Dutch Peach Pie


Dutch Peach PiePeach Pie is a summer favorite when they are sweet and plentiful.  I was surprised last week to see the first of the Georgia Peaches in the store an couldn’t resist buying some.  I really didn’t know what I was going to do with them – they were just irresistible.

After sitting on the counter for a couple of days I decided to make a Peach Pie with them.  But not just any Peach Pie, something special. Then I remembered the Dutch Apple Pie.  Why not put those crumbs on top of my peaches?   As you can see I did with spectacular results.

While I was at it, I reduced the sugar significantly, added a bit of white balsamic vinegar to add a contrast to the sugar and a touch of vanilla which I have always loved with peaches.

There are two ways to peel peaches for the pie – one works better than the other.  Normally, I like to put the peaches in boiling water, immerse them in cold water and just slip the skins off as I did for the Peachy Keen Parfait.  However, when I did the first pie this way, the peaches juiced so much that the fruit slid from between the crumbs and the crust after baking and the initial cut. Not good!  So, for the second go ‘round, I peeled them,  which reduced the amount of initial juice.

We made deep dish tarts at the bakery which were essentially pies in deep fluted pans with crumbs on top. After a lot of experimenting, my favorite thickening was a combination of flour and minute tapioca.  Because we froze the tarts, cornstarch was out of the question because it breaks down when thawed.  I didn’t like all flour because it clouded the beautiful peaches.  Minute tapioca alone can make for a rather bouncy filling but it is beautiful and clear.  The combination of the flour and minute tapioca makes a pie with sparkling fruit and just enough set up that freezes and thaws perfectly.  When using this combination or it is important to let the filling sit for thirty minutes so the tapioca can soften and absorb the liquid.

One more thing.  You will notice in the picture above that the peaches are cut thinly and not in chunks.  That is how I cut apples or any fruit for a pie.  The reason is simple.  By cutting the fruit thinly the pie doesn’t have a gaping separation between the baked top crust and the fruit.  Everything stays compact and stuck together.

This peach pie is less sweet than most.  I was talking with the friend a few days ago and he said he rarely makes or eats pie because they are so sweet.   I couldn’t agree more.  When I designed the fruit tarts for the bakery, I removed some of the sugar so the tarts would be fruit forward.  If you like a sweeter pie, add an additional 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounces).

Rather than cover the pie crust edges halfway through baking, I reverse this and cover them before the pie goes into the oven which alleviates any chance of burning yourself.  I also place the pie on a parchment lined half sheet pan to catch any drips that may occur at the end of baking.  The crumbs will most likely over-brown towards the end, so tent the top loosely to slow the browning.

I prefer a glass pie plate so I can see if the bottom crust is getting baked.  I keep the oven temperature at 400°F for the entire time.  If you use a metal pie pan, you may want to set the oven at 425°F since glass gets hotter than metal or simply add a bit more baking time.

Single Crust

Go here for how to photos
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (6 1/3 ounces or 180 grams)
1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour (scant 1 1/2 ounces or 40 grams)
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and frozen until hard
3 tablespoons shortening (like Crisco) frozen and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons beaten egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 tablespoons water, chilled and divided

Place both flours and the salt in the processor bowl. Pulse several times to mix.  Place the butter evenly over the flour and pulse until the butter is in large pieces.  Add the frozen shortening and continue to pulse until the shortenings are pea-sized.

Combine the egg, lemon juice, and water.  Pour in a circle over the processor contents. Pulse until it forms clumps.  Pour out onto a lightly floured work surface. Push the clumps together into a ball. Knead 4 or 5 times for form a dough. Pat into a circle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in film and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out to a circle approximately 13 inches.  Place in the pie pan and fit into corners.  Cut the overhang an even 1 inch all the way around.  Tuck the crust under and flute the edges.

Chill well.  This can be made the day before and refrigerated or frozen.  Thaw in the refrigerator if frozen.

