After a long dry spell, we at last enjoyed a soaking rain. For days, I’d been dragging a garden hose around, ministering to the parched. Everything was droopy, leaves were falling from trees, and I was the water brigade. Finally, the heavens opened, and I watched with satisfaction as the plants got what was best for them – a nourishing drink from above.
It also opened the door for me to do something a lot more fun. The storm coincided with peaches that couldn’t wait another day. A mountain of perfect ripe peaches is a lovely thing, and the pouring rain had bought me time.
With a flock of wet and hungry yellow finches, busy at the feeder outside the kitchen window, and the peace that comes with a summer rain, I contentedly set out to make a glorious peach pie.
I turned to the internet for inspiration, and lit upon a food blog by Kelly Jaggers, who had written a book called, Not-So-Humble Pie. I was confident I’d found the all- knowing pie magician.
I made a few small changes to the prep; I took a short cut with the crust, and blended it all carefully in the Cuisinart the way Ina Garten does, and it came together easily. I also used about 1/2 the crumble topping. The pie is divine, and in spite of its name, the peaches are the star. The caramel is a lovely bonus, and whips together with ease, leaving extras for serving. Lastly, having learned the hard way from past clean-up nightmares, I put a layer of foil under the pie dish in case the peaches bubbled over. Phew!
P.S. I am a pie novice, but this recipe is easy and delicious!
Salted Caramel Peach Crumble Pie
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
3-5 tablespoons ice cold water
For the crumble:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup butter, cubed and chilled
For the filling:
5 medium peaches, peeled, stone removed, and sliced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup salted caramel (I used this recipe)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
Salted caramel sauce, for garnish.
Begin by preparing the crust.
In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine then add the vegetable shortening and rub it in with your fingers until it completely coats the flour.
Add the cubed butter and, still using your fingers, rub it in until the mixture looks like coarse sand and no large pieces of butter remain.
Add the water, a tablespoons at a time, until the mixture forms a shaggy ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured works surface and press the dough into a disk. Flatten the dough, fold it in half, and flatten it again. Repeat this process 4 times, then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
Once chilled pull the dough out of the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes to warm up. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick, about a 12-inch circle, turning the dough often to make sure it does not stick. Dust the surface with additional flour if needed.
Press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate and trim the dough to 1/2-inch of the plates edge. Tuck the dough under and crimp the edges. Cover with plastic and chill until ready to fill and bake.
Next, prepare the crumble.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before using.
Now, prepare the peach filling.
In a medium bowl combine the sliced peaches, cornstarch, salted caramel sauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom. Gently toss to coat, then allow to stand for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 425 F.
To assemble the pie fill the pastry crust with the peach filling, then evenly spread the crumble over the top. Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 45 to 55 more minutes, or until the crumble is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling all over. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Enjoy with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce!