A great pie to make when peaches are in season! Topped with yummy caramel flavored crumbs and a fool-proof pie crust!
Peach Pie–A Summer Treat
To me, peach pie is a little taste of summer. Peaches are abundant during the summer months and often are on sale.
This was one of my mom’s go-to pies whenever she got a good deal on fresh peaches. Her pie was always topped with crumbs; she never made this pie with a top crust.
I’ve improved a bit on my mother’s crumbs, which were delicious, by replacing the regular sugar with dark brown. That substitution gives the crumbs their wonderful caramel flavor, and of course you can always use some caramel sauce when you serve it to get more intense flavor.
Mom never peeled the peaches either. The filling always included the skins. It will give a slight bitter undertone, but it works. However, if you prefer to peel the peaches, go right ahead. Either way, it’s delicious.
And….I also have a fool-proof pie crust recipe!
For years I was a total klutz when it came to crumb toppings. Mine always came out looking like it was a broiled topping instead of nice little pebbly crumbs. Despite the fact that they looked ok before baking, they always seemed to melt into a solid mass.
Years ago I picked up a tip in a magazine. There was a recipe for a rhubarb coffee cake that gave a different method for making crumb toppings. The recipe for the cake was quite forgettable, but the crumb recipe was a real winner. The secret? You start with melted butter!
The melted butter makes them work every time. I’ve never made crumbs any other way since.
Fool-Proof Pie Crust
Not only was I a crumb klutz, I was even worse at doing pie crusts. So much so that I totally avoided making pies unless I used a frozen prepared crust or those refrigerated ones. I even tried those “pat-in-the-pan” recipes and you guessed it, that didn’t work. A neighbor gave me a recipe for that “no-fail” pie crust. Guess what–that failed too. It was depressing.
Well, I’m delighted to say that I’ve conquered that because I found a fool-proof pie crust recipe that works every time and the real secret is using a deep removable-bottom quiche/tart pan. I picked up this tip from the British goddess of baking–Mary Berry. The pie crust recipe is hers too and it doesn’t use shortening. It uses butter and that is the secret to a crust that not only tastes great, but doesn’t get sticky or floppy.
First you roll out the dough. Then you slip the removable bottom underneath the dough so it’s centered. Now you fold up the overhanging dough–like you would for a galette–and pop the bottom back in the pan. Now it’s just a simple affair to unfold the overhang and press it into the flutes. Voila–no excess handling so the crust won’t shrink and you’ve got the most perfect looking pie ever. This is awesome!!!
Caramel Crumb Peach Pie
- 5 cups about 8 medium peaches
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbs cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- pinch of salt
- 8 oz flour
- 4 1/2 oz butter
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tbs water
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cups flour
- For the filling: Peel peaches if desired. Remove stone and slice to desired thickness (I do about 1/2-inch); set aside.
- Mix sugar, salt and cornstarch together in a large saucepan. Gradually add the water, whisking so there's no lumps. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. While still stirring, reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the peaches and mix well. Let this cool to room temperature
- For the crust: Measure the flour and butter into a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and water and blend again until it forms a smooth dough ball. Roll on a lightly floured work surface/ Slip the removable bottom of a deep 8-10-inch tart/quiche pan (available in my Amazon store) in the center of the rolled dough. Fold overhanging dough towards the center of circle (like a galette). Place the pan bottom with the dough into the ring of the tart pan; unfold the overhang and press into the fluted sides. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- For the crumbs: Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the flour gradually, mixing in until you get a mixture that holds together when pressed. You may need more flour. If you do, add it a tablespoon at a time until you get a mixture where the crumb will hold it's shape.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fill pastry shell with the peach filling. Top with the crumbs. Place the tart pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 40-45 minutes or until crumbs are browned and filling bubbles up around the edges.