[36] Peach Crumb Pie (pg 170)

I love peaches.

I love them straight, I love them in jam, I love them in pies, I love them in crumble, I love them in cobbler, I love them in main course meals.

I don’t think I could love peaches more if I had the Platonic Ideal of “peach” in my hand right now. But I’d try.

Also, my Grandmother L. loves peaches (in fact, we had a peach canning session days before this pie occurred). My mother’s favorite pie is peach pie.

Hence, making a peach pie was a no-brainer. (Actually, I was going to make two peach pies, but the peaches I had didn’t ripen fast enough, and then we ran out of pie crust dough, and we said, “Four pies is enough!”)

Of course, there was no plan, originally, to make anything but a slew of double crust pies. We ended up with one (this one) that had a single crust and a crumb topping because 1) in making the pie crusts, my father felt some of the dough balls were too small, so merged two on occasion and 2) we lost a dough ball in the fridge.

So, crumb topping it was. Given the rave reviews we got, this seems to have been the favorite.

h2. Ingredients

1 chilled crust for 9″ pie plate

2 tbsp sifted all-purpose flour (We didn’t sift.)

1/3 c granulated sugar, or to taste (We used the full 1/3 c.)

12 ripe peaches (~4 lbs), peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 c Crumb Topping

Whipped Cream (Optional; we did not use it.)

Crumb Topping:
1.5 c flour

3/4 c light brown sugar

1/3 c granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 c cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1.5 sticks)

h2. Instructions

Line pie plate with crust dough, crimp edges, then chill at least 30 minutes (until the dough is firm). Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the flour, sugar and peaches well. Then pour this mixture into the crust, dot with butter evenly across/around the filling and then sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover with the 1 c of Crumb Topping.

Bake for 30 – 50 minutes, until the topping is looking oozy and golden and amazingly delicious

Crumb Topping:
Mix together the first five ingredients thoroughly, then mix the butter pieces into the flour mix with your hands until large clumps form. Excess can be frozen in freezer bags. Makes about two cups.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

I don’t know how I missed it back while I was deep in the throes of pie-making, but this recipe doesn’t actually say how long to bake the pie. I think I baked it about 30 minutes, but to be totally honest, I just don’t remember. I’d start checking it at 30 minutes, but not be surprised if it takes longer.

One thing I did that wasn’t entirely intentional was to make my peaches about an even mix of yellow and white peaches. This was, apparently, a stroke of presentation genius. Many people at the rehearsal dinner remarked on it, thought it looked supremely attractive, and felt the taste was highly improved upon a normal peach pie. Honestly, I don’t feel that was the case myself, but I’m pleased that others felt this way.

The crumb topping really makes this pie extra delicious, so don’t skimp on it. I think I used a bit more than a cup of it to really cover the pie, but I also definitely had a towering mound of peachy goodness in the pie. I recommend such a mound.

h3. Consumption

This pie was the hit of the party (the dessert part, anyway). I wish I’d managed to have a second piece!

It’s a touch on the sweet side, between the peaches and the crumb topping. You may, thus, want to cut down on the sugar a little depending on your own tastes. I have a pretty solid sweet tooth so this was fine by me, but I recognize others aren’t so interested in sweets.

The crumb topping also gave it a nice mild crunch, which is good with cooked peaches.

Really, it’s a win. Go make this.