Summer Fair 2011: Peach Pie

genXquilts is hosting a virtual quilting and recipe show this week on their blog. I'm excited because it combines 2 things that I love - quilting and cooking. I spent a lot of time thinking about what summer recipe I was willing to share and finally settled on Peach Pie. There's nothing that says summer to me like a fresh peach pie. It seems like a lot of work but trust me it is totally worth it.

Fresh Peach Pie [adapted from the Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum]

2 crust 9 inch pie crust (most people have their own recipes for this -- if you need one let me know and I'll post it)
6 cups (2 3/4 lbs) peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 16ths
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1.  Put the pie crust into the 9-inch pie pan as follows -- roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until it's 1/8 inch thick or less and 12 inches in diameter (I usually use a bowl to check the size). Transfer it to the pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, no longer than 3 hours.
2.  Place the sliced pieces in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar and salt and toss gently to mix evenly. Allow them to macerate for at least 30 min but no longer than an hour.
3.  Transfer the peaches and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release almost 1 cup of juice.
4.  In a small saucepan (nonstick works best) over medium-high heat, boil down this liquid to about 1/3 a cup or until syrupy and lightly caramelized. Swirl liquid but do not stir it. Meanwhile, transfer peaches to and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of the cornstarch have disappeared.
5.  Pour the syrup over the peaches, tossing gently. Transfer the mixture to the pie shell.
6.  Roll out the top crust large enough to cut a 12-inch circle. Moisten the edges of the bottom crust with water and place the top crust over the fruit. Tuck the overhang under the bottom crust border and press down around to seal it. Make about 5 evenly spaced slices in the center of the crust about an inch from the center and radiating towards the edge. 
7.  Cover pie loosely with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for about an hour.
8.  Preheat oven to 425 F. Put oven rack on lowest level and use a baking stone before preheating if possible. Also place a large piece of foil on top to catch any pieces that will fall through (this will save you from having to spend hours cleaning your oven...just ask me how I know that)
9.  Put pie directly on the foil topped baking stone and bake 40-45 minutes or until juices bubble thickly through the slashes. After 30 minutes, protect the edges of the pie with some foil to help them not get burnt
10.  Cool the pie on a rack at least 3 hours before cutting to allow juices to settle...trust me this part is important. Cut and serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

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