Making a Fresh Peach Pie with a sugary lattice pie crust is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of ripe summer peaches. Over the years, I've made hundreds of peach pies in the search for the perfect slice. This recipe is the result.
I'll get into more detail later, but for now, let's just cut to the chase.
Top 3 Tips for How to Make the Best Peach Pie:
- Concentrate the fresh peach flavor in the filling. For the most intense flavor, concentrate the juice in the peach pie filling.
- Don't add too much sugar. Add just enough sugar to bring out the flavor of ripe, summer peaches and make the filling thick and saucy. If the peaches are ripe and you concentrate their flavor, you'll need a lot less sugar!
- Top your pie with a lattice crust. Weave the top crust into a flaky, tender, lattice pattern that not only looks pretty, but allows excess moisture to evaporate while baking. This helps the pie crust stays nice and flaky! (The step-by-step photos below will show you how to make a lattice pie crust.)
In Search of The Best Fresh Peach Pie Recipe
As a Colorado native, summer peaches from the Western Slope are something I've looked forward to every year for my entire life. Since they're only available for a short time, everyone in my house practically makes themselves sick on them during the few week a year that they are in season.
I bring home box after box, turning them into Peach Cobbler, jars of Peach Preserves, trays of Almond Thumbprint Cookies filled with glistening dollops of peach preserves, batches of Peach Ice Cream, and of course, at least one Peach Pie.
Some years, I even manage to freeze a few containers of sliced peaches, so that I can make a fresh peach pie in the dead of winter.
Over the years, I've baked more peach pies than I can count in search of the very best recipe. In the end, I've come to rely on three simple tricks to making the perfect peach pie. Let's break them down...
For the Best Peach Pie Filling, Concentrate the Peach Juice
Fresh peaches that are so ripe and juicy you practically need an entire roll of paper towels to keep from making a complete mess of yourself are the best summer treat.
But all that juice can work against you when making a peach pie because it's easy to end up with a runny filling and soggy crust.
If you want to make a peach pie with a flaky crust and thick, saucy filling that holds together relatively well when sliced, you have to control the amount of juice.
Just like two of my other favorite summer pies, Mixed Berry and Plum Pie and Blueberry Pie, the best way to keep peach pie filling from being too runny is to capture and concentrate the juice. Here's how:
- Peel the peaches, remove the seed, and cut them into slices that are about ¼-inch thick.
- Add the peaches to a bowl along with sugar, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and let them sit for at least 30 minutes so that the excess juice drains out into the bowl.
- Strain the fruit and then concentrate the juice by cooking it in a skillet with a cup of mashed peaches and some pectin.
Cooking the peach juice allows some of the water in to evaporate, leaving behind all the natural sugar and flavor of the peaches.
The result is delicious peach pie filling with concentrated flavor AND a flaky, sliceable, non-soggy pie crust.
The Best Fresh Peach Pie Filling Needs Less Sugar Than You Think
This recipe contains a bit less sugar than most peach pie recipes. Why? Because, we've concentrated the natural flavor and sugars in the peaches themselves!
Sugar does more than make things sweet. It also adds flavor. Peaches already contain plenty of natural sugars and fresh fruit flavor. We can take advantage of these natural properties by concentrating the peach juice:
- Concentrating the juice intensifies the flavor of the peaches
- Concentrating the juice makes it sweeter
More peach flavor and natural sugar means you don't have to add as much additional sugar to the pie.
Having said that, the amount of flavor and sugar varies from peach to peach. So, be flexible and adjust the amount of sugar in your pie if necessary.
After concentrating the peach juice, taste it. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more sugar. It's your pie. Do as you like.
How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust
Creating a lattice pie crust on the top of peach pie is about more than decoration.
The gaps in the lattice weave allow excess moisture to evaporate from the pie while baking, further ensuring that you'll end up with a pie that's sliceable because the peach filling isn't too runny.
If you've never made a lattice crust for a pie, don't let the prospect intimidate you. It's really quite simple.
Here's how to make an easy lattice crust:
#1. Cut 9 strips of dough that are approximately 1 & ½ inches wide (no need to be super exact)
#2. Lay five of the strips across the top of the filling in one direction.
#3. Lay the remaining four strips perpendicular to the first, weaving them to form a lattice pattern.
#4. Trim any excess dough and fold the edges under, forming a rim around the pie that is a bit higher than the pie plate.
#5. With one hand on the inside of the edge and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your other hand to form a U shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
#6. Brush the top of the crust with a beaten egg and then sprinkle the pie with a couple tablespoons of sugar.
What's the Best Kind of Crust to Use for Peach Pie?
Foolproof Pie Crust has been my go-to recipe for the past 25 years. I’ve used it to make hundreds of pies of every variety and it hasn’t failed me yet. It’s tender, flaky, flavorful, extremely easy to work with, and worthy of the name “foolproof”.
As the name implies, it's foolproof. It's so easy to make and great to work with because of two ingredients: a touch of vinegar and an egg.
In most pie crust recipes, you must take extreme care to not overwork the dough because doing so results in pie crust that’s tough rather than tender and flaky. However, the addition of just one tablespoon of vinegar acts as a kind of insurance against overworking the dough so that you get a super tender and flaky crust every single time.
Vinegar also helps preserve the dough, so you can make the dough ahead of time, knowing that it will keep perfectly well in the refrigerator for several days until you are ready to bake your pie.
