classic peach pie

the first pie i made by myself - no help from mom or grandma - was almost exactly ten years ago. it was my second year of college and my friends and i had moved from the dorms into our on campus apartment. we, as i'm sure most college kids do, became our own mini family unit. we grocery shopped together. ate dinners together. bet quarters playing cards all night together and then went out for breakfast in the morning. and that year, before we went home to our own families, we had our own thanksgiving.

we were adults, planning our first real dinner party,  excited to share our mish mash of family traditions from across the country. it still amazes me how four people so completely different can be alike in so many ways. we ate turkey from michigan, sides from western new york, and apple pie from my mother and grandfather. we cooked all day. cutting, chopping, measuring, baking. i remember it so vividly. we sat at a makeshift table set up in our living room, since we didn't have real dining furniture. and ate and drank and laughed. we stretched it out as long as we could.

we celebrated our thanksgiving when september 11th was fresh and raw. none of us had seen our parents, family, or really anyone at home waiting for us since it happened. without each other, we were alone. a bunch of alone and scared nineteen year olds. yet none of us talked about it. not a single person uttered a word about something so intense. no, our conversation focused on laughter and stories from home.

i don't remember much immediately after that. i know i went to my grandparents and ate a huge family dinner just like we still do and have done ever since i can remember. i just don't remember much about that particular thanksgiving at home. but each and every year, at some point in the few weeks between halloween and thanksgiving i always think of the one and only thanksgiving i shared with people other than my family. i don't know what it was about that year, but i haven't made a pie since.

until last sunday - september 11th to be exact - when i rolled out the dough and sliced peaches. i waited patiently while it baked - it's been so long, do i even know what i'm doing? what if my crust is tough? what if the peaches ooze out? - and even longer while it cooled. i don't know what i was so afraid of, my crust came out perfectly light and flaky and the peach filling has just enough ooze so the filling is juicy but the peaches don't fall all over your plate.

and while this pie is delicious and really doesn't take much time at all to make, i don't know when i'll be making my next. it seems like pie is something best shared with a large group of people you love. and honestly, my mother and grandfather haven't given up their top spots as thanksgiving pie bakers. i wouldn't have it any other way.

classic peach pie
adapted from martha stewart's cooking school

for the crust
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ice cold
ice water

for the peach filling
2 3/4 pounds peaches, pitted, pealed, and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. make the crust by combining the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. pulse to combine. add all of the butter, and pulse until the butter breaks down into pea shaped pieces, about ten pulses. add the water, a tablespoon at a time and pulsing after each addition just until the dough starts to come together. remove the dough from the food processor, divide in half, and form each half into a round disc. wrap each dough disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to overnight.
  2. when you're ready to make the pie, take the dough discs out of the fridge to warm up just a tad while preparing the peaches. toss the peaches, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and salt together. set aside.
  3. unwrap one dough disc and flour your board or counter where you will roll it out. roll the dough into a circle large enough to line your pie plate. carefully transfer the dough from your board or counter to the pie plate. carefully push the dough into the plate to line it.
  4. fill the lined pie plate with the peach mixture and dot the top of the peach mixture with the butter. roll out the second dough disc in the same way as the first. carefully transfer the dough to cover the top of your pie. cut the excess dough hanging over the edge of the pie and crimp the edges. cut a few slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape while baking. chill the filled - and unbaked - pie for twenty minutes.
  5. preheat your oven to 400F. place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil in the bottom shelf of your oven (to catch any drips from the pie while it's baking). bake the pie for ten minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 375F and bake for another 70 to 80 minutes. check on the pie after about thirty minutes and if the crust is already nicely browned, drape a piece of aluminum foil over the top to prevent it from burning.
  6. let pie cool completely - at least four hours - before cutting and serving. if the pie is cut before it's cool, the filling will ooze out when you try to serve it.
check out other sweet treats at sweet tooth friday


  1. This pie looks phenomenal. I haven't made a peach pie before, but this is getting bookmarked to make soon!

  2. This looks amazing, and you have a great story to tell about it! I love peach pie, but don't have it often, and have never made it before. But I'll have to try out this one!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. I love peach pie. Looks delicious. I enjoyed reading your story.

  4. What a perfect looking piece of pie! Love your story to go along with it.

  5. I never made a pie ..I mean a america pie I think I'll try with it..kiss from Italy

  6. This looks so delicious. What a great story.

  7. I'm a Southerner, and to me peach pie is as perfect as it gets. I can't wait to see how ginger affects the pie-- I'll be making this soon!

    I loved your story, too; sometimes food is so strongly connected to an event and it's interesting to come back to it years later.

  8. just beautiful, lovely post all round :)


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