Pies are among America's favorite desserts. With a little practice, you can learn to adapt this basic formula depending on what fruit is in season, and to adjust the amount of sugar and thickeners based on the juiciness of the fruit. Soon, you can say "easy as pie" -- and really mean it!
- Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie
- 2 3/4 pounds peaches, cut into 1/2 inch wedges (8 cups)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- Thomas's Pate Brisee, chilled
- 1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Stir together peaches, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl to combine.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of pate brisee to 1/8-inch thickness and at least 13 inches in diameter. Roll dough around rolling pin and unroll it over a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing gently to fit into plate. Fill with peach mixture. Dot with butter. Roll out remaining disk of dough in the same manner. Drape over filling. Use kitchen shears to trim overhang under, and crimp edges. With thumb and index finger of one hand, gently press dough against index finger of other hand. Continue around pie. Use a paring knife to make several vents in the top crust. Refrigerate pie 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the lower third. Place chilled pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk egg yolk and cream in a small bowl; brush over top crust. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees. Continue baking until bottom and top crusts are golden and juices are bubbling in center, 50 to 80 minutes. Tent pie with foil if browning too quickly.
Transfer pie to a wire rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. If keeping pie overnight, tent loosely with foil and store at room temperature; do not refrigerate, which makes crust soggy.