Fresh peach pie tends to disappoint me. It never seems to do justice to the flavor of a fresh, fabulous peach. It’s a bias I have, but I’m working on it. And that’s when I decided that maybe if I used part nectarines, I might be happier with the end result. Yes!Turns out much, much tastier. I don’t peel either the peaches or the nectarines. There’s flavor in those skins and I rather like that little chewy bit of goodness. But, if you prefer, peel the peaches. The nectarine really don’t have a very coarse skin, but if you feel strongly about it, have at it. A few other things:
- Don’t over sweeten the peaches. I doubt that you’ll need more than 1/3 cup sugar, but I wouldn’t add more than 1/2 cup sugar…feel free to use either white or brown sugar
- Use more spice if you wish, but it’s easy to over-power peaches
- If you find you don’t have quite enough peaches/nectarines, you may add 1 can well-drained sliced peaches. No one will probably know.
- The final 2 tablespoons of butter can be melted and drizzled over the filling (brown butter is fabulous for this!)
- I prefer arrowroot, because you get a lovely clear pie and it thickens at a lower temperature than other thickening agents. If you decide to make a “cream” pie, do not use the arrowroot. To assure that the spices and arrowroot will be evenly distributed, stir them into the sugar, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the fruit
- The filling is best, if it’s allowed to stand for about 15-20 minutes before pouring into the prepared crust. This lets the juices start to develop.
- I also “dot” the filling with a few pats of butter. It adds richness, but isn’t heavy.
- I like to use a coarse sugar sprinkled over the top crust. It adds a pleasant crunch.
- Make certain the edge of the crust stands up well. This pie is juicy and may “bleed” out through the vents
- For best results, let the pie cool to room temperature before cutting.
- I like to make the pastry the day before, chill it and then roll it out just before I fill it. That works for me, but do whatever works best for you. I like to add a bit of spice to the pastry, as in Spiced Pie Pastry.
Spiced Peach-Nectarine Pie
- Spiced Pie Pastry, see recipe
- 3 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 4 medium peaches)
- 3 cups sliced nectarines (about 3 large)
- 2 tablespoons peach schnapps (optional, but delicious)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Large pinch kosher salt
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (start with the lesser amount and taste)
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot (see NOTE)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Coarse sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the sliced fruit in a large bowl; add the lemon juice and schnapps and gently stir to combine. In another bowl, combine the sugar, arrowroot, spices and salt until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the peaches, gently stirring until just coated. Set aside for at least 15-30 minutes.
Restir the filling and spoon it evenly into the crust-lined pie plate. Dot the filling with the additional butter. Brush the edge of the crust with water, cover with the second rolled-out crust, pressing the edges gently to seal. Flute or crimp the edges; cut 4 or 5 steam vents evenly in the top. Don’t cut too close to the edge. Brush with some heavy cream; sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and you can see some of the filling liquid bubbling up a bit. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before slicing. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm. Excellent with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.
NOTE: If you want to have a creamy filling, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to the peaches and substitute 1/3 cup flour for the arrowroot.
Spiced Peach-Nectarine Pie Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.