Millions of peaches, peaches for free. Millions of peaches, peaches for me. It’s stone fruit season! Woohoo!
Stone fruit season is the harbinger of summer. Let me tell you, I didn’t need a peach to tell me that the temperatures were going up and that the sun has come for good and doesn’t plan on giving us a rest until November. When the laundry dried in under five hours, it was kind of a giveaway. Also, if you go outside and it feels like someone has a blow dryer blowing on you – also kind of a giveaway. Though, I have to admit it is not unbearable yet. There are even some days when we don’t need to turn on the air conditioner. There is something about this weather that just calls out for a nice juicy peach. That has to be the reason why they ripen just at this time of year.
Last week’s special was peach pie… with a crumble topping. So peach crumble… in a pie crust. So peach pie crumble! (Actually I used nectarines, so Nectarine Pie Crumble if we want to get technical.) I was so excited to make the first stone fruit dessert of the season. I got a whole bunch of peaches and nectarines and then I didn’t know what to do with them. I spent Friday morning browsing through the cookbooks, thought about making peach dumplings, but wasn’t in the mood. I wanted to make a peach pie and I couldn’t find the recipe that I was “feeling”. Also, I didn’t have the energy to try and steal five minutes on the computer from Rocker Dude to browse online. In The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer I found a list of easy fruit pie fillings. One was a peach pie. So this pie is inspired a bit from there, and a bit from what I had in the house.
The little bro came over for the weekend, and even though he is usually a fan of my baking, he decided to have babka for his dessert instead. (Granted, I made that as well, but apparently he wasn’t feeling the pie thing.) I was very disappointed in him. I guess if I had made a strawberry shortcake, he would have dug right in. At least this time, Rocker Dude liked the pie. Which is interesting, because I used almond extract in the filling and he hates almonds and almond extract. Don’t tell him that he liked something with almond in it – I have to win somewhere.
I had some crumble topping in the freezer left over from an apple crumble that I made who-knows-when, and I am really attempting to clean up what is in the house and use what already exists before I go shopping for more. Ergo, use already made crumble topping on pie – great solution. I was worried that the crumble might get soggy in the peach juices but it totally stayed crunchy. I recently read somewhere that in restaurants, in order to keep the crumble crunchy, they bake the fruit and crumble topping separately and then right before serving, they reheat the fruit with the crumble topping to make a cohesive dish. Great trick!
I can’t wait to make more things with the new crop of peaches, nectarines and apricots! Stay tuned!
Crust:Half of this recipe, made until the chill step
1 egg white
6-7 medium sized peaches, peeled, or nectarines, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 stick butter or margarine
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
While your dough is chilling, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Let it macerate while you make the topping and roll out the dough.
Place all the topping ingredients into a bowl. With a pastry cutter, or your hands, gently incorporate the butter/margarine into the dry ingredients until it is crumbly and holds together when you squeeze a bit in your hands. Refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about an 1/8 inch thickness. Gently place in a 9 inch pie pan and crimp the edges decoratively. Using a pastry brush, brush egg white over the bottom of the crust to help prevent sogginess. Then add the filling, mounding it slightly in the center. Generously sprinkle the crumble on top of the filling and place the pie into the oven.
Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven, until the crust edges are slightly browned and the filling is bubbling. Let cool on a cooling rack. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.