We're right smack dab in the middle of peach season - at least we're supposed to be - but on our weekly Saturday night date to the grocery store we found the most pitiful peaches! I bought them though, because I'm making this pie again today...and even though the peaches are less than desirable, I know they'll still make one heckova pie! (As we walked past the frozen food section the mister spied a frozen peach pie, reached in, pulled it out and said, "Look at this? Why don't you just buy this and save yourself the trouble - it only takes 30 minutes to bake!" He was giddy - 30 minutes to peach pie - but no where on the box did it say FRESH PEACH PIE - and that's what I wanted, a FRESH PEACH PIE, even if the peaches are not the best, they're FRESH! (Before you go thinking how sweet it was of the mister to try to save me time in the kitchen...know this, that would only be true if the TV was on so I would have more time to sit by him to witness his skill with the remote!) This one is truly worth making and eating, and definitely worth whatever walking/running, not eating for two days afterwards kind of thing you have to suffer through.
There are three parts to this pie - the crust, which is made with ground up almonds so it tastes like an almond-shortbread-cookie - dang good. The second part is made with cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream...I know, it's enough to make one weep! Three creams in ONE pie! And then, because it's a peach pie, there are fresh peaches, coated with a very light glaze made with peach nectar...or, as I like to say, nectar of the Gods.
This recipe makes two 9-inch peach pies (regular size, not deep dish), when I first made it for my family I should have doubled the recipe and made FOUR pies because even with two there wasn't a crumb left over and everyone wanted seconds!
It's truly as good as it looks - truly - don't let my pathetic photography scare you away - because you can ring the ol' meter 5 times and then once more just in case no one is counting...this pie is dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, DANG good!
Fresh Peach Pie - Pots and Pins
For the Crust:
3/4 cup whole almonds with skins, toasted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/4 sticks unsalted buter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling: (Note: If you are a fan of creamy-cheesy fillings, then double the amounts for the filling and you're filling will be much thicker - since the filling is for two pies, these amounts just provide for a very thin layer of cream - still, most excellent.)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For the peaches:
10 to 12 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 can (12 oz.) Peach Nectar (sold in individual cans in the juice section of the grocery store)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
For an Extra Almond Zip: 1 tube of Almond Paste, optional but oh so worth the expense!
Make the crust: Pulse almonds with 1/4 cup flour in a food processor until finely ground, being careful not to grind to a paste. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat egg into butter mixture. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. At low speed, mix in almond mixture, salt, and remaining 1 3/4 cups flour until dough just forms. Halve dough and form each half into a 5 to 6 inch disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in middle position. Generously butter two 9-inch pie tins. Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep other piece chilled) between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, into a 12-inch round (dough will be very tender). Remove top sheet of parchment and invert dough into pie tin. (Dough will tear easily, patch it with your fingers.) Press dough over bottom and sides of pan, trimming excess. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill until firm, 30 to 45 minutes (don't skip this part, chilling prevents the crusts from shrinking during baking). Bake pie crusts until bottom is slightly golden and edges are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool crusts on a rack, about 30 minutes.
Make the Filling: While crust is cooling, make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer combine sour cream, whipping cream and softened cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add brown sugar and almond extract and continue beating until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Chill.
Make the Peaches/Glaze: Prepare peaches and put in a large bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch and then set over medium heat and slowly add peach nectar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture just barely begins to boil and has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over sliced peaches, stirring until all are coated. Let sit on countertop until ready to assemble pie (unless it's going to be more than an hour, then refrigerate).
Assemble pie: (If using the almond paste, roll out paste between two sheets of plastic wrap to fit hte bottom only of the pie crust. Place almond paste on top of cooled crust. One tube is enough for both crusts - you'll be rolling it very thin. If you're not using the almond paste, proceed with the assembly directions.) When crusts are cooled to room temperature, spoon half of the filling into each pie crust, smoothing all around bottom and sides of pie. Spoon half of the peaches into pie crusts, gently spreading over the creamy filling. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. Each pie serves 8. Makes two pies.
"I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food." ~ Erma Bombeck