We’re thrilled to bring you this special family pie recipe from my mom, Kristi. I grew up adoring this dessert, a custardy, creamy pie studded with juicy peaches: my great Aunt’s prize winning recipe. To this day, my family eats it on special summer occasions and savors it to the last bite. Warning: this recipe is neither healthy nor whole, with butter, cream, refined flour, and sugar playing central roles. However, Alex and I abide by a 90% healthy + whole diet, meaning 10% of the time there’s room for treats. And this is definitely one of them. It was a joy to recreate this recipe from my mom’s kitchen and heart. Thank you, Mom, for your words and for sharing the recipe with the world!
This week I pitched the idea to Sonja to be a guest poster on her blog and share one of our favorite family recipes, peach pie. I didn’t think Sonja would go for this concept because the recipe is not altogether healthy or whole (it does have peaches, but also cream and lots of sugar). But I wanted to share something that has become a family tradition in hopes that it might become a family tradition for others.
The recipe was developed by my father’s sister, Ruth, who was a fantastic cook and hostess. Aunt Ruth once won a prize for the pie at her county fair. When I was young, my mother (also a great cook) used to make this pie for my brother and I, and it became my absolute favorite. I would savor each bite and especially liked the contrast of the thick, creamy custard with the salty crust. On a visit home to my mother as an adult, I remember being sick but not too sick to eat some peach pie my mother made. She knew how to draw me home and make me happy!
I began making this pie myself when I got married, and my husband (Sonja’s father) became a quick convert. When we had children, I worked hard to make sure that we all ate healthy foods, but I still made room for peach pie. While I knew it was not the healthiest, I also knew that occasionally you had to have treats. When I would make it, Sonja or her sister Lisa would beg to lick the spoon after I had poured the custard over the peaches, or for pieces of pie dough as I made the pie shell. I loved sharing the experience with my daughters because I knew it was a fun tradition that gave them great pleasure too. And at the table, even though I wanted to instill good table manners in my daughters, just this one time I would allow them to lick their plates clean! And so, peach pie became a family favorite.
Even now when Sonja and Lisa come home for visits as adults, peach pie is on the menu and it still provides much pleasure to everyone who eats it! Thanks, Aunt Ruth, for creating this special treat. And thanks to Sonja and Alex — while I apologize that this recipe does not fit your profile for recipes that are “healthy + whole living”, everyone needs a treat once in a while and this one is worth an occasional deviation from that goal!
I hope you enjoy peach pie as much as our family has!
PS We still lick our plates!Print
Good, ripe, and room-temperature peaches are the key to this recipe (or substitute nectarines). Make sure the peaches are ripe and a little soft to the touch, but not too ripe. If you buy them when they are hard, ripen them for a 2 to 3 days in a brown paper bag (throw in a banana for extra power). Five average sized peaches are usually enough for the recipe, but buying one or two extra is good insurance in case a peach goes bad. Another key to great peach pie is refrigerating it after baking to thicken the custard.
- 9” unbaked pie shell
- 4 to 6 perfectly ripe peaches
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare a pie crust in a 9″ pie pan.
- Prepare a large pot of boiling water. Drop one peach into the pot so that the water fully covers it, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the peach from the water with a fork, and drop in the next peach. As the second peach boils, use a sharp knife to remove the thin skin of the peach (it should peel off in large sheets with your fingers). Repeat until all peaches are peeled. Cut each peach in half, remove the pit, and then cut it in half again to make quarters. Place the peach pieces into the pie shell.
- In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and a pinch of kosher salt. Pour in 1 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and mix well until smooth. Pour the custard over the peaches.
- Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 450°F, then turn down the oven to 325°F and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer. (If still runny, bake 5 to 10 minutes more, watching so that it does not burn. Place an old baking sheet or tin foil below the pie pan in case the liquid boils over.) Once finished, remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack for about 1 hour. Then refrigerate for several hours or overnight to thicken the custard. When ready to serve, cut into pieces and serve ice-cold.
A family recipe from Great Aunt Ruth + Kristi Kuhnau