Fresh Peach Pie
Fresh Peach Pie made with sun kissed juicy peaches picked at the height of their ripeness from the tree in my own yard. Combined with a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and Turbinado sugar making for a delicious seasonal summer treat. This is what eating in season is about. Here in Michigan we are lucky to have a vast variety of fruits and vegetables throughout our spring, summer, and fall growing season.
Fresh fruit always tastes so much better when you are eating them in season. Picked at the right moment of ripeness the fruit has fully developed the sugars on the tree kissed by the sun. When eating a sun ripe warm peach from the tree my first bite reveals the sweet juicy pulp. The juices run down my chin and hand, but I don’t care because I’ve been transported to a state of blissful nirvana. Memories of my childhood and summers long ago.
With or Without the Skin? When it comes to fresh fruit like peaches I prefer to leave the skins on. I wash the peaches and lightly rub off the fuzz with a wet paper towel and then rinse off any remaining fuzz. I find the flavor of the Fresh Peach Pie filling has so much more depth of flavor and the skin provides a beautiful hue of pink blush of color to the filling. Feel free to peel the peaches if you prefer.
Sugaring the Fruit? Making a peach pie can be one of most daunting task a baker can take on. As with all fruit there is no control on how much juice is contained in each peach which in turns effects how much starch is needed to thicken the filling so as not end up with a soupy mess when baked. By sugaring the fruit we are releasing the water present in the cells of the fruit. This in turn firms up the fruit for the baking process. The firmness of the fruit yields pieces of fruit with good texture and body rather than a soft and mushy texture when baked.
Clearjel® – the bakers and canners secret! Traditionally flour, cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, and arrowroot have been the thickener of choice for pie fillings since most people had one or more of these on hand in their pantry at all times. All of these starches work well at thickening the filling for fruit pies, but all these starches are effected by acids (lemon juice, vinegar) and cannot be frozen and thawed after baking without breaking down and becoming watery. There is a secret used by bakeries and folk who can and preserve their own fresh fruit pie fillings. It’s Clearjel® which is modified cornstarch. The properties of Clearjel® makes fruit fillings that stand up to acidic ingredients, tolerates high temperatures, holds on the liquid without breaking down, and can be frozen and thawed and still have a smooth consistency. This makes it the clear choice when making a cooked pie filling. Use the same amount Clearjel® when replacing cornstarch in a recipe. Clearjel® can be purchased online at Amazon or your local health food store or bakery.
“I want a picture perfect slice!” Fruit pie fillings can be frustrating for bakers who want a “picture perfect slice.” To do this requires using more starch than actually is needed to thicken the pie filling, This makes for a nice looking slice of pie, but at the detriment of flavor and texture of the pie filling which will be starchy and gummy once baked. I use enough starch in my recipes to thicken the fresh fruit pie fillings. The fresh fruit filling will still flow from the crust once it’s baked but will not be watery providing the best taste and texture in the end.
What about the Pie Dough Recipe? The Fresh Peach Pie requires one recipe of my “Old School Pie Dough“ for the bottom and top crust. I like to make my pie dough with half lard and half butter for an oh so flaky, tender, and rich tasting pie crust. You have the choice of making with all butter if you choose. Click on the link for “Old School Pie Dough“ the complete recipe and rolling directions, and YouTube instructional video.
The Fresh Peach Pie filling complete instructional video on my YouTube Channel “Just One Bite, Please?” is at the bottom of this post.
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups & Spoons/Electronic Bakers Scale
- Heat Proof Rubber Spatula
- 3 Quart Saucepan
- 9″ (23 cm) Pie Pan
- Parchment Paper
- 1/2-Sheet Tray Pan
- Pastry Brush
- Cooling Rack
Roll and prepare pie dough for double crust pie (see “Old School Pie Dough” for recipe and detailed directions)
Peach Pie Filling:
- Measured Grams Ingredients
- 3 lbs. 1361 g. Peaches (washed, and cut into wedges)
- 1/3 cup 60 g. Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup 60 g Turbinado Sugar (Raw Sugar)
- ¼ cup 56 g. Lemon Juice (fresh)
- ½ tsp. 4 g. Sea Salt (fine)
- 1/3 cup 45 g. Clearjel®
- ½ tsp. ½ tsp. Cinnamon (grounded)
- 1/8 tsp. 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg (ground)
- ¼ cup 56 g Butter (unsalted)
- 1 tsp. 6 g. Vanilla Extract
Preparing the Fresh Peach Filling:
- Wash the peaches in cold water and lightly rub the fuzz off the peaches. Be sure to rinse the fuzz off the peaches. Place into a bowl to drain.
- Cut the peaches into wedges and place the peach wedges into a large mixing bowl.
- To the wedged peaches add the granulated sugar, turbinado sugar, lemon juice, and sea salt.
- Lightly fold the peaches to coat them with the other ingredients. The sugars should start to dissolve.
- Let the peaches release their juices for 1 hour. Folding occasionally throughout the hour will encourage the maximum release of the fruit juices.
- After 1 hour drain the peach juice into a large saucepan. Place to peaches back into the bowl.
- To the peach juice add the Clearjel®, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine the ingredients until the Clearjel® is dissolved.
- Place the saucepan onto medium heat and bring the peach juice to a boil. Stir constantly as it comes up to a boil.
- Stir and boil the peach juice mixture for 1 minute.
- Add the butter and stir to combine. (The mixture will separate with the addition of the butter, but will come back together in the next step.)
- Add the peach wedges to the saucepan and gently fold the peaches with the thickened filling mixture to combine.
- Cook the peach filling for 3 minutes. (This will release any remaining juices from the peaches to thicken the filling)
- Remove the peach filling from the stove and place into a large bowl.
- Add the vanilla and fold to combine.
- Cool the peach pie filling completely to room temperature before filling the pie crust.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) 30 minutes before baking the pie
Roll and prepare pie dough for double crust pie (see “Old School Pie Dough” for recipe and detail directions)
Filling and Baking the Fresh Peach Pie:
- To the rolled pie crust bottom, lightly egg wash the unfinished edge of the pie dough.
- Add the Fresh Peach Pie filling into the prepared bottom pie crust and smooth the top out using a rubber spatula.
- Roll out the top crust and then roll it onto the rolling pin. Center the top crust over the fruit filling and the bottom dough edge and unroll the top crust over the filling.
- Press the two layers of dough together to adhere them together using your finger tips
- Fold the excess dough from the bottom crust over the top crust and form a rim of dough that sits on the pie pan edge.
- Compress the rim of dough onto the pie pan edge to secure it during baking.
- Flute the edge of the pie crust using your thumb and forefinger. (You can shape the pie edge any way you want.)
- Brush the top and edges of the pie crust with egg wash and cut vents with a paring knife.
- Place the pie onto a parchment lined sheet tray and place into the 375ºF (190ºC) preheated oven.
- Bake the pie at 375ºF (190ºC) for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the center of the pie is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
- Remove the pie from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Cool the pie completely to room temperature before serving.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the pie. Use a pie server spatula to remove the sliced piece of pie from the pie pan.
- Serve the Fresh Peach Pie with a dollop of lightly sweetened whip cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.