Monday, August 10, 2015

Peach Pie and the Best Crust Ever

I've been craving a homemade pie as of late, but the biggest issue I have faced when baking them is that my crust is typically awful. I shouldn't say awful, it's not awful per se, but it isn't necessarily the tastiest. In fact, my crust has always been thick and chalky and I have had the worst time finding a solution for it. I received a few pointers from some fellow pie-bakers who had some great tips - use half regular flour and half quinoa flour, or use piping hot water instead of ice cold. These were all good ideas, but the best solution I found was a recipe on Pinterest that required butter. 

I've probably mentioned this before, but I have a dairy allergy. I'm not lactose intolerant, so I won't get a stomach ache if I eat something with lactose. I have an actual dairy allergy. I experience apprehension - my heart races and I feel like I'm panicking, I get heavy eyes and I feel foggy, and sometimes I break out into hives or a rash. One time, after eating something buttery, I wound up having to get steroids injected into my throat because everything began to tighten and I almost stopped breathing. Aw :)

With that being said, I wasn't sure if my vegan butter would be an ideal substitution for this pie crust, but I was willing to try.

This weekend I bought a boat-load of peaches with the intention of baking a peach-blueberry pie, but I literally forgot the blueberries were in the fridge when I went to bake, so peach pie it was.

I have to say that as I began baking this pie, I was extremely impressed with the pie crust. By the time I had flattened it, I knew it was going to be the crust that would change my life. As I put it in the freezer to firm it, I thought to myself 'I think this just may be the answer I have been waiting for'.. and it was.

Although a piece of my top crust got stuck to the wax paper while I transitioned it over to the pie, thus making one side of the pie look like a murder scene, the pie still turned out better than expected. NOTE: I roll my dough between two pieces of wax paper, hence why the "stuck." The crust was exceedingly flaky and the peach filling was sweet and gooey. 

Trust me kids, you will want to try this recipe at home.

All regular flour, shortening and Earth Balance Vegan butter sticks

Perfection wedged between two sheets of wax paper.

Hand peeled, hand sliced - went a little beyond the 6 cups recommended because... look at them.

I'm so in love.

Added an extra touch of flour for maximum firmness.


Gorgeous. [not pictured: Pie's bad side]

Below is my recipe for amazingly banging peach pie!

Pie Crust

2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C vegan butter
1/2 C shortening
pinch of salt
ice cold water, add teaspoon by teaspoon until you form the right consistency

1. Place flour, salt, butter and shortening in bowl.
2. Use your hands to combine ingredients until small pebbles form
3. Add cold water a teaspoon at a time until the dough begins to hold together and form a ball.
4. Do not over handle the dough. Dough should be soft, moist but not wet.
5. Divide dough in half.
6. Place ball of dough onto wax paper and flatten. Place another piece of wax paper over the top and roll out the pastry into a circle. If your pie pan is 9 inch make sure your circle is bigger than 9 inches so you have enough for the edging.
7. Remove the top layer of wax paper and place pastry into pie tin. Remove other piece of wax paper and press pastry into pan. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of the crust.
8. Freeze for 30 minutes to firm up the pastry. This helps prevent pastry from shrinking during baking.
9. Prick the bottom of crust to prevent bubbling during baking.
10. If pie calls for a baked crust bake at 400 degrees. For the first 10-12 minutes keep the edges of pie covered with foil and then remove for the last 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown.

Peach Pie Filling

3/4-1 C sugar (depending on how sweet your peaches are)
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 (or more) cups peeled, sliced fresh peaches
2 tablespoons butter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to peaches and mix lightly (not too rough).
3. Fill your crust - dot with butter, if you'd like
4. Add top crust; make edges look nice.
5. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, or until juices are bubbling and crust is browning.

Make sure to share your pie recipes with me in the comment section below!

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