from Farmers’ Market Desserts
I was beaming when my pie took first prize in the San Francisco Professional Food Society’s 1997 peach pie contest, the year I joined. I had spent weeks refining the recipe to get the proportions of filling to crust right, the crust flaky, and the filling held together with just the right type and amount of starch. That recipe sacrificed some flavor in the name of flakiness by using part vegetable shortening. The farmers’ market spirit dictates all butter, however, which ensures a rich, flavorful crust. A bit of vinegar keeps it tender—you won’t taste it.
More than anything, the success of the pie depends on the quality of the peaches. Select fruit that is juicy and flavorful. Peaches with a tinge of red in the flesh make a beautifully rosy filling.
Makes 8 servings
© 2021 Jennie Schacht / Chronicle Books · Reproduced with permission.
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You Will Need
To make the crust, put the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the ice water. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the flour mixture a little at a time, pulsing briefly after each addition, until the dough just holds together when you press it gently with your hand. Add the remaining ice water as needed to achieve the correct consistency.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and, without handling more than necessary, flatten it into two disks, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the disks separately in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Remove the disks from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 425ºF, with a rack near the center.
To make the filling, put about half of the peach slices into a heavy saucepan and the other half in a large bowl. Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from the lemon and add to the peaches in the pan, along with the granulated sugar, salt, and tapioca starch. Place the pan over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar, salt, and tapioca starch are dissolved and the peaches begin to give up a little juice, about 2 minutes. When the juices just begin to bubble and thicken, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents to the bowl holding the remaining peach slices. Halve the lemon, squeeze 2 teaspoons juice from it, and add to the peaches. Toss to coat evenly. Set aside to cool while you roll out the pastry.
Place the larger pastry disk on a lightly floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it into a 12‑inch circle. Carefully roll the circle loosely around the pin and unroll it over a 9-by-2-inch deep-dish pie pan, fitting it gently into the pan without stretching or pressing it. Alternatively, transfer the circle using a flour-dusted large metal spatula or rimless baking sheet. Trim the edges to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic film.
Roll the remaining disk between two sheets of lightly floured plastic film into a 10-inch circle, again with a floured pin. Distribute the peaches evenly in the bottom crust. Paint the edges of the crust with a bit of the egg wash. (Save the rest for later.) Transfer the 10-inch circle the same way you moved the bottom crust, centering it over the filled pie. Tuck the edges of the top circle under the overhang of the bottom crust to make a tight seal. Crimp with a fork or your fingers to create an edge on the rim of the pan. With a paring knife, cut a few decorative vents near the center of the top crust. Brush the top crust with the remaining egg wash (you may not use all of it) and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375ºF and bake until the crust is a rich, golden brown, about 50 minutes longer. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.
Refrigerate leftover pie, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature or heat in a preheated 350ºF oven just until warm before serving.