Since this is the last week of August, and the peaches are at their absolute peak — and because they won’t be around for much longer, I’m dubbing this “Peach Week“. Like Shark Week, but without the teeth. An ode to that glorious, honey sweet, golden fruit with the fuzzy red blush.
I can’t think of anything more summery – or peachy – than a fresh peach pie with lattice crust. And before you get yourself in a tizzy – yes, you can use ready-made-pie-crust. I did. I mean, it’s still summer and I’ll spend an hour in the kitchen, I don’t want to spend all day making pastry. Let’s skip to the good stuff.
If you’ve never made a lattice crust before, it’s pretty simple. Roll out the pastry into a rectangle and use a ruler to score it at equal intervals, slice along the straight edge of the ruler. Lay the individual slices on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer.
After peeling and slicing your peaches (something that is super easy if you are lucky enough to find freestone peaches instead of cling) toss them with some sugar and let them rest for an hour.
The peaches will give up a lot of juice. You don’t want the pie too liquid-y, so drain the peach juice into a bowl. You’ll use some of this sweetened peach nectar in the pie — but save the rest — I’ve got plans for it later in the week.
Arrange the peaches in the crust and begin your lattice work. Lay strips of crust about 3/4″ apart going in one direction. Turn the pie 90? and weave a strip going under the first strip and over the next — repeating across the pie. With the next strip of dough, start going over the first strip and under the next. Alternate until the pie is completely latticed.
To finish the pie, fold the overhanging crust under on itself and use the knuckle of one hand and your thumb and forefinger of your other hand to create a nice edge.
The pie will bake for nearly an hour, so to prevent the edges from getting too dark, wrap a strip of tin foil around it. You’ll remove that foil in the last stages of baking. And voil? — a lattice crust peach pie — which I only had one meager slice of because the vultures (a.k.a. my family) got to it first. Maybe you should make two.
- 2 rounds of ready made pie dough (I used Pillsbury), leave on the counter for 15 minutes before rolling out.
- 2 1/2 - 3 pounds peaches, peeled and sliced (about 4 large peaches)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- thin strips of tin foil to cover the outside crust and prevent it from browning too much
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll one disc of dough into a 12 inch circle. Fit it into a 9" pie plate and let the excess hang over the sides. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes -- until dough is firm.
- Roll out the other disc of dough into a rectangle, roughly 12" x 10". Trim rounded edges and use a ruler to score and slice into even 10" long strips, each about 1" wide. Separate the strips on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer peaches and sugar into a large bowl and toss until peaches are well coated. Let sit for an hour, so the peach releases it's juices.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Adjust oven rack to the lowest point in your oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place a strainer over a medium bowl. Transfer the peaches to the strainer to drain the juices. Reserve 1/4 cup of the juices for the pie. (Reserve the rest of the juices for an outstanding cocktail on the blog later this week).
- Transfer peaches back to the original bowl and add the cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss until well combined.
- Spread peaches into the pie crust. Lay 5 strips of pie crust evenly across the peaches parallel to one another. Weave remaining strips perpendicular to the first ones, to create a lattice crust. Any excess or hanging dough should be tucked under on itself. Press your thumb and forefinger together and gently place it on the rim of the dough. Use the knuckle on your other hand to crimp the dough. Continue around the circumference of the pie. Place the pie on the baking sheet. Brush the lattice work and crust with cream, then sprinkle the demerara sugar on top.
- Mold the tin foil around the perimeter of the pie. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn down the oven to 375 degrees. Rotate the pan halfway to promote even cooking. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, then remove the tin foil. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Cool the pie on a rack until filling has set, about 2 hours.
- Best served warm or at room temperature.