The juiciness of a perfect summer peach is sublime—except when it wreaks soupy havoc when baked in a pie. To tame the moisture in our perfect Fresh Peach Pie, we first macerate the peaches to draw out some of their juices and only add some of it back in. We also use both cornstarch and pectin to bind the filling, because we find that using two thickeners leaves the pie with a clear, silky texture and none of the gumminess or gelatinous texture that larger amounts of either one alone produces.
We also found that when it comes to a top, lattice is the way to go. Not only does it look beautiful, making for a great presentation, but it lets the right amount of steam out, ensuring that your pie won’t bubble over or rupture in the oven. And with some tinkering, we found a way to make a lattice top that’s easy as, well, pie.
SECRETS TO A FILLING THAT ISN’T SOUPY
1. LIMIT THE JUICE: Macerating large chunks of peaches and reserving the resulting juice allows us to add only as much liquid as the filling can handle—no more.
2. ADD PECTIN (AND CORNSTARCH): A combination of pectin and cornstarch keeps the filling smooth, clear, and moist without being soupy.
3. MAKE A STICKY MASH: A bit of mashed-up peaches added to the filling acts like glue, preventing any peach chunks from falling out of a slice.
SECRETS TO AN EASIER LATTICE TOP
Making a lattice top for a pie can be intimidating. But it’s not if you use our simple technique: Freeze strips of dough and then arrange them in a particular order over the filling. Done properly, our approach gives the illusion of a woven lattice, with less effort.
1. ROLL AND CUT: Roll dough into 12-inch circle, transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and cut into ten 1 1/4-inch-wide strips with a fluted pastry wheel, pizza wheel, or paring knife. Freeze for 30 minutes.
2. LAY AND WEAVE: Lay 2 longest strips perpendicular to each other across center of pie to form cross. Place 4 shorter strips along edges of pie, parallel to center strips.
3. FINISH AND TRIM: Lay 4 remaining strips between each edge strip and center strip. Trim off excess lattice ends, press edges of bottom crust and lattice strips together, and fold under.
RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Fresh Peach Pie
The juiciness of a perfect peach is sublime—except when you want to bake it into a pie. We found a way to tame the fruit and ensure that the perfect filling goes into your perfect crust.