Life’s A Peach

“An apple is an excellent thing—until you have tried a peach.”

George du Maurier

It’s summertime. Can you smell it? The sweet aroma of freshly picked peaches—there’s nothing like a juicy, mouth-watering, two-napkin peach. And nothing says “the South” like this iconic stone-fruit.

Recently, I had the privilege of purchasing a small case of fresh hand-picked peaches from one of our local farms. They were delicious. My husband and I made peach milkshakes. We ate sliced peaches, smothered with a white puffy cloud of topping. One morning I even splurged and had cornflakes topped with peaches. That’s when the thought popped into my head, “I should make a pie with these juicy little treasures!”

It was my husband’s birthday last week. Usually, I would run to the store and snag a fancy decorated cake for the celebration. But not this year. This year, I was blessed with peaches—beautiful, perfectly ripened, peaches. 

I was excited, I was going to bake a pie! You should be excited too, because at the bottom of this post I am going to give you a very special recipe. It is my grandmother’s peach pie recipe, with not a double, but triple crust. Yes, a triple crust! In this pie, there is a soft crust in the middle. 

DID YOU KNOW????

California takes the crown for being the largest producer of peaches, but South Carolina puts out 40% of the nation’s supply of the fuzzy sweet-smelling delight.

And though Georgia is known as the “Peach State”, Johnston, South Carolina makes a startling  claim. As part of the Augusta, Georgia, metropolitan area, Johnston puts out 60% of the states crop. Their town’s official sign reads, “Peach Capital of the World.”

WHEN TO PICK A PEACH?

Harvested between late June and August, when it is completely turned to it’s soft fuzzy coat of yellow, sometimes with tinges of red, the best way to know it is time to pick a peach is by biting into it and giving it a taste. You want the peach at its peak of sweetness, but don’t wait till it is over ripe. 

Peaches are not only delicious, but a great source of fiber, niacin, potassium and vitamin C. Once harvested, they will keep in the refrigerator or other cool area […] for about two weeks. 

Gardeningknowhow.com

You’ll Need:

  • 10-12 ripe peaches
  • 2 ½ c sugar

The Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Rinse the peaches (I soak them in a bath of vinegar water for five minutes, drain, and rinse thoroughly). 
  • Peel the peaches. (If you want to know how to do this step super fast, read my note at the end. It makes peeling so fun, you’ll want to do it again.) 
  • Cut fruit in half, remove pit and quarter each half.
  • Place peaches in a pot on your stove, adding the 2 ½ cups of sugar. 
  • Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, and then reduce the heat and simmer until the peaches are tender. All in all, the peaches will be on the stove for about 30 minutes.  
  • Using the recipe provided below for pastry, divide dough into three pieces, having one of the pieces larger for the bottom crust. 
  • Roll the larger piece on floured board, wax or parchment paper, and place pastry in a 8 inch pie dish. Place ½ of the warm peaches in pastry lined dish. 
  • Roll the second ball of dough for middle crust. Cut the middle crust into 1 ½ width strips, and place the strips on top of the first layer of peaches. Lay the strips side by side and press ends to sides of pastry. 
  • Place remainder of peaches on top of middle crust. 
  • Roll remainder of dough and cut into strips as you did for the middle crust. Place strips on top of the last layer of peaches. 
  • Place pieces of butter on top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Place pie in preheated oven and bake for an hour or until crust is browned. Cover the crust with foil if it begins to brown too soon.

Taken any leftover dough and save it. This can be made into a sticky… but that’s a post for another day.

Pastry Dough

You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 5-8 Tablespoons of cold water

The Steps:

  1. Sift flour and salt together. 
  2. Cut shortening into the flour mixture, adding water in slowly.

* Tip on quick peeling peaches: Wash peaches and add 30 seconds to boiling water. Put hot peaches into ice water. When cooled, remove from ice water and peel off skins. It literally slides off. It is that easy!

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