Jim and I are blessed with some wonderful friendships. Two of those friends, Trace and David, hosted a weekend in the North Georgia mountains where we celebrated David’s birthday. The highlight of the weekend was a trip down the Ocoee River. After an incredibly wet summer, the weather cooperated and gave us the perfect, sunny day for an exhilarating white water rafting adventure.
Located in the Cherokee National Forest and the site of the 1996 Olympics canoe slolam event, the Ocoee River is the country’s most popular white water rafting adventure. The river thrills rafters with over 20 class III and IV rapids. Between rapids, plenty of lazy stretches of the river provide you the opportunity to jump in and float alongside the raft. The gorge through which the river flows, is a nature lover’s paradise.
Adrenaline junkies (myself included) love the thrill of the rapids.
Now to bring the story back to peach pie. We made a stop at one of my favorite places in North Georgia after the rafting trip. Mercier Orchards is the epicenter of the North Georgia apple crop in the fall. We stopped in for an apple pie and some potato salad to serve with dinner later that evening. While perusing the store, I spotted bag after bag of peaches freshly picked off the trees. Georgia peaches have outdone themselves in flavor this year and I couldn’t resist grabbing a bag while dreaming of freshly baked pie.
This post features a classic and unadulterated peach pie. The filling, made up of fresh peaches, sugar, and a hint of cinnamon, is wrapped in a traditional, buttery pie crust.
For the crust:
1 cup butter (two sticks)
2 1/2 cup all unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
8 cups sliced fresh peaches
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
1. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to mix. Add cold butter to flour mixture and pulse several times until mixture resembles course meal. Some larger pieces of butter are okay.
3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add buttermilk. Mix with a fork to combine. Add one tablespoon of ice water at a time to the mixture, mixing after each addition until dough comes together.
4. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead two or three times. Cut dough into two portions. Form each portion into a four inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl combine peaches, sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Remove one portion of dough from refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 14 inch circle. Roll dough on rolling pin and transfer to pie pan. Center dough over pan and form to pan. You should have about an inch hangover around the pie pan.
3. Transfer peach mixture into pie pan over dough. Dot the filling with two tablespoons butter cut into small pieces.
4. Remove second portion of dough from refrigerator and roll out to a 14 inch circle. With a knife or pastry cutter, cut the dough into one inch strips.
5. Place four strips of dough across the pie. Turn the pie 45 degrees and create a lattice by weaving four strips perpendicular to the original strips. (You can find a variety of video demonstrations on creating a lattice pie crust on Youtube.)
6. Trim excess dough on strips. Roll the bottom dough over the strips and crimp with your thumb and forefingers. Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar
7. Transfer pie to a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the crust is browning and the filling is bubbling. If the crust is getting too brown cover the edges with aluminum foil.
8. Cool completely before cutting.