- 3 cups of flour
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
- 1/3 plus 1 tablespoon ice water
- 2 ½ pounds of peaches (about 5 peaches)
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of butter
To begin with, you want to make your pastry crust, as you need to refrigerate that for a minimum of 45 minutes before you roll it out to make your pie. The best thing to do is to make your pie crust the night before and break things up. However, if you decide not to make your pie until the day or night of, definitely start with the pastry first.
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Part 1: The crust
- Take out a large mixing bowl and measure out your flour, sugar and salt into the bowl.
- Next, get out the shortening and butter in. If you have just taken your butter out of the fridge, heat it up the microwave for 10 seconds first to soften the butter a bit. This will make it easier to cut up and mix.
- To make things easier on yourself, cut up both the shortening and butter into smaller bits (about a tablespoon size) before you put them into the mixing bowl with the other dry ingredients.
- To mix all of your ingredients together, it's most efficient to use a pastry cutter (you can buy one at a grocery store or kitchenware store like Crate & Barrel). If you don't have a pastry cutter though, you can also use two knives (one in each hand) and cut in opposite directions with the knives.
- Continue with either your pastry cutter or knives until the mixture looks like small pebbles.
- Add the 1/3 cup of water to the mix, and start kneading the dough with your hands into a ball shape to make it all come together.
- If your pastry dough isn't sticking enough together after you've kneaded it for a while, then add the extra tablespoon of water.
- Once you've got it all together into one smooth ball, pull it in half: one half for the bottom crust, and one half for the top crust. Try to make one of the halves slightly bigger than the other, and use this half for your top crust. That will give you some extra pastry dough to work with to pinch up around perimeter for a pretty crust.
- Finally, wrap each half in wax paper and stick them both in the fridge. Remember to let them remain in there for at least 45 minutes before you pull them out to roll into your pie crusts.
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Part 2: The Filling
- Preheat your set your over to 425º Fahrenheit, and move your oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
- Fill a large pot two-thirds of the way full with water and bring it to a boil on a high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, put all of the peaches in and cook for one minute.
- When you pull the peaches out, they should be soft and you should be able to peel off the skin really easily. For any parts of the skin that aren't coming off easily, use a peeler to get the skin off.
- Cut up the peaches into small pieces.
- Measure out 5 cups full of your small peach slices and dump into a large pan.
- Add to this ¾ cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of almond extract, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cloves, and a pinch of cinnamon. You are going to let the filling cook on medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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Part 3: Bringing it Altogether
- Take the pie crust dough out of the refrigerator.
- Take the smaller of the two first and unwrap it from the wax paper.
- Knead the dough to soften it up.
- Sprinkle some flour on a clean, flat surface, and then roll out the dough into a smooth circle. It should be approximately 12" in diameter.
- Pour the peach filling on top of the bottom crust into the pie tin.
- Cut up 2 to 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter into small pieces, and place them on top of the filling.
- Brush the edge of the bottom crust with cold water.
- Roll out the top crust, which should be slightly larger than your bottom crust.
- Place it over the filling evenly, so that there is about ¾" overhang.
- Seal the edge of the crust, trim it, and then crimp or flute to make it look nice.
- Cut steam vents in the top crust, then lightly brush the top of the pie with milk or cream, and sprinkle around 2 teaspoons of sugar over the top crust, and just a bit of cinnamon.
- Bake your pie for 30 minutes at 425ºF. After about 15 minutes of cooking, you may want to put a piece of foil loosely over your pie so it doesn't brown too much.
- At the end of the 30 minutes, slip a baking sheet beneath your pie, reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake until thick juices bubble through vents, 20-25 minutes more.
- Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes on a rack before serving.
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(Adapted from The Joy of Cooking)