaller piece into a 4-inch disk; wrap seperately in plastic and chill as directed.