The difference between crimping and fluting is a subject of much debate.
What you need to know:
- Fresh juicy peaches make beautiful pies, but all that liquid can create a lot of problems. To avoid a soggy bottom, partially cook your sliced peaches so that they release some of their liquid and use slotted spoon to scoop up the fruit.
- Peaches love honey; take the opportunity to use a nice strong flavoured honey as your sweetener.
- Finish your lattice with a sprinkle of course sugar, the crunchy texture compliments the sweet creamy filling.
- Chill before you fill. Fit your shell into the pie plate and roll out the dough for the lattice, cover both with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge or freezer before you assemble with the cooled filling. This step insures that the pastry that holds its shape after baking and remains flaky.
Peach season comes right at the end of summer in Ontario, and it feels as fleeting as those last few warm sunlit days. The chance to make a pie like this comes only once or twice a year, and so it in of itself is a cause for celebration.
For this particular pie, I chose local freestone peaches that were slightly firm yet ripe and aromatic. I began by cooking down the peeled and sliced fruit, with a little bit of cornstarch mixed with sugar, in a large saucepan on medium heat until some liquid was released. I then rolled and refrigerated the shell and lattice, nestled the completely cooled filling inside, and poured over it a mixture of cream, honey, and a few tablespoons of flour for thickening. To finish, I brushed the pastry with a light egg wash and topped it with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. In order to promote the bottom of the shell to brown, I baked it on an old dark metal pan. Starting with a high temperature helped the pastry to puff up nice and flaky, and later I decreased the heat and used a pie shield to protect the delicate crust edges from burning. The pie was best when served approximately 6 hours after it had cooled and set, but it was equally delicious eaten right out of the fridge the next day once the rich flavours had had a chance to mingle and develop.
I also picked up baskets of hard and tangy clingstone peaches to make preserves, which was a useful homemade ingredient to have in stock and a small way to make that sweet summery nostalgia last. Follow these directions, but skip the canning process, for a quick and tasty fridge jam that can be used in other adaptable recipes, like these dressed up almond blondies.