I love the idea of peach pie. Earlier this summer it was popping up everywhere. I watched the woman who I’m babysitting for make three in one day, granted she used store-bought crust. One of my good friends has been working for the Farmer’s Markets in New York City and had been raving about how many peaches he gets to bring home each day. Imagine how many pies that makes!

For my birthday weekend, I decided to wind down with  day in the kitchen. It was pretty good weather and I had hit up the Rittenhouse Square farmer’s market early Saturday morning and scored some great Freestone peaches- white and yellow. I filtered through a few different recipes and decided on the Mark Bittman version.

Peach Pie
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

About 2 pounds of peaches, or a little more (6-10 peaches, depending on size)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
About 1/2 cup sugar, more if the peaches are not quite ripe, plus a little for the top
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground allspice, if you use cinnamon
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
2 recipes for Flaky Pie Crust (see my recipe for Blackberry Pie, here)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
Milk as needed

Heat the oven to 450F. Peel the peaches: Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the peaches into it, a couple at a time, for 10 to 30 seconds, until the skins loosen. Plunge into a bowl of ice water. Slip the skins off, using a paring knife to ease the process. Pit, slice, and toss with lemon juice.

Mix together the dry ingredients (including the almond extract, if you’re using it) and toss the peaches with this mixtures. Pile into the rolld-out shell, making the pile a little higher in the center than at the sides. Dot with butter. Cover with the top crust. Decorate the edges with a fork or your fingers.

Put the pie on a baking sheet and brush the top lightly with milk; sprinkle with sugar. Use a sharp paring knife to cut two or three 2-inch long slits in the top crust; this will allow steam to escape. Bake for 10 minute; reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown. Do not under-bake. Cool on a rack before serving warm or at room temperature.

This is the best photo I got of the finished product. I was a little too eager to dig in to the pie – it looked and smelled so delicious. As you can tell from the picture, I didn’t end up using a top crust. This is for a few reasons, mainly because I ran out of flour as I went to make my top crust, but also because I really love the idea of exposing your fruit in a pie. It’s the main element and I think it should be shown off. I looked up a recipe for a crumble topping and sprinkled it on top of the peaches.

Crumb Topping for Pies
from All Recipes

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, diced

In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Mix in butter with a fork or stand mixer just until the topping is crumbly. Top your pie before baking.

So that’s just what I did. And this pie was great. I used a mixture of yellow and white Freestone peaches. I read that Freestone are the easiest to remove from the pit, and they certainly were. They were at their prime and very yummy. Upon first taste, I served it warm with eggnog ice cream. I’ve been eating it cold from the fridge since then and it is the perfect snack for a hot summer day. I just picked up a bunch of peaches from Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA this past week, and I’m contemplating what I’ll be doing with them before peach season comes to a close!