There’s nothing like the smell and flavour of fresh peaches in season. They just embody the aura of warm, lazy summer days and what’s better than capturing that in the form of a pie?
One morning I had been complaining that I had lost my spark for trying new recipes, probably because of all the cooking I’ve been doing during this pandemic. Actually, it’s a toss up between being sick of cooking and all the kitchen cleaning and dish washing that comes with that territory. Ok, it’s definitely both those things.
In any case, that very morning I came across a how-to video for this crostata. It just popped up on my Instagram feed and it looked deliciousand it seemed easy enough to make so I decided to try my hand at it. I had all of the ingredients including exactly 3 perfectly ripe peaches!
The pie was, in fact, easy to make but if you’re not comfortable with making pie dough, you can buy ready-made or watch my how-to video on Instagram, in my highlights. Now what about the taste?? A peach pie is only as good as it’s peaches because there isn’t much to the filling except for a little sugar and flour. Mine happened to be perfectly ripe and in season so as a result the pie was also very flavourful and fragrant. The crust, I am proud to day turned out flakey and buttery as can be!
I placed my peach slices in a sort of spiral formation but you can make it look like a rose or just throw them on! It’s supposed to be a rustic pie after all!
This lovely peach crostata is an easy-to-make rustic pie that is perfect for summer when peaches are fully in season and at the peak of deliciousness. So there's not much dressing up to do here, nothing fancy goes into it; the peaches do all the talking. Serve it "a la mode" with a complementry ice cream flavour like vanilla, caramel, cinnamon or whatever you think would work with this pie.
Mix the flour, sugar, and lemon peel, in a food processor. Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add salt. Pulse in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Watch my highlight on Instagram to see how I do this by hand and for the visual cues to know if you’re on the right track.)
The amount of ice-water you will need depends a little on the type of flour and ambient temperature so you may need 4 tbsp instead of 3, like me. It’s ok if it comes together a little shaggy. It’ll hydrate as you knead it. When you knead it for a few seconds, it should hold together. It also continues to hydrate in the fridge.
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to an 11-inch round. Trim shaggy edges. Transfer the dough onto a heavy baking sheet that has been lined with a silpat or parchment paper. You can also use a shallow pie dish.
Place peach slices artfully (or not) onto the dough leaving a border around the filling so you can fold it over the filling on the edges. (again, see my highlight)
Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle raw sugar on the crust.
Bake at 400F for about 35-40 mins, or until deeply golden and the liquid in the filling is bubbling.
Note: The trick is keeping the butter as cold as possible. I usually cut it into1/2 inch cubes and place the cubes in the fridge until I need them. If working by hand, try to work with quick hands so they don’t heat up and melt the butter. You want to see pea-sized pieces of butter here and there when you roll out your dough.