I don’t make a lot of pie. Not because I don’t love pie, because, um…I do. I love pie the way normal people love oxygen.
The thing is, I don’t make a lot of pie because pie is special and I don’t want to make it not special by baking one up every other day. I like the way pie takes a bit of thought and planning, the time spent rolling out the dough, the care in crimping the edges together just so, and the look people give you when you present them with a beautifully browned pie with cinnamon and sugar scattered generously over the top.
When Joy the Baker beseeched us all to take the time to make a pie, I did just that. I set aside an afternoon and I made a pie. Honestly, I never feel more accomplished in the kitchen than when I make pastry dough. It’s not something that everyone thinks they can do – in fact, I just learned to make good pastry dough this year. I used to buy store bought dough and let me tell you, it’s just not the same. Sure, it’s easier, but you’re losing most of the experience.
A lot of people will probably shake their head at me and mumble about how I must be nuts, but my food processor is the key to perfect pie dough. I dump in all the dry ingredients and give it a whirl (using the plastic dough attachment thingy that came with it). Then, while it’s still running, I stream in the liquid nice and slow and as soon as the liquid is gone and the dough is starting to come together I turn it off, dump it out, and just pile it into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap for a good hour or so and there you have it. Dough. Made by you. Maybe you didn’t knead it with your hands, but it’s still immensely satisfying.
Fruit. Pastry dough. Cinnamon and sugar. It’s classic, comforting, simple, and delicious. So, listen to Joy and listen to me – go bake a pie.
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 5 tablespoons ice cold water
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- about 3 pounds ripe peaches (about 6 peaches)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 to 2/3 cups brown sugar (depending on the sweetness of your peaches)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- To make the crust by hand, mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hands. Stir together the water and vinegar. Make a well with the flour and add the water/vinegar. Use a fork to stir the dough together. Use your hands to very lightly knead it into a ball - it should still be fairly shaggy. Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- If using a food processor to make the dough, use the plastic dough blade attachment. Add the dry ingredients, put on the lid and turn on the processor. Stream the liquid through the top opening and turn off the processor as soon as the dough is starting to come together. Dump out onto the counter and work the dough together just until it forms a ball. It should still be fairly shaggy. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
- To make the filling, peel and slice the peaches about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a large bowl with the blueberries. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch. Pour over the fruit and toss to coat. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit and stir again. Place the fruit in the fridge while you roll out the dough.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll one of the discs of dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Move the dough around every once in awhile while rolling it out to be sure it isn't sticking and add more flour as needed. Place the dough in the pie plate.
- Roll out the second disc of dough.
- Pour the fruit into the pie plate and place the second disc of dough over the top. Trim the crust to leave about a 3/4 inch over hang. Crimp the edges together to seal and make a decorative edge.
- Cut four small slits in the top of the dough to vent. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 45 to 55 more minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the filling should be bubbling. Cool for 2 hours. Store in the fridge.
lightly adapted from Joy the Baker