Crumb Topping   

Go here for how to photos,
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (114 grams, 4 ounces or 1 stick)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (65 grams or 2.25 ounces)
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar (65 grams or 2.25 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cake flour (190 grams or 6 1/2 ounces)

Combine the butter and both sugars in a mixer.  Cream until very light.  Combine the salt and flour; add all at once and beat on medium just until large crumbs form.  Scrape down the sides and the bottom for unincorporated flour.  Mix briefly.

Do not over mix or you will end up with a really thick cohesive mixture.  Store the crumbs in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Peach Pie FillingFilling Ingredients

3 pounds fresh peaches (1380 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
3 tablespoons flour (28 grams or 1 ounces)
3 tablespoons minute tapioca – (28 grams or 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons white Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment.

Peel the peaches and slice thinly.

About 30 minutes before filling the pie, combine the sugar, flour, and tapioca.Thickening for the Pie

Add the balsamic vinegar and extract to the fruit.  Pour the dry ingredients over the fruit and mix well.  Peaches before sitting 30 minutesLet sit for 30 minutes after which they will have juiced and the tapioca will have softened.Peaches after sitting

Place the pastry shell on the lined sheet pan and pour in the filling. Filling in pie shellCover the fruit with the crumbs. Crumbs on Foil the edges of the crust to prevent burning.

Foiled edgesBake for 45 minutes then remove the foil.  This is easiest done with tongs.  Continue baking for about 45 minutes more until the crust is browned and the peaches are beginning to bubble around the edges.  Lightly tent with top with foil if the crumbs are browning too much.Filling bubbling

Cool the Peach Pie before serving although I love it slightly warm.  If you make it the day ahead, just microwave the slices briefly. Mike and I love it by itself but ice cream can’t hurt!! 

Article relating to this blog that might be of interest include:
American Pie Crust Tutorial
Thickeners as used in Baking and Pastry
New York Style Crumb Cake
Baking Pans

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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8 thoughts on “Dutch Peach Pie

  1. Denise Hammons

    Hi Helen,
    I live in the Deep South and the peaches this year are amazing. I usually use Clear Jel for my blueberry pies, do you think this would work for the peach as well?

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Denise – I have never used Clear Jel but I do know there are two kinds. So, I don’t feel I can comment on it. However, if it worked for one it will probably be fine for the other.

  2. Peter A Gordon

    Helen: I am a big fan. In the filling ingredients you put 40 grams of flour or 1 1/2 grams. I think you meant ounces. Looking forward to many more excellent recipes and advice.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Pete – Thank you for your kind words and the catch. No matter how many times I proofread sometimes something slips by. I made the correction. I appreciate your bringing this to my attention.

  3. Lin Schmidt

    Hi Helen….if I use frozen peaches, should I increase the thickening? Also, do you use this thickening with frozen tart cherries for cherry pie?

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Lin, We used frozen peaches at the bakery since we couldn’t get fresh year round. We used this thickening for everything but anything containing apples. Then we used all flour because apples don’t have a clear finish as do peaches and other fruit pies. If you look at the American Pie Crust Tutorial on my blog there is a Very Berry Pie using frozen fruit. It uses the same combination so my answer would be yes it will work with frozen fruit as well. I can’t help with the tart cherries, it’s not one of my favorites.

  4. John Martin-Rutherford

    Helen, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful peach pie – of any kind – I have ever seen…..mine are always juice-forward and falling apart when they are cut. I am so envious that I am going to the market today and buying some peaches just to make this pie (also some minute tapioca which I don’t have on hand). All my best to you, Mike and give Dirk and Kate and the boys big hugs for me!
    John M-R

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hello John, I am so happy to hear from you. I’ll be anxious to know what you think of pie when you taste it. I had to give some of it since Mike and I definitely don’t need to eat a whole pie. We’re doing fine and the Chicago Fletchets are all wonderful. You wouldn’t recognize the boys if you passed them in the street. So proud of all of them. Hope all is well with you. Happy Peach Pie!

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