People often ask what I enjoy about living in Italy versus America. There are so many pros and cons to both but one of the things I really love about living in Italy is the fresh and in-season fruit and vegetables that are available here. It never fails to be a joy for me to go the market and visit the families that have worked the land and are brining that goodness God has provided and sharing it with the rest of us.
With summer coming to a close here in Italy, I decided to make classic peach pie from the peach gems I found at our nearby market. The peaches here are full of flavor and so so good! I always loved eating Stratford peaches back in Oklahoma, so making this pie brought back fond memories of the Oklahoma I miss. Cooking and baking are often therapeutic for me—a way to create and then enjoy the creation with others.
This recipe (below) that I’ve adapted over the years from Betty Crocker is my go-to pie recipe. Classic american pie doesn’t exist here in Italy, so it’s always a great dessert to make when hosting Italians and they love it. Of course, it’s delicious with vanilla gelato on top, too!
2 Crust Pie Pastry (9 inch)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter (cut in)
4 tbsp water (sprinkled)
Place the flour and the salt in a large mixing bowl; cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the dough looks like tiny peas; sprinkle in the water and stir with a fork until the dough joins together to form a ball.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll out the first pastry dough on a lightly floured surface into a large circle slightly larger than your pie pan.*
Place the dough into a butter-greased and floured pan pressing down gently on the corner edge. Trim any excess dough with a knife around the rim of the pan. Bake this first layer of pastry for about 3 minutes—this is the “trick” for making sure your crust isn’t soggy but completely done on the bottom.
Take the pie out of the oven and let rest while you make the filling (directions below).
Fill your pie with the peach, or berry, mixture.
Roll out the second pie pastry in the same way as you did the first one. Using a good rolling pin, you can roll the pastry onto the pin then “unroll” it onto the pie with the filling.
Using a sharp knife, cut air vents into your top crust. You can be creative and make various designs, too.
Bake at 425° for 35-45 minutes until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling through the air vents of the pie.
Any leftover pie can be covered and stored in the refridgerator for several days.
*I don’t own a pie pan here, but a tart pan works fine for a substitute. The only difference is it won’t bake as long as the pan is more shallow.
Fresh Peach Pie Filling | may substitute with berries (9 inch)
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups peaches (or fresh berries)
1 1/3 tbsp butter *option to dot filling of pie before placing second crust layer on top.
Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon lightly together with thinly sliced fresh peaches using a soft spatula. The filling is now ready to go into your pie.