Peach Pie

One of my absolute favorite desserts is peach pie. And I'm not talking about peach pie that resembles cobbler which is what most people think of- crust on the bottom of the pie pan, hot peach filling, and a crust on top. I'm talking about Southern custard peach pie- pie crust on the bottom, vanilla custard with fresh peaches folded in, topped with whipped cream. It is heaven. 

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John and I are in the process of moving and we've packed up almost the entirety of my kitchen, which means, no peach pie or anything other than scrambled eggs and toast for that matter. Luckily for us, we have Not Just Pie right down the road. They specialize in custard pies, sandwiches and much more. Yesterday I just had to go by and pick up a whole peach pie for the weekend.

Their pies go for $30 which is pretty expensive, so if you don't have a pie shop near you or if $30 dollars seems a bit steep for flour and sugar, no need to fret. My great-grandmother, Sally, and I have developed a peach custard pie that is eerily similar and some in our family say it's even better (recipe at end of post). Let me know how your peach pie turns out in the comments!


Southern Custard Pie

CRUST

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco (chilled)
6-8 tablespoons ice water

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the Crisco and using a pastry cutter, mix in until small beads are formed. You can also use a food processor here, just make sure you don't over mix the dough. Slowly add the ice water until you can form a slightly sticky ball. DO NOT over mix. Wrap in clear wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Lightly flour a smooth workspace and roll out the chilled dough to make a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Gently place the dough in your pie plate. Do not stretch the dough to make it fit- start on one end and let the dough fall into the pie plate. Lightly poke the the crust with a fork so air bubbles don't form. Bake at 375ΒΊ until lightly browned (about 15-20 minutes but it's best to just keep an eye on it). Remove from oven and let cool.

CUSTARD FILLING

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cup milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

In a medium saucepan on the stove, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, milk and egg yolks until well combined. Turn heat to medium and slowly cook the filling. You must make sure that your are whisking slowly and constantly (the bottom can stick). Whisk the filling until it becomes thick and a pudding-like consistency. This takes about 8 minutes and once it starts to thicken, the thickening takes about 30 seconds. Once it's very thick, remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Add the vanilla and butter and mix in. Let cool for about 30 minutes to an hour. At this point you can add any fruit you'd like, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, sweetened coconut, etc. My favorites are peach and coconut (hence, coconut cream pie).

Pour the custard into the cooked pie crust and top with whipped cream (my quick and easy whipped cream: with an electric hand mixer, whisk 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup or slightly more of confectioner sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla in a small bowl until soft peaks are formed. Voila! You have homemade whipped cream). Chill the pie in the refrigerator to let set. Serve to your hungry guests and watch their eyes widen with joy!