Peach pie, with its tart fruit and sugary crumble crust is one of the most sublime ways to enjoy the dog days of summer.
It's August and despite the abnormally cool summer, Brooklyn is heating up. Motivation has slumped, wet clothes won't dry, and the subway platforms are an inferno. But this is the best month of the year for fresh fruits and vegetables and the very best time for fresh peaches.
Feeling a bit lazy (I blame the humidity) I opted not to make a pie crust from scratch--for all the labor they don't taste that different from frozen! Plus my last attempt, for a failure of an apple pie last spring, ended up a bit salty and far too flaky. So, I laid the New York Times's perpetual debate over leaf lard, shortening and butter aside and bought a frozen crust. Sometimes, when you want pie, you want it NOW.
I found a good and simple recipe for an open-faced peace pie online at cooks.com. The labor is minimal, just cut about 5-7 peaches in half and place them into the crust.
Then mix dry ingredients:
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
Rub with 2 T. of butter between your palms until the mixture resembles a soft, pale brown mound of sand
Sprinkle crumb mixture over peaches, and then take two beaten eggs and pour over the pie. I found it helpful to make little craters in the top of the pie so the egg wouldn't just run off the surface, but sink down toward the crust.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn down to 325 for 40 minutes. It looks spectacular when it's finished, and fills your kitchen with the smell of cinnamon, fruit, and golden crust. Enjoy warm, with or without vanilla ice-cream on a warm afternoon.