Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Balsamic Peach Pie

My cooking philosophy starts with the Three B's: 

Booze. Balsamic. Beyonce.

These three things are often my secret to deliciousness, particularly when it comes to baking (Another of my favorite B words!).

Booze takes on two roles in my kitchen. I use it to cook and I also use it for cooking. Most of the time, I just get tipsy and the magic happens on its own. Other times, I add a bottle of beer or a splash of wine or a cup of Bailey's Irish Cream to my food and somehow it works out. I'm not an alcoholic! I'm a chef, dammnit!

Balsamic is one of my favorite flavors in the entire world. I love that it goes with both savory and sweet things. I love that you can reduce it and drizzle it over just about anything. I love that a splash of it can completely change the direction of a dish and give it that little something extra.

Beyonce is my Kitchenaid Artisan Series Stand Mixer. I got her as a gift from Boyfriend and I use her two to four times a week for all kinds of things. I named her Beyonce because she's fierce and because the sound she makes kneading bread or mixing cupcake batter or whipping butter is like music to my ears. Cheesy? Maybe. But who doesn't love cheese?

The following recipe uses all Three B's AND is a testament to my own self-development.

I used to hate summer. I hated it with a passion. I hated the sun, I hated the heat, I hated wearing a bathing suit, and I hated sand. While I still hate sand, and while the heat is still not my favorite, I've found it more bearable over that last couple of years. I've developed a love for the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables and I've found the love of my life, who loves every part of me, even when I hate how I look in a bathing suit. 

Boyfriend and I have gone swimming almost every day this summer, I've got a kick-ass tan, and now instead of seeing the sun as a problem, I see it as an advantage. When I walked into the grocery store today, I saw an enormous display of fresh, peak-season, ripe-as-fuck peaches. Of course I decided to make a peach pie....

...with a little BabyBakes twist, of course!

(Adapted from Food Network)


Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for bench and cutters
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
  • coarse white sugar (for topping!)


  • 6 ripe but firm peaches
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon or pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg


For the crust: 

  1. In a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt and cold butter.
  2. Beat with flat beater attachment until mixture forms pea-sized balls. 
  3. Add the ice water to the mixture. Beat just until the mixture rolls itself into a little ball. If the mixture is a bit dry, add more ice water by the tablespoonful until it comes together. 
  4. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide the mixture evenly in half. 
  5. Shape each half into a disk. Do NOT overwork.
  6. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. At this point you can keep the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for later use.

For the filling: 

  1. Peel and cut the peaches into 1/4-inch thick slices and toss with the lemon juice, balsamic, and sugar in a large bowl. 
  2. Allow it to marinate (macerate)  for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in another bowl, making sure there are no lumps. 
  4. Add the dry mixture to the peaches and mix until well incorporated.

Putting it all together!

  1. Flour your rolling pin and roll out 1 pie crust to about a 12-inch round and drape over a 9 1/2-inch fluted pie plate. Roll out the other pie crust to about a 10-inch round, and cut this into 1-inch strips with a fluted pizza cutter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the peaches and mix well. Pour the peaches into the pie crust. 
  4. Scatter with the pieces of butter. Top with the lattice strips. 
  5. Brush away any flour underneath the lattice to make sure it seals well. 
  6. Crimp the edges to seal. 
  7. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush the lattice and edges with the egg wash.
  8. Pop in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, and then lower the heat to 350 degrees F and bake until the crust gets brown, about 50 minutes more. 
  9. If the edges brown too fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. 
  10. Turn oven off and allow pie to sit in the cooling oven for ten minutes. This will bake off some of the liquid to combat any soupiness!
  11. Top with coarse white sugar and cool about 30 minutes before serving.

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