This classic, Southern Peach Pie is absolute dessert perfection! Nothing beats a fresh peach pie in the summertime when peaches are in season!
Filled with summer’s juiciest, sweetest fresh peaches and made with a flaky, buttery double-crust dusted with sanding sugar, Southern Peach Pie is as beautiful as it is delicious and wonderful served à la mode with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
When I think of summer, I always think of peach juice dripping pink and sticky down chins and that sweet, orangey-pink peach flesh that is just bursting with yummy fresh flavor beneath fuzzy red and orange peach skins. Peaches are my all-time favorite fruit, and I say that without equivocation. But because I love fresh peaches so much, it is almost hard to bake with them because I love just eating them out-of-hand or sliced into a bowl with a little cream and sugar! Incidentally, peaches & cream in a bowl like that is Clara’s (my 6-year old) favorite treat ever and she asks for it all the time when peaches are in season.
But if you are smart, you will overbuy peaches next time you see them at the farmer’s market or in the store when they are plentiful, ripe, and on sale, just so you can bake a fresh peach pie.
Which should really be a summer tradition if it isn’t already at your house. Because oooh boy, is this ever a delicious and easy pie! It’s easily in my top 5 pies of all time, right up with Homemade Blackberry Pie, Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, and maybe a Blueberry Sour Cream Custard Pie or okay, apple pie (either Dutch or Classic).
Even though apple pie might be the most iconic All-American pie option, Southern Peach Pie is definitely a contender and something you should consider for dessert this 4th of July!
The thing to know about this fresh peach pie is that peaches already have so much intense natural flavor and sweetness that you don’t want to go too far with adding things to the pie filling. All you really need is a little sugar, some cornstarch and flour for thickening, and then the tiniest amount of cinnamon, allspice, vanilla and lemon juice to round out the flavors.
Even mediocre peaches become wonderful in peach pie, you just might want to add a little extra sugar. You could even make this with frozen peaches, although I would definitely stay away from canned, which just can’t come close to the texture and flavor of a Southern Peach Pie made with fresh or frozen peaches.
I always do a double crust for Southern Peach Pie using my perfect pie crust recipe with slits in the top for venting some of the moisture out of the pie from the peach juice as it cooks and coarse sanding sugar sprinkled over the top for a sweet crunch and pretty sparkle.
Also, please know going into it that when you make peach pie it just won’t set up quite the same as an apple pie and that’s because peaches are just so darn juicy that the filling can’t thicken up the same. Sure, if you added more cornstarch or flour, you could get the filling to thicken up more, but it would start to affect flavors and textures in weird ways and it’s just not worth it. This recipe is going to get you a fairly set but juicy peach pie filling that still allows the amazing fresh peach flavor to shine through.
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- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- 12 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
- 6-7 large fresh, ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of allspice (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling on top of the pie crust
Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a food processor, cut the shortening and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. It is only about 10 pulses with a food processor but a bit more work by hand. One trick to make the process a little easier is to freeze your butter beforehand, then grate it into the flour mixture before cutting it in with the pastry cutter if not using a food processor.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Using a fork, gently stir the water in to the flour mixture, then repeat with the remaining water, adding only 2 tablespoons at a time, just until the dough starts to come together.
Divide the dough into two even pieces. Turn each piece of dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten each into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then allow the chilled dough to sit on the counter to soften slightly for 10 minutes before rolling out.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the bottom crust and line a pie plate with it.
To easily peel the peaches, gently lower them into a large pot of boiling water for 40-60 seconds, then remove to an ice water bath with a slotted spoon to shock them. After just a few seconds, the skin should slip off easily by just rubbing the peaches with your fingers. Remove pits and slice the peaches.
In a large bowl, combine the fresh, sliced peaches with the sugar, cornstarch, flour, cinnamon, allspice, salt, vanilla and lemon juice and toss to evenly coat the peaches.
Fill the bottom pie shell with the peach mixture, including the juices that will be released from the peaches. Dot with butter, then roll out the top pie crust and gently transfer it over the peach pie filling. Crimp the edges and cut a few slits in the top of the crust, then brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar.
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 45-50 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is nicely browned. You may need to cover the edges with foil during the last 15-20 minutes of baking to prevent them from getting too brown.
Remove the pie from the oven and cool for at least 3 hours before cutting into it. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
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