When the peach season is a good one, and this year it is spectacular, it is best to keep peach pie simple. There is nothing more beautiful than a perfectly ripe, juicy, smooth, sweet peach, so don’t fuss it all up with too much extra stuff. This peach pie is really just peaches, a touch of booze, which is optional and some raw sugar (use brown sugar if you don’t stock raw). The trick is binding the peaches enough to keep them together in a neat slice, without adding so much starch that is gets gloppy. This is an art, rather than a science (that’s only partially true), because each batch of peaches produces a different amount of juice. I tend to go on the under-bound edge of the spectrum, so keep that in mind when you are making your filling.
If you happen to get your hands on a bunch of peaches and you want to make more than one pie, you can make the pie, freeze it and bake it later in the summer or even save it (if you have a really good freezer) for chillier weather, when you are desperate to remember the taste of summer.
You can watch me make this pie and I give more details on freezing a pie in my instagram videos.
1 recipe pie dough
8 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (you can watch me peel the peach in my instagram video)
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup whiskey, bourbon or rum (if you don’t want to use alcohol, you can substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
4-5 tablespoons cornstarch
Sugar for sprinkling
Prepare pie dough
To make the filling:
Put the peaches, sugar, whiskey, and salt in a big bowl and let them sit for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better. This releases the juices from the peaches. Strain the peaches and mix the juices with the cornstarch. In a saucepan, cook the cornstarch mixture until it is thick and translucent. Add the thickened juices back to the peaches in a large bowl.
Freeze or bake.
To freeze the pie:
Place it in the freezer until completely chilled, then wrap well in plastic and return to freezer until ready to bake.
To bake the pie:
Preheat oven to 425°F
Brush top of pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake on a baking sheet (in case the juices runneth over). If the pie was frozen, it goes into the oven frozen, don’t defrost, it will just take much longer to bake and you will probably need to tent the crust, see my instagram video).
After 30 minutes, drop the temperature to 350 and continue baking until the filling is bubbling and clear. This can take anywhere from 45 additional minutes to 1 1/2 hours (if it was frozen) and you may need to tent the edge of the pie if it starts to brown before the middle is done.
Cool completely before slicing or the filling will be sloppy; tasty, but sloppy.
Ice cream is not a must, but a strong suggestion!