I went to the Farmer’s Market and I saw a sign. “Last peaches of the season!” And I was suddenly seized with the irrestible desire for peach pie.
Why wax poetic about peaches? They have a unique ability to keep some of the best parts of Indian summer– the sun, the heat, the laziness of the days–trapped in their skin and transferred to your tongue in juicy, succulent bites. Colonial cooks loved to preserve the fruit in brandy and bring it out as an accompaniment to meat during the holidays… a little taste of summer in the dead of winter. Peaches are a sign that cold days are only temporary.
My search for a vintage peach pie seemed to be quite difficult at first. I had a hard time finding a recipe in my current store of cookbooks. However, I did find a “recipe” in Directions for Cookery and Its Various Branches published by Eliza Leslie in 1840. I put “recipe” in quotations because in my opinion, a plain peach pie is one of the easiest fruit pies to make. You need two crusts, some peaches, some sugar and flour and an oven.
I especially loved this pie because it’s the first fruit pie I’ve made in a long time that wasn’t runny!! Eliza Leslie suggests you serve it cream whipped with sugar or cold boiled custard. In other words, ala mode with ice cream!
Two pie crusts
5 large peaches
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons sugar
Place first pie crust in your pan. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare an ice bath.
Boil a small pot of water. Cut an “x” in the top of the peaches with a knife. Drop peaches, one at a time, into the water for about 2 minutes or until the skin is just starting to get slippery. Transfer peach to ice bath and proceed with boiling the next peach until all have been dipped in the boiling water. The skins should slip off easily in the ice bath.
Cut each peach in half and remove the pit. Then cut the peaches into chunks and transfer to a medium bowl.
Mix peaches with the flour and sugar. Spoon mixture into the pie crust. Place the second pie crust on top. (I tried cutting it onto slices and braiding it).
Seal the pie and vent if you are using the whole crust on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the insides are bubbly and the crust is golden brown.