This summertime favorite needs no introduction. Fresh sweet peaches, dripping with juice, make an incredible pie that needs only brown sugar, nutmeg and almond extract to highlight the fruit's flavor.
Select a yellow-fleshed peach variety; these have the most intense flavor and are best for baking. Freestone peaches, those with pits that are easy to separate from the flesh, are the easiest to slice. If you like the extra texture that peach skins add to a pie filling, there's no need to peel the peaches if you buy organic ones. And if you prefer, nectarines can substitute for the peaches.
The thin layer of graham crackers between the crust and the filling here is unusual; while the taste is hardly noticeable, the graham crackers absorb the delightfully runny peach filling, protecting the flaky crust from the moisture.
Use your favorite pastry crust for this pie, or try our recipe for Sweet Pastry Crust.
While peaches are still abundant, why not make 3 or 4 pies and freeze them, uncooked, for some dreary winter day when you hanker for a taste of summer's pleasures? To cook, place the frozen pie on a baking sheet in an oven at 350 degrees F and bake for about 70 minutes.
This recipe makes one 9-inch double-crust pie.
From Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook by Myra Goodman
Sweet Pastry Crust for a double-crust pie
ripe organic peaches (or organic nectarines, about 2-1/2 pounds)
fresh lemon juice
pure almond extract
firmly packed light brown sugar
freshly grated nutmeg
graham cracker crumbs
Roll out the bottom crust into an 11-inch circle and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Press the dough firmly into the pie plate, letting 1 inch hang over the edge. Brush the bottom and sides of the crust with the egg white to seal it, then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Cut the peaches in half through the stem end. Peel the peaches (optional if you're using organic fruit), remove the pits, and slice each half into 4 or 5 wedges. Place the peaches in a medium-size bowl and add the lemon juice and almond extract. Toss to coat.
Place the brown sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the mixture to the peaches and stir to coat the fruit thoroughly. Set aside.
Roll out the dough for the top crust into an 11-inch circle.
Spread the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the chilled bottom crust. Spoon the peach mixture over the graham cracker crumbs.
Cover the pie with the top pastry round. Trim the top crust, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp or flute the edges together to make a decorative seal. Using a small knife, cut 3 or 4 slits in the center of the top crust to allow steam to vent as the pie bakes. Transfer the pie to the freezer for 15 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack.
Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is golden and the peach juice bubbles up through the slits, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack, then serve warm or at room temperature. The pie can be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day. To rewarm, bake it in a 325-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Calories per serving: 240, Fat 6 grams, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 160 mg, Carbohydrates 43 grams, Fiber 2 grams, Sugars 31 grams, Protein 2 grams.
Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 6%, Calcium 2%, Iron 6%.