What else to do on a rainy fourth of July but bake a pie.
We fully intended to model our pie crust off of Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, but alas, we found ourselves with almond flour in lieu of regular flour. I have to be honest: I really do not suggest using almond flour as the majority flour in a pie crust. It is grainy and mealy and dry, and it tastes more like tart chalk than delectable buttery crust. You may notice that in the photos below, the crust has a certain grainy color, and we shall attribute that to said almond flour. I have already re-stocked the cupboard with regular flour for next weekend’s pie.
That being said, the organic blackberries are the best that they have been all year; ripe, squishy, and ever so sweet. While our Connecticut peaches are not yet ripe (I blame you: Polar Vortex), Georgia peaches sufficed. We scraped a vanilla bean from Madagascar into the filling, as well as a bit of lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg shavings, and it was so scrumptious and delightfully gooey with no additional sugar that we saw it as a fit breakfast the next morning. Some might prefer 1/2 cup or so of light brown sugar in the filling, but I prefer not to add too much, as the fruit has an abundance of natural sugars.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup water, very cold
7 medium peaches
2 half pints organic blackberries
Lemon juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup light brown sugar (optional)
Vanilla scraped from one vanilla bean
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
To make the dough:
Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Dice the butter and use your fingers to mix it into the flour until it is the consistency of small peas. Stir in the cold water with a rubber spatula or a regular big spoon if that is all you have, and then knead the dough a few times to form a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each in plastic in the shape of a disc. Chill in the fridge for a few hours.
For the filling:
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Prepare an ice bath for the peaches when they come out of the boiling water. Make a small x at the bottom of each peach and lower the peaches into the boiling water. After two minutes, transfer to the ice bath for one minute to cool. Then transfer the peaches to a cutting board. The skin should peel right off. Halve and pit the peaches and slice into about 1/3-inch half-moons. In a large bowl, gently mix the peaches with the lemon juice. Add the sugar if using, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cornstarch until evenly coated.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Assemble the pie. Flour your counter and your rolling pin. Flour it again. Keep flour on hand. Roll the first dough disc out, starting from the center and working outwards. Be gentle. The longer the rolling process, the more the dough loses its chill and begins to dry out, the more cracks you will have, the more frustrated and angry you will become…
Once the dough is about a 12 inch circle, transfer to your pie dish. Ideally, the trim should hang over the edge. In my case, I had no trim to speak of. It happens. Moving on.
Pour the gorgeous filling onto the bottom layer. Roll out the top layer of pie dough. We went for the lattice, although the almond flour made lattice-life quite difficult. If you’d like to make a lidded pie, with no fancy cut-outs, just make sure to give it one or two vents before baking, lest it explode in the oven.
Bake the pie for about 20 minutes until the crust is set and beginning to brown. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is a golden brown.
Cool pie for at least two hours before serving.
Recipe based on Smitten Kitchen’s Peach Pie