I have a bad habit of not really looking closely at recipes before I decide to make them. On Sunday at the farmer’s market, I grabbed 6 shapely peaches (which, fuck me, cost $17) and decided to make them into a pie. Once I looked at the recipe it turned out I only needed 3 of those peaches for a single pie, but I will never say no to more pie, and so I made double the filling. I decided to more closely follow the basic crust recipe in Four & Twenty Blackbirds this time around. The result was a drier dough that rolled out more easily without all the cracks I had been experiencing before.
But then I went off script: I decided to pre-bake the bottom crust out of fear that the liquid of the peaches would produce a soggy bottom. I used a glass pie plate again, and quickly found my pre-baked pie crust had again lost about half its size. I added the peaches to the now pre-baked crust, then completed my first lattice for the top crust. I am shocked by how incredibly easy it was (and how sorry I am that I let the lattice scare me from making pie for so long). The first pie (above) turned out beautifully, but was a little over-buttery due to the shrinkage.
Never fear—I still had enough peach filling left for a second pie. This time I did some sleuthing and discovered that a glass pie plate was more likely to cause the shrinkage, so I switched to a dark, non-stick pan instead.
I should note that at the time of the first pie, my in-laws surprised us with a short-notice two-day visit, and on a school night! When my in-laws are staying in our tiny apartment, it helps to stay busy. Preparing this pie and crust kept me occupied for a whole evening! Spend my Monday night boiling and peeling peaches? No problem.
After everyone left the next day, I sat on the sofa, pie pan on my lap, and ate a quarter of this pie in one sitting. In fairness, it was a rainy August day that felt a lot like fall, and I was in mourning. The perfection of this simple peach pie can not be overstated. Tart and smooth, it is quintessential summer.