Jamie Cantor owns Platine Cookies in Culver City.
As a well trained pastry chef, I am a little bit embarrassed to admit this… but… I don’t really like pies! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a good slice, but I would much rather eat a chocolate chip cookie.
I think the reason behind this is that for many people, pies are all about nostalgia. The famous pie from the county fair or grandmother’ s recipe usually has something to do with pie. But I grew up in a Jewish family in Miami Beach in the 1980’s. Our county fair didn’t have pie contests, and my grandmothers were making Rugelach, Mandel Brot, and Babka. It was well before the locavore movement, and even though Miami is surrounded by strawberry farms, we just went to the Supermarket to get our produce.
So, even though I don’t really have nostalgia for pie, I will tell you about my nostalgia for peaches.
As I mentioned, I grew up in Miami. I was, and still am, a city dweller. But every summer my parents would send my siblings and I to the mountains of Northern Georgia for 4 weeks of sleep-away camp. This is where the nostalgia comes in.
Every day we were mandated back to our cabins in the early afternoon for “rest hour.” As a kid, I hated this hour, because we couldn’t talk or play, just had to lie in our beds for an entire hour. Finally the bell would ring, and we would run down the hill to the mess hall. Most days we would find little Dixie cups of Bug Juice waiting for us. But on rare occasions, we would find an amazing treat. I think one of the camper’s family owned a peach farm somewhere nearby. About 2 or 3 times during the summer, we would run down the hill to find bushels of fresh Georgia Peaches waiting for us. I remember biting into the peaches, allowing the juice to drip down my arms, and then going back for more. This was my one of my first experiences when I really sensed the incredible power and importance of truly fresh fruit.
So, in celebration of summer, personal nostalgia, and really fresh local fruit, please enjoy my peach pie recipe made with the freshest peaches you can find.
Lovcavore Peach Pie
6-2⁄3 oz (about 1 1⁄2 sticks + 1 1⁄2 Tbs) Butter (cold)
10 oz Flour
31⁄3 oz(a bit less than 1⁄2 cup) Cold Water
2 Tbs Sugar
2 tsp Salt
6 or more Peaches (locally sourced)
1/4 cup or more as needed Brown Sugar
Fresh Nutmeg (not preground!) about 10 turns of a mill, or 10 scrapes on a microplane
1⁄4 tsp Salt
3 Tbs Flour
2 Tbs Sugar
9 or 10-inch sturdy pie plate
Cut the butter into chunks and toss in a large bowl with the flour, salt, and sugar. Gently mix the butter into the flour using the tips of your fingers and thumb. Continue until the butter chunks are about the size of walnuts. Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and add the cold water. Continue mixing the dough in the same manner as described above until it begins to come together. When the water is almost completely mixed in, turn the dough onto a flat surface and knead gently just until it comes together. (There should still be large butter chunks dispersed throughout the dough) Form into2 discs, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile, prepare the filling. Cut the peaches into generous slices and place in a large bowl. Toss with the sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Use a fine zester and add the zest of 1⁄2 the lemon. Then squeeze in some lemon juice. Toss and taste. Allow the mixture to sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Begin the rolling process on a flat surface lightly dusted with flour, or in a Ziploc bag that has been cut on 3 sides. Try to roll the dough in one direction and turn 1/8 of a turn each time. Roll so that you have a ragged circle, about 18 inches in diameter. Carefully place over the pie plate and tease down into the bottom of the plate. Chill until needed, or for at least 15 minutes. Roll the second disc of dough in the same manner, and store flat in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Taste the peaches and adjust for seasoning. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and toss to incorporate. Remove the prepared piecrust from the refrigerator and carefully heap the peaches into the center of the pie, making a larger mound in the center. Leave some of the pie crust handing over the edge of the plate. Beat the egg in a small bowl and carefully brush over the exposed crust. Remove the second disc of dough from the fridge and carefully lay it over the peaches.Press together the loose edges and fold the crust over the edges to reinforce. Crimp the edges of the pie using the thumb and index finger of one hand and the index finger of the other hand. Use a sharp knife to poke a few holes for vents in the top op the pie.
Brush the entire top with more egg, and then sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie in the oven – you should place it on a cookie sheet or piece of foil to make cure to catch any leaks. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, then turn the pie and bake for another 20 minutes. The pie is done when the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, it will take an hour or more. Remove form the oven, cool, and enjoy!