An important announcement from Martha Stewart hit my email yesterday. You may have seen it, also. 2018’s Dessert of the Summer is none other than Peach Pot Pie. Filled with curiosity and a counter full of luscious East Texas peaches, I couldn’t resist. Could something so simple as the rustic pot pie be elevated to regal status? If anyone can accomplish that feat, it’s Martha. And so, armed with my thawed Dufour Puff Pastry and a short list of ingredients, the cooking began. Following her instructions wasn’t difficult. After a brief chop and stir, into the oven it went. The pastry did exactly what is was supposed to do; puffed up and golden it was ready to top the slightly caramelized peaches.
The first sign of bubbling around the edges let me know that this pie was ready. With hubby waiting in the background, out it came and “plop” went the pre-dipped scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. With the temperature outside hitting 109˚ we couldn’t have been happier to cozy up on the sofa with our big bowl of freshly baked peach pie and vanilla ice cream. The conclusion… if Martha declared it the dessert of summer, who are we to argue. However, we might suggest that she give it a try with this year’s outstanding Texas peach crop. In that case, Dessert of the Year is a real possibility.
Easy Peach Potpie
Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting
14 ounces all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour, thawed but still cold
¼ cup light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¾ pounds ripe peaches (about 5) cut into ½-inch wedges
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
Coarse sanding sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350˚F with racks in top and bottom thirds, and a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on bottom of oven to catch drips.
On a lightly floured sheet of parchment, unfold pastry; roll out to a 10-inch square. Center an 8-inch cake pan upside down on pastry; trace around it with a paring knife. Remove pan; remove and discard excess pastry. Transfer parchment with pastry circle to a baking sheet. Create a crosshatch pattern by scoring lines, 2 inches apart, horizontally and vertically on pastry (do not cut through dough). Refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add peaches and toss to coat. Stir in bourbon and vanilla. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie dish. Cover with parchment-lined foil; bake on lower rack 20 minutes.
Whisk egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush over pastry circle; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Place baking sheet with pastry on top rack of oven. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden and fruit in dish is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes (if pastry is browning too quickly, tent with foil). Remove from oven; uncover fruit. Carefully place pastry circle on topo of fruit and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool 15 minutes; serve with ice cream.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Tip: From East Texas to Parker County, this is a hallmark year for peaches. At local weekend markets you’ll find a great selection of Freestone varieties (easily separates from the pit) to choose from. Get them while you can because in a few weeks production will slow down.