I have absolutely no idea how it got to be Thursday already – this week is just going by in one big blur.
The cool weather is coming; it’s been in the mid-to-upper 80s for better than a month now – it’s been a truly lovely summer – but the temperature is starting to drop in our neck of the woods. It is only getting up to 68 tomorrow, and the forecast sets our high temps in the low to mid-70s for the next week or so. I’m beginning to think about dishes like chili and chicken noodle casserole, and plan on making Julia Child’s recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon, from her wonderful Mastering the Art of French Cooking, this weekend.
However, the last days of summer are showering us with the last of the summer peaches at a reasonable price, and I was able to get my hands on several ripe, fragrant freestone peaches last weekend, so pie it was.
Because I love me some pie.
Granted, this is a little more involved than most fruit pie recipes, but it is the most delicious peach pie you’ll ever eat. At least I think so – to me, it tastes like a huge, juicy peach.
If you’ve never peeled a peach, merely blanch them in almost boiling water for 30 – 45 seconds, drop them in an ice water bath for a minute or so, cut a slit through the skin and it will just pull right off.
Pie crust for a 2-crust, 9″ pie (double the recipe given if you follow the link)
8 medium ripe peaches, about 2 3/4 pounds, peeled, pitted and sliced
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon of butter
1 heaping tablespoon tapioca
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Roll the bottom pie crust 1/8 inch thick (or less) and 12 inches in diamter. Transfer to the pie plate; trim the edge almost even with the plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 3 hours.
Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl; add the sugar and salt and toss them gently to mix evenly. Allow the peaches to macerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than an hour.
Pour the peaches into a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the juices – you should have around a cup of peach juice when they’ve drained.
In a small saucepan, boil the peach juice over medium heat, until it’s reduced by a little more than half and syrupy. Swirl the juice in the pan, but don’t stir it. Remove from heat and swirl in the butter until melted. While the peach juice is boiling, transfer the peaches back to the original bowl and toss them with the tapioca and almond extract until the tapioca is well distributed throughout the mixture.
Pour the syrup over the peaches, tossing gently. Pour the mixture into the pie shell.
Roll the top crust into a circle about 12″ in diameter. Moisten the edges of the bottom crust with a little water and place the top crust over the peaches. Tuck the overhang under the bottom crust and press down all around the top to seal it. Crimp the border using either a fork or your fingers, then slash the crust. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerate for an hour to chill (this will “relax” the pie crust and help prevent it from shrinking during baking).
While the pie is in the fridge, preheat oven to 425 ° F. Set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and set a baking stone or baking sheet, covered in foil, on the rack before preheating. Set the pie directly on the baking stone or baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes; reduce the heat to 375 ° F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the crust is a nice, golden brown.
Cool the pie on a rack before serving.