peach pie + nectarine pie

pineapples are pretty cheap in hawaii, but other fruits are usually pretty expensive, so i was pretty excited when i saw peaches for less than a dollar per pound! i looked for a peach pie recipe since that is probably my favorite fruit pie, plus cameron’s birthday was coming up.

then a week later nectarines were on sale, so i made a nectarine and blueberry pie.

peach-blueberry pie
from tyler florence (food network)

1 recipe Basic Pastry Pastry, chilled 30 minutes, recipe follows
Flour, for rolling
2 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced
1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
1 egg, beaten with a drizzle of water
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Move the oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.Divide the dough in half and set one half aside; cover it with a towel or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Loosely drape the dough round over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough over the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges to about 1/2-inch.

peach pie

Toss the fruit with the sugar, lemon, and cornstarch. Pile the fruit into the pie shell and dot with the butter. Roll out the reserved dough to a 9 to 10-inch round and lay it over the fruit. Trim, and crimp the edges. Cut 2 or 3 (2-inch) vents in the top of the pie and brush with the egg glaze. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the vents, 50 to 60 minutes. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they brown too fast. Cool on a rack before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

peach pie a la mode

Basic Pie Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.) Check the consistency of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If it’s still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Yield: enough for 1 double-crust pie or crostata
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: none
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: intermediate

comments: so the peach pie turned out pretty good, but i didn’t have blueberries so i just put more peaches. also, lots of people left comments on this recipe on the food network site saying to put more corn starch, so i put about 3 tbsp. the crust was pretty flaky. something about it wasn’t exactly what i imagine in my ideal peach pie though. maybe it was a little too tart, might have needed more sugar? next time if i use peaches of a similar tartness, i’ll put more sugar, and also add in the blueberries (see below).

anyway, here’s the nectarine and blueberry pie i made a week later:

nectarine & blueberry pie

i gotta say, this pie was better. the blueberries really make a difference. i used frozen blueberries since fresh blueberries are ridiculously expensive here. next time i will definitely make a peach blueberry pie instead of straight peach. i also added an extra 1/4 cup sugar since the nectarines were pretty tart. that seemed like the right amount – the pie wasn’t too tart or too sweet. the pie looks a little watery in the picture, but tasted fine; next time maybe needs a little more corn starch because of the frozen blueberries. i really liked this pie. it was goooooood. great crust, great textures, not too sweet, tasted great with the homemade vanilla ice cream.

i also used less water in this pie’s crust, so it was flakier than the first pie. i read something from atk (america’s test kitchen) that said their secret is to use vodka instead of water. adding too much water makes the dough form too much gluten i think, so it’s not nice and flaky. but having dry dough is hard to roll out (2nd pie was definitely harder to roll out). using vodka means you can add more liquid so it’s easier to roll, but there’s a high percentage of alcohol in it that cooks off when you bake the pie, so the crust is still flaky. next time if i pick up some vodka, i’ll have to try it.