Butterscotch Peach Pie with Old-Fashioned Appeal

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Butterscotch Peach Pie

I’m giving peach pie the grown-up treatment with cozy, old-fashioned butterscotch. Butterscotch is burnt sugar with a splash of bourbon for bite. It’s the glue that transforms this pie into something unexpected. Butterscotch Peach Pie.

Butterscotch, toffee and most any other version of burnt sugar is the one sweet treat I simply cannot pass by. So while I wasn’t passing it by, I added some to this peach pie, making it a Butterscotch Peach Pie that’s made with (shhh) bourbon .

I’ve given my Butterscotch Peach Pie a bed of all-butter crust. I make lots of other pie pastries, but I think all-butter sets off the sweet (but gently spiced) juicy peach filling in this recipe. I’ve read that Mark Bittman isn’t a crust man when it comes to baked fruit desserts. I think his logic is a bit lacking. I find the combination of a sweet fruit-filling balanced by a slightly savory, all-butter pie crust to be one of the culinary wonders of the world. Without the crust it’s just too darn sweet for my taste. Maybe he’s got a wicked sweet tooth. However, my guess is he just waits too long to eat his pie. After all, he’s vegan before 6 pm. Vegans can’t eat pie. Vegans before 6 pm have to wait to eat their pie (until after 6pm).

Crust is important to me, so you should know that a really good pie must be eaten the same days it’s made:

“Crisp, flaky and just salty enough. Creating a crust with “tooth” that melts instantly on your tongue is the key to any great pie. But differing opinions and confusing controversies abound. What combination or ratio is best? All-butter or all-shortening? Maybe lard is better? How about a 50-50 ratio of butter and shortening (or lard)? Then there’s the popular 70 percent butter to 30 percent shortening (or lard) version. Is that any good? Don’t get me started on solidified coconut oil. Well, I have tried them all. The all-butter crust remains my favorite for its rich, savory flavor. It has just 4 simple ingredients that are always on hand at my house. So in my opinion, this is the one to master. In fact, commit it to memory.” (Yes, that’s a quote from my book Savory Pies)

While you’re busy memorizing it you might notice my pie dough recipe is very generous in proportion. That’s because I like a nice tall lip (read dam) on my pies. Especially fruit pies. You know their going to cry themselves a river. Besides, I want you to enjoy rolling the dough. Don’t worry if you’re doing it just right. My recipe gives you plenty of leeway to roll your rounds at least a of couple inches bigger than you need. This makes for neat, clean edges. Neat, clean edges make you feel like you know what you’re doing. Feeling confident in your abilities is the very first step in making this Butterscotch Peach Pie (well any pie really).

peach piepeeled peachesButterscotch Peach Pie

Butterscotch Peach Pie

It’s summer and I’m sure the allure of peach pie has already tempted you this season. It has me. A fresh peach pie is one of the best ways to enjoy peaches. However, by the 3rd or 4th pie of the season I start to crave something slightly different. This lattice-topped Butterscotch Peach Pie has an old-fashioned appeal from the addition of deeply flavored, homemade butterscotch. Well in this case butterbourbon. But who’s gonna ask The Google for butterbourbon without expecting a Hot Toddy? GREG

 

Butterscotch Peach Pie

Butterscotch Peach Pie

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Butterscotch Peach Pie

Ingredients

  • 14 ounce (+ 2 tbsp) all-purpose flour (divided, plus more for rolling)
  • 1 teaspoon (+ ½ tsp ) kosher salt (divided)
  • 9 ounce (+ 3 tbsp ) very cold high-fat, European-style unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch dice (divided)
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • ⅓ cup (+ 3 tbsp) very cold water (divided, plus more for ice bath and blanching)
  • 3 pound ripe peaches
  • 2 tablespoon corn startch
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or blended Scotch whiskey (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon water (as egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment pulse 14 oz flour and 1 tsp salt 5 or 6 times until well combined. Add 9 oz chilled butter, and continue pulsing 10 or 12 more times until the mixture is crumbly and coarse, with various-sized but obvious chunks of butter scattered throughout. Place 2 or 3 ice cubes, broken up if necessary into the feed tube of the food processor. With machine running, pour up to ⅓ cup very cold water through the ice-filled feed tube a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together and begins to pull cleanly away from the sides of the bowl in jagged clumps. Don’t let the machine run too long and don’t worry if you don’t use all the water. Overworked dough and/or too much water are the main culprits in pastry that is tough or dense. However, in warm weather or dry climates you may need up to an additional 2 tablespoons more cold water. You’ll learn to know when it’s the right balance of wet and dry.

Move the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and gently knead 2 or 3 times. If the dough seems quite sticky or at all wet, sprinkle in another few teaspoons flour. Give dough another couple of quick, gentle kneads. Divide dough in half, shape into 2 discs– one about 6-inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick, the other about 4-inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick; wrap discs in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days) to distribute moisture evenly, or freeze up to 1 month.

When ready to form shell, transfer larger disc of chilled dough to a lightly flour work surface. Roll the dough to about a 13-inch round, a generous 1/8-inch thick. Carefully fold dough in half, and slide it onto rolling pin. Transfer to a 9-inch deep dish, or a 10-inch standard pie pan. Unfold the dough, easing it gently into pan; do not stretch dough. Let excess dough drape over the sides, trimming it to about ½-inch overhang all the way around. Roll the second disc into an 11-inch round, a generous 1/8-inch thick. Carefully fold dough in half, and slide it onto rolling pin. Transfer to a parchment-covered baking sheet. Using a ruler as a guide cut the dough into 1 to 1 ¼-inch strips. Gently separate the strips, leaving them flat on the baking sheet. Transfer lined pie pan and baking sheet to the refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

Bring a large stock pot half-filled with water to a boil. Cut an X in bottom of each peach, then blanch peaches in batches in boiling water 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking. Once cool drain the peaches, reserving bowl, then using you hands, peel the peaches; the skin should come off easily. Discard skin. Cut into 1-inch-thick wedges, placing them in the now empty large bowl. Discard pits.

Toss peaches well with cornstarch, remaining 2 tbsp flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining ½ tsp salt.

Remove pie shell and strips from the refrigerator. Transfer filling to pie shell, spreading it evenly and compacting it slightly with the back of a spatula; set aside.

Bring sugar, honey, and 2 tbsp water to a boil in a 1 ½-to 2-quart heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, swirling until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in more water. Boil, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until dark amber, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove from heat and add remaining 3 tbsp butter and whiskey (if using); swirl pan until butter is melted. Let cool somewhat, then carefully pour the butterscotch over the peach mixture, filling to about ½-inch from the top. You might not use all the butterscotch.

Starting ½-inch from the edge of pie pan, lay 4 strips vertically across filling spaced at about 1-inch intervals. Fold down second and fourth dough strips a bit more than halfway over themselves. Place a fifth strip horizontally across the two flat strips at the center of the pie, then return folded strips to flat position. Next, fold back first and third vertical strips, place a sixth dough strip about 1-inch above the horizontal center strip, then return the folded strips to flat position. Repeat the process, working below the center horizontal strip to complete lattice. Trim overhanging strips even with the rest of the overhanging dough, then fold edges inward and press together; flute or crimp decoratively. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.

Put a foil-lined large baking sheet in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. This is important as not only will the sheet catch any juices that bubble over (and they will) but it creates a hot surface for crisping the bottom of the pie.

Once the oven and baking sheet have heated, remove pie from refrigerator and brush egg wash over all the exposed dough; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake pie on hot baking sheet 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake until crust is deeply golden-brown and filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes more. Cool pie to room temperature, 3 to 4 hours.