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By the Book: Warren Brown’s Peach Pie

August 16th 11:08am, 2014



Is there anything better than a ripe, juicy peach fresh from the farmer’s market right now? Actually yes, and it’s Warren Brown’s peach pie from his cookbook Pie Love.

I am hopelessly addicted to peaches and make cobbler quite regularly, so I was excited to try my favorite fruit in a different dessert. Pie Love is very accessible, with an introductory section on basic techniques and terms that are sure to make pie baking clear even to the novice. There is also a comprehensive section on classic and unorthodox pie crusts. Filling sweet and savory make up the rest of the cookbook, and Brown lets his simple recipes and gorgeous photos speak for themselves, leaving the anecdotes for another day.




The hardest part of making a pie for me is the crust. Every time I attempt to cut that butter in to produce that elusive, sand-like texture, I end up covered in flour with warm butter all over my hands. However, thanks to Brown’s simple step-by-step instructions and (and a handy food processor), I was able to construct the cinnamon-butter pie crust while keeping my hands relatively clean.




Brown blind-bakes the crust 5 to 7 minutes, but I found that was not enough to get the bottom crust perfectly flaky. Tack on a few extra minutes to your blind bake to achieve the ideal texture.




The peach filling was deceptively simple, but just quartering the peaches meant unmanageably large chunks of fruit in the filling. Next time, try cutting them in sixths to make the pie easier to eat. (And don’t throw the pits away! We’re got great recipes that use all that nutty goodness here.) After filling my pie to the brim, I still had a significant amount of peach left over. I kept it to eat with Greek yogurt, but if you prefer to use it all in one go, buy slightly less than the listed three pounds of peaches.




The finished product was delicious; the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt on top of the crust enhanced the natural sweetness of the peaches, and the flaky crust added another textural dimension to a dessert than could only be improved by a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Peach Pie
Makes 1 9-to 10- inch pie

3 lbs. fresh or thawed, well-drained frozen peaches, peeled and quartered
¾ cup superfine granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus additional for sprinkling
¼ tsp. sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust (recipe follows)
1 egg
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Cinnamon for sprinkling

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position one rack in the middle of the oven and one on top.
• Put the peaches in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt. Stir the mixture into the peaches.
• Add the butter and cook the peaches over medium heat, stirring slowly but continuously, until the juices slowly simmer.
• Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the honey, and allow the filling to cool slightly. Scoop into the cooled pie crust.
• Cover with the crust of your choice. Whisk together the egg and vanilla and brush the wash over the pie.
• Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
• Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt across the top. Place an empty sheet pan on the top oven rack to prevent excessive browning.
• Bake the pie on the middle rack for 45 to 50 minutes, until the juices on the edges simmer rapidly and the crust turns golden-brown. Let the pie cool completely before serving.

Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust
Makes 1 double-crust pie or 2 single-crust pies

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. superfine granulated sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
10 Tbsp. (1¼ sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 to 6 Tbsp. ice water

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- to 10- inch pie pan with butter and lightly sprinkle it with sugar.
• Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt to the work bowl of a food processor and mix for at least 30 seconds.
• Stop the processor and add the butter all at once.
• Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs; pulse in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms into a ball and rides on top of the S blade.
• Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment. Set aside one third of the dough. If you’re not making a double-crust pie, wrap it in plastic film and freeze or refrigerate it for another use.
• Form the remaining dough into a disk, place a second piece of parchment on top, and roll it into a large round about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
• Gently fit the rolled dough into the pie pan, fold the excess underneath, crimp the edge, and chill the crust for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if you are making a double-crust pie, roll out the reserved dough between two sheets of parchment to a round approximately 10 inches across. Set it aside, keeping it between the parchment sheets to prevent it from drying out.
• Dock the bottom crust and cover it with a circle of parchment paper cut to size and a disposable pie pan resting gently above the crust to prevent it from puffing up while toasting. If your pie filling will be baked, blind bake the crust for 5 to 7 minutes. If you’ll be using the crust for a custard pie where baking isn’t required, blind bake it for 10 to 15 minutes – checking often after 10 minutes.
• Set the blind-baked crust aside to cool while you prepare the filling of your choice. Top it as desired and bake it as directed in your recipe.

Reprinted with permission from Abrams Books.

Aside from pie, what’s your favorite way to prepare peaches in August? Tell us below for a chance to win a copy of Pie Love by Warren Brown. We’ll email this winner!

By Mary Baker

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22 Responses to “By the Book: Warren Brown’s Peach Pie”

  1. Hao Says:
    August 18th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    cut a peach in half, remove pit, fill the pit area on both sides with a mix of butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, reassemble peach. wrap in foil. toss onto grill. remove after grilling, open foil, eat deliciousness.

    so yummy!

  2. Kelsi Says:
    August 24th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Buy peach, wash peach, eat!

  3. Cheryl Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I love them grilled!

  4. Sean Sweeney Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I have a wonderful Peach Wheat beer going right now, to be poured at the Cottleville Beer Festival in September.

  5. Kim Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Standing at the kitchen counter slicing a washed peach and working my way around the pit. I also love mixed with granola, plain yogurt and cinnamon. Tonight it will be dessert eaten the former way.

  6. Cindy Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    When peaches are at their peak in August I preserve as many as I can to enjoy them all year. I am currently in love with making Peach Preserves with Cardamom & Lemon Verbena. It is peach season in a jar and the next best thing to fresh peach pie.

  7. Lisa Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I use them instead of tomatoes in a caprese salad. Sliced peaches layered with fresh mozzarella,and basil, drizzled with olive oil and basil. Yum!

  8. Mary Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    A peach bomb (peach wrapped in dough and baked and drizzled with almond butter)
    Handheld peach pies
    Peach Crisp
    Peach Melba
    Peach Trifle
    Or just by itself sliced and dunk the slices in Cool Whip
    LOVE peaches

  9. Kathy Ziegenmier Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Made an appetizer last night with peach slicees wrapped in thin Prosciutto. Roast them and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Dip in a goat cheese sauce and they are luscious.

  10. Michele Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Homemade peach ice cream!

  11. Ian moody Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I like them grilled or I make a gallate with then

  12. Linda Stinson Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Peach preserves is one of my favorites. I also love peach ice cream.

  13. Monica Croke Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Individual peach and blackberry crisps with a scoop of ice cream on top!

  14. Therese Gabriel Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Peel peaches, slice and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar…enjoy!

  15. Katie Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Peach and kale smoothie. Yummy and healthy!

  16. Dan Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Sour cream peach cake with vanilla and cinnamon

  17. Janet iler Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Thread a skewer with a peach slice, a chunk of sweet potato, a chunk of chicken and a chunk of onion. Put the skewer on the grill and bast it with a spicy sweet glaze make with peach preserves., yummy!!

  18. Tina Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Classic peach cobbler with a sweet biscuit topping brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar (with ice cream, naturally). Oh, and fresh peach ice cream is another favorite!

  19. Donna Fisher Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Peach cobbler, homemade peach ice cream, peach jam, peach butter, peach salsa…..

  20. Markita Says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Peach Ice cream, peach smoothies or peach salsa

  21. Monica Says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Crisp, with plenty of oats and spices

  22. Alex Says:
    August 27th, 2014 at 11:00 am

    While I’ve made my fair share of peach pies this summer, crisps are delicious and easy!

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