The egg in the recipe makes the dough elastic, pliable and easy to roll out. It also contributes flavor and richness, causes a slightly better color and browning, and gives the baked crust a more tender mouth feel. In other words… adding an egg makes pie crust taste better.
One reader recently left a comment that says it all...
"I made this blueberry pie, including your Fool Proof Pie Crust, yesterday. I had given up making homemade pie crust many years ago! Although my rolling pin skills are poor, this pie turned out fantastic. The blueberry filling is not overly sweet, so you can still taste the fruit, and the crust was delicious and flaky. 62 years old and I finally made a good pie crust- better late than never! Thank you for the wonderful recipe."-Karen
Can I Freeze or Can this Peach Pie Filling?
The tricky thing about both freezing and canning this peach pie filling is that it contains cornstarch. It's not safe to including thickeners like cornstarch in canned goods. Likewise, cornstarch doesn't freeze well.
The good news is that you can freeze or can this peach pie filling before adding the cornstarch. Here's how:
- Follow the recipe to slice the peaches, drain the juice, combine the juice with 1 cup of mashed peaches, and cook it in a skillet to concentrate.
- Let this mixture cool, then ladle it into a freezer container and freeze. OR, ladle it into jars and process in a hot water bath to seal.
- Do NOT toss the remaining sliced peaches with cornstarch. Instead, toss the slices with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice (to prevent browning) and add them to a freezer container and freeze.
- When you want to make this pie, allow the thickened peach juice to thaw (if frozen).
- Toss the frozen peaches with cornstarch (no need to thaw), stir in the thickened peach juice, and proceed wtih the recipe to fill and bake your peach pie.
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Scroll down to rate this recipe and leave a comment, or take a picture and tag it @ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
- Fool Proof Pie Crust, chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes *See note
- 4 ½ lbs fresh peaches, peeled, quartered and pitted; slice each quarter into three or four slices, about ¼-inch thick
- ½ cup (100g) + 5 tablespoon (62g) granulated sugar, divided
- The zest from one large lemon (about 2 teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅓ cup (1.75 ounces) low sugar or no sugar pectin
- ¼ cup (28g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 egg (medium or large)
- Gently toss sliced peaches with ½ cup (100g) sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
- Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, pectin, and 3 tablespoon (37g) sugar in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).
- Drain peaches, reserving ¾ cup (177ml) of the juice. (Discard remaining juice.) Pour the reserved juice into a 10 or 12-inch skillet and add about 1 cup (160g) of sliced peaches and the pectin mixture.
- Put the remaining drained peaches into a large bowl and gently toss with the cornstarch.
- Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, mash the peaches in the skillet slightly, until they are the consistency of chunky applesauce.
Set the skillet over medium high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Lower the heat to medium; boil and stir for 5 minutes, until the juice has thickened.
- Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the rest of the peaches, add the vanilla and almond extracts, and toss gently to mix.
- Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to a 12-inch circle that’s about ⅛-inch thick. Using a large spatula, gently loosen the dough from the work top, fold it in half and then fold it in half again. It will form a triangle shape. Lift the crust and place it in a pie plate with the point of the triangle in the center of the plate. Gently unfold the dough in the pan and press into the corners gently. Leave any dough that overlaps the edges of the plate in place.
- Pour the peach filling into the bottom crust and smooth it into an even layer.
- Roll another portion of the dough into a large circle, about 18 inches. With a pizza wheel, fluted pizza wheel, or paring knife, cut the disk into nine strips that are approximately 1 &½-inches wide.
- Starting in the center of the pie, lay 5 of the strips across the top of the filling in one direction. Lay the remaining strips perpendicular to the first, weaving them into the first strips to form a lattice pattern (*see step-by-step pictures above). Trim the edges of the strips so that they are even with the edge of the bottom crust.
- Fold the edges under, forming a rim around the pie that is a bit higher than the pie plate. With one hand on the inside of the edge and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your other hand to form a U or a V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Gently brush the egg wash over the top crust with a pastry brush and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons (25g) of sugar.
- Put the pie on a foil covered baking sheet and place in the oven. (*See note) Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling in the center of the pie is bubbling. (*See note)
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, about 4-6 hours, before slicing.
Use whatever pie crust recipe you like to make this peach pie.
Foolproof pie crust is my go-to recipe for peach pie because it's easy to work with and always bakes up flaky and delicious. But, if you have a favorite pie crust recipe, by all means, use that.
Why it's important to bake this pie on a baking sheet:
Placing this pie on a baking sheet is important because most of the time, some of the filling will bubble up and drip over the sides of the pie plate. The baking sheet will catch these drips, saving you from an oven of burning fruit.
Covering the baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper), makes clean up super easy. Just be sure to remove the pie from the baking sheet right after baking or the foil (or parchment) will stick to the pie plate as it cools and be somewhat difficult to remove.
How to know when the bottom crust is baked through:
It can be tricky to know for sure when the bottom crust of a pie is baked through. In addition, different factors can cause one pie to take longer to bake than another.
I like to use a transparent glass pie plate so that I can lift the pie up and look at the bottom crust. If the crust looks doughy, put the pie back in the oven. If the top crust is getting too brown, but the bottom crust is not quite done, cover the top of the pie loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 411Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 494mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 6gSugar: 40gProtein: 6g
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