Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lattice-top Peach Pie

Lattice-top Peach Pie whole

The nights are already starting to get chilly in Boston, and I'm going to miss having in-season watermelon, cherries, and peaches.  While I look forward to the warming food and holidays of autumn, I'm always sad to leave the barbeques, beach trips, and fresh fruits of summer behind.  Peach pie is a constant rival with apple for favorite pie in my book, and I wanted to try a new recipe this summer.  This is a Lattice-top Peach Pie with a cream cheese crust.

Lattice-top Peach Pie

The top crust in the recipe isn't a lattice, but when I flipped to the photos in the middle of the book I saw the same recipe with a lattice and thought, why not?  I'll describe the few adjustments to make when using a lattice in the recipe section after the jump.

Strawberry plant

The other thing I'll miss?  Picking strawberries off my porch.  The sweetness and subtlety of flavors just can't compare with grocery store strawberries.

Strawberry plant 2

Unfortunately, I only pick about 5 a week and they're barely bigger than grapes.  Where are my pints?  If you have strawberry-growing tips, please share!  The information tab on this plant even promised huge berries.

Cutting Lattice Strips

Truth be told, although the cream cheese crust came out perfect, I'd prefer a flaky all-butter crust to pair with peaches.  But I can attest to this same cream cheese crust being perfect for Apple Pie and Banana Cream Pie.  And I'd give the filling a hit of cinnamon next time, as I usually do.  But I can't complain, because it's still a pretty damn good pie.

Lattice-top Peach Pie Unbaked

If you've never done a lattice top, it's honestly one of the easiest parts.  Not lyin'.  Rolling out the dough and trying to prevent rips and tears can rile me up, but weaving those strips in and out takes only a minute.

Lattice-top Peach Pie Slice

One last tip: For peeling those soft peach skins, this serrated peeler is amazing.  I found mine at Sur la Table.  I've heard of cutting an X into the bottom of a peach, blanching it in a pot of water, and then plunging it into ice water.  Skip the production and just get a serrated peeler.  Happy baking!

This post is linked to:
* Sweet Treats Party
* Sweets for a Saturday
* Sweet Tooth Friday
* Tea Party Tuesday

Perfect Peach Pie
From Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible
Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust for a 2-crust 9-inch pie (Below)
2¾ pounds of peaches (about 8 medium), peeled, pitted, and sliced into 16ths
1 tbs freshly squeeze lemon juice
½ cup plus 1 tbs sugar (4 oz.)
Pinch of salt
4 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp almond extract

Remove the dough for the bottom crust from the refrigerator.  If necessary, allow it to sit for 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to roll.

On a floured pastry cloth or between two sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap, roll the bottom crust ⅛ inch thick or less and 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer it to the pie pan.  Trim the edge almost even with the edge of pan.  Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.

Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the lemon juice.   Sprinkle on the sugar and salt and toss them gently to mix evenly.  Allow to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1 hour.

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.

In a small saucepan (preferably nonstick), over medium-high heat, boil down this liquid to about ⅓ cup, or until syrupy and lightly caramelized.  Swirl the liquid but do not stir it.  Meanwhile, transfer the peaches to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch and almond extract until all traces of the cornstarch have disappeared.

Pour the syrup over the peaches, tossing gently.  (Do not be concerned if the liquid hardens on contact with the peaches; it will dissolve during baking.)  Transfer the peach mixture to the pie shell.

Roll out the top crust large enough to cut a 12-inch circle.  Use an expandable flan ring or a cardboard template and a sharp knife to cut the 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 all around the top to seal it.  Crimp the border using a fork or your fingers and make 5 evenly spaced 2-inch slashes starting about 1 inch from the center and radiating toward the edge.  Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before baking to chill and relax the pastry.  This will maintain flakiness and help to prevent distortion.

Preheat the oven to 425° at least 20 minutes before baking.  Set an oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.  Place a large piece of greased foil on top to catch any juices.

Set the pie directly on the foil-topped baking stone and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until the juices bubble thickly through the slashes and the peaches feel tender but not mushy when a cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted through a slash.  After 30 minutes, protect the edges from overbrowning with a foil ring.

Cool the pie on a rack for at least 3 hours before cutting.  The pie will still be warm after 4 hours.

Cream Cheese Pie Crust
From Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible
12 tbs unsalted butter, cold (6 oz.)
2 cups all-purpose flour (10 oz.)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
4.5 oz. cream cheese, cold
2 tbs ice water
1 tbs cider vinegar

Cut the butter into small cubes. Freeze it until frozen solid, about 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. Add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together. Spoon it into the plastic bag.

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture, pressing it from the outside of the bag, until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into 2 discs, and refrigerate at least 45 minutes, or overnight.

My notes: I didn't freeze the butter, using it straight from the refrigerator. I also didn't freeze the flour mixture, and kneaded the dough in a bowl instead of a bag. The crust still came out great.

My Lattice-top Variations
Roll out the dough for your top crust as instructed, then using a fluted pastry cutter, cut 10 long strips of dough, each about ¾  inch in width.  Weave the lattice-top dough on top of your filling.  I don't have a diagram for you, but this video may be helpful.

After only 15 minutes, protect the edge of your crust with a foil ring like the recipe says, but this pie crust shield also works very well.  Bake for the same total length of time, 40 to 50 minutes, until juices are bubbling.


  1. You did a great job on the lattice and peach pie is a favorite around here. Great recipe, especially the cream cheese crust-thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow your pie is gorgeous and looks so delicious! Love this recipe! :)

  3. Your lattice crust looks so perfect! As do the rest of the pie, of course. I'm envious you have strawberries on your porch, it must be so satisfying to wait for them to grow and then eat them...yum! (those big ones, I think they're chemically enhanced!).

  4. That's a beautiful peach pie.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Such a pretty pie. Beautiful lattice on top. The cream cheese in the crust is a great touch.

  6. Your pie is absolutely gorgeous! I don't even like pie, or peaches for that matter, and I want to eat this so much. Beautiful pictures.

  7. A beautiful pie to celebrate the end of summer. I just love your pastry cutter. I need to get one of those as soon as I can! I hope you have a wonderful evening and weekend my friend. Thank you for sharing another delicious treat with me. Many blessings as the days unfold!

  8. Hello Shirley! I'm first time here and I really enjoyed looking around your blog! You make lots of great desserts, which I don't normally make (rarely make is right...). I didn't know the top weaven part is called Lattice. Learned new thing today. Your pies are all gorgeous and I enjoyed checking out your recipes on your blog! Nice to meet you!

  9. Oooh, I've been wanting to make a traditional pie and this one sounds great.

  10. I have been looking for a good peach pie recipe, and this looks like one. I linked to you from Sweet Tooth Friday! I think I'll make this tonight! Thanks for a great post. Your blog is great!

  11. What a beautiful lattice top! It's still on my list to try one of those, such a gorgeous presentation.


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