We’re nearing the end of August and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for summer already. I’m gearing back up for early bed times, homework and the busy time that is life with kids in school. No more sleeping in late on a Monday morning , swimming in the afternoons or better yet night swims, berry picking, matinee’s and just the “I can probably put this off until tomorrow vibe”. I’ve been cooking my way through Marcella Hazen’s cookbook, reading lots of books, snuggling puppies, long neighborhood walks, and Friday night dinners with friends. It’s been a good summer. I feel the utmost gratitude in life that I can say that.
The last few weekends in Portland have been on the cool side. The cooler mornings have been great for farmers market strolls with a hot coffee. The produce has been so abundant in choices, it’s hard not to go a little crazy in buying too many things. I purchased some peaches with this slab pie in mind. I’ve made cherry slab pies in the past, a peach one sounded really good and a thousand times easier than pitting pounds of cherries. Slab pies are always crowd pleasers , perfect for get togethers with a bunch of friends.
I used an all butter crust for this recipe and I also added minute tapioca to the filling, I typically add cornstarch as a thickener to my pies, these peaches were super juicy and I didn’t want a big runny mess when cutting into the pie. If you’re a purist in only using cornstarch in your pies, I’ve added the measurements for cornstarch too. I love cinnamon in my peach pies but I’ve been known to switch it up with some crystalized ginger or another favorite is lots of lemon zest, its fun to play around with different flavor notes. I think a key tip when baking would be to bake it until you’ve have some good color on the crust, trust me the crust will be more flavorful and the bottom crust won’t be soggy.
I’m sending out all the best summer vibes and I think a peach pie incapsulates summer in more ways than one. Make a pie, invite some friends over, stay up late, enjoy the rest of Summer.
Peach Slab Pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
16 oz cold unsalted butter ( 2 sticks ), cut into pieces
1/2 cup ice water
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
8 large peaches, peeled and sliced fresh
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of minute tapioca or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
To peel peaches you can peel them as they are, or blanch them in hot water for 40 seconds, then put them in a bowl of cold water too cool before peeling. To help the process along you can slice an X in the bottom of each peach before blanching.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt and pulse for 15 seconds. Add butter and pulse until the mixture is the texture is coarse meal with some larger pieces of butter. Drizzle in 1/2 cup ice water and pulse the mixture until the mixture is crumbly, but evenly moistened and holds together when you squeeze a bit in your hands. Add up to tablespoons more of ice water, but stop before the mixture becomes too wet.
Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, press together. Divide in half and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to press both portions of dough into a flat square. Chill for at least 2 hours.
Prepare filling by adding sliced peaches, lemon juice, minute tapioca ( or cornstarch ) and teaspoon cinnamon. Mix to combine.
On a lightly floured surface or parchment paper roll out one of the doughs to an 11-by-13 inch rectangle, transfer the parchment with dough to a rimmed baking sheet, repeat with the second piece of dough. Chill rolled dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Spread peach filling evenly on one piece of dough leaving a one inch boarder. Place the remaining rolled out dough on top of fruit. Fold over edges and crimp to seal. Slice small slits in dough to release any steam from fruit while baking. Cover with plastic wrap and chill pie for another 30 minutes in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400°. Transfer pie on parchment paper to another rimmed baking sheet ( you don’t want to bake on a cold baking sheet ). Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Place in oven and bake until pastry is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool for at least one hour before eating.