This Butterscotch Peach Pie has an old-fashioned, homey appeal, thanks to the addition of deeply flavored homemade butterscotch.
- 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
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.