I’m a pretty decent cook if I do say so but desserts have never been something I was good at. And since I’m not a big dessert eater, I guess I just never really tried to master sweets. And I know that if I was baking up yummy dessert recipes on a regular basis, I’d probably weigh a thousand pounds because I have no self-control. That said, peaches were on sale the other day for 99 cents a pound and I had just looked at a recipe in the August issue of Good Housekeeping for homemade pie crust and fruit pies so I said, what the heck, let’s see how easy it really is…fairly certain I would somehow mess it up. The end result? Delicious! I admit, it didn’t look quite as pretty as the picture in the magazine but for a first try, I think it turned out pretty darn good.
Here’s the recipe for piecrust from scratch (from August 2014 Good Housekeeping.) And believe me, it was really, really easy to make. I still need to practice my rolling-pin skills.
PIECRUST FROM SCRATCH –
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling Makes: 2 piecrusts for approx. $2.24
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) very cold butter, cut into cubes
- 6 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 to 2 teaspoons coarse sanding sugar*
*I couldn’t find sanding sugar at any of the 3 grocery stores I went to so I used Sugar In The Raw. Williams-Sonoma and Hobby Lobby do sell sanding sugar, among other specialty stores.
In food processor, pulse flour, granulated sugar and salt until combined.
Add butter; pulse 25 to 30 times in 1-second bursts until butter is in small bits.
Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing 3 times in 1-second bursts or until dough holds together when pressed between fingers.
Cover work surface with 2 large pieces plastic wrap, overlapping to make a cross shape. Pour half of dough into center of plastic wrap; use wrap to help press and shape dough into ball.
Then press firmly into round disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Repeat with 2 more pieces plastic wrap and remaining dough.
Remove 1 dough disk from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 2 to 3 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 12-inch round, rolling from center to edge and turning and lightly flouring dough to prevent sticking. Repeat with remaining dough disk.
(Obviously I didn’t create a very good circle!)
Before baking, brush crust with heavy cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
HOMEMADE PEACH PIE –
The peach filling, with peaches priced at 99 cents a pound, cost me approximately $5.80, making the entire cost of this pie approximately $8.04
Again, I got this recipe from the August 2014 Good Housekeeping magazine. The original recipe called for 5 pounds of peaches, which I used but I did have about a pound left, after filling my piecrust heaping full. So next time I make this, I’ll use 4 pounds instead.
4 to 5 pound peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
In a large bowl, toss peaches, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt.
Pour filling into 9-inch pie plated lined with homemade crust or 1 store-bought piecrust.
Dot with 3 tablespoons butter, then add top crust. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Crimp and bake at 400 degrees on rimmed baking sheet for 1 hour or until bubbling.
*For my top crust, I used a small cookie cutter and made a cut-out crust…which made me feel really creative!
If the edges brown quicker and you don’t want them to burn, simply cover loosely with some tin foil.
What my husband and I particularly liked about this peach pie recipe is that it isn’t overly sugary like a lot of fruit pies. The peaches are definitely the star of the show. The piecrust is light, flakey, and seriously easy to make. It was so good, (my husband actually said it was “the best peach pie” he’d ever eaten, which of course comes from my husband, but he doesn’t say things he doesn’t mean so I’m thinking he enjoyed it as much as I did.) I obviously didn’t get my piecrust rolled out perfectly and they were a bit lopsided when I put them in the pan, but overall, I thought it looked pretty good.
You can top this with ice cream or whip cream but it tastes wonderful as is.