I think nothing quite conjures up the cinematic image of a long, lazy summery picnic better than a peach pie. Something about the idea of sweet, buttery pastry combined with fresh juicy peaches, served with a big dollop of fresh cream or ice cream is so wonderfully American it practically speaks with a southern drawl.
I’m a bit early, but maybe it’s good to get some practice in baking my Peach and Ginger Pie before the 24th of August – National Peach Pie Day in the United States – my kinda celebration!
What is in Peach and Ginger Pie?
I’ve combined the peaches here with nutmeg and ginger which I find lifts the flavour of the fruit from ordinary to truly delicious. If you fancy though you could use cinnamon instead, or leave the peaches pure and unadulterated.
Do make sure to use beautifully ripe, strongly scented peaches for best results. I like to buy mine and leave them in a bowl on the counter for a few days until they are perfectly ripe and ready.
What is the difference between free-stone and cling stone?
Like other stone fruits, peaches are either free-stone, where the pit is easily removed or cling-stone, where the pit clings stubbornly to the flesh.
Obviously, free-stone peaches will make a cook’s life easier so try to seek them out if you can. If you have ended up with cling-stone peaches, all is not lost, you’ll need to cut the stone away from the flesh rather than wiggling it out.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I peel peaches? Is it difficult?
Peeling peaches is actually very simple. You simply need to cover the ripe peaches with boiling water, then plunge into ice-cold water. The skins should slip right off, however here are some tips:
– Make sure you are using ripe, fragrant fruit – the skin should feel very slightly loose and the peaches should have a strong and fragrant aroma. Underripe peaches are much more difficult to peel.
– Test your fruit to see whether it is free-stone or cling-stone. Free-stone peaches are those where the stone comes easily away from the flesh (most modern varieties) while cling-stone pits will stick past. Obviously, free-stone peaches make your life easier in the kitchen, so try to seek these out for baking if possible.
– It’s unorthodox, but I prefer to halve my peaches before covering with boiling water, I find it is easier to remove the stone without bruising the flesh.
Can I use store-bought pastry to make Peach and Ginger Pie?
Go for it! Especially in the summer heat! As always, I urge you to make your own pastry as it will be worlds better than any commercially manufactured pastry. Pie-making should be a pleasure, not a chore, so you do you.
Do I have to use ginger in this pie? It seems like a strange combination?
I love the bright zingy taste of ginger and find that it compliments the peaches in this pie perfectly, but you can certainly leave it out if you prefer. Maybe replace it with some finely grated orange zest or similar to lift the flavour of the peaches.
I’m i a hurry! Do you have any recipes for fruit pie that are faster than this?
I’m so glad you asked! Check out my super speedy Flaky Pastry Apricot Tart!
Make sure to use deliciously ripe and fragrant peaches for the best pie – they should have a strong, sweet scent.
PEACH AND GINGER PIE RECIPE
Peach and Ginger Pie
Peach and Ginger Pie is the perfect bake for those long, lazy, late summer days when the trees are full of ripe, juicy fruit. Ideal for taking on a picnic, or serving for dessert.
for the pastry:
- 350g ( 1 ½ cups) plain or all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar (ca. 50g)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 200g (7 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 100ml (3.5 fl. oz.) ice-cold water
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
for the filling:
- 10 medium-sized peaches
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 125g (½ cup) sugar
- 3 Tbsp pain or all purpose flour
- 2 tsp vanilla essence or sugar
- 2.5 cm / 1 in. fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 - 2 Tbsp sugar
- MAKE THE PASTRY: Make the pastry by whisking the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture looks rough and flaky. Pour in the water and vinegar, then use a fork to mix into a loose dough. Turn out onto the bench and squeeze together into a disc, then wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- MAKE THE FILLING: While the dough is resting, prepare your filling. To skin the peaches place them in a large heatproof bowl or saucepan. Prepare a bowl or sink full of cold water. Pour boiling water over the peaches, leave for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to the cold water. Allow to cool for 1 minute - the skins should easily slip off. I actually like to halve my peaches before skinning them. See FAQ’s for more information.
- SLICE THE PEACHES: De-stone the peaches and cut them into slices. Toss with the lemon juice to prevent the peach from browning.
- FLAVOUR THE PEACHES: In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, flour and ginger, then stir through the peaches. Sprinkle over the vanilla, then transfer to a colander set over a bowl for 10 minutes to allow the peaches to release their juices.
- PREPARE THE PIE DISH: Grease a 23cm / 9 in. diameter pie dish with butter. When the dough has rested, divide it into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the bigger piece to a large circle on a lightly floured surface, turning the dough 90° between each roll and flouring the surface so it doesn’t stick.
- PRESS INTO DISH: Drape the dough over the rolling pin and lift the dough into the pie dish, pressing the dough firmly against the base and sides, leaving a pastry overhang on all sides. Use your thumb and forefingers to crimp the edges.
- ADD THE FILLING: Prick the base all over with a fork, scatter over the bread crumbs, then fill with the sliced peaches, discarding the liquid in the bowl. Try to have the peach slices lying as flat as possible. Transfer to the fridge or freezer while you prepare the top pastry.
- MAKE THE HEART TOPPING: Roll the remaining dough out to a large circle. Either use this circle to top the pie, cutting slits in the pastry as air vents or, use different-sized heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out as many hearts as possible, re-rolling the pastry as necessary.
- CHILL PIE AND PREHEAT OVEN: Top the pie with the pastry as desired, then return to the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 with a baking tray on the middle-lower rack.
- EGG WASH PIE: When the pie has chilled (this helps the pastry keep its shape) and the oven is hot, whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon of water together, then brush the pie all over. Sprinkle generously with sugar.
- BAKE: Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the pastry is golden brown and the peach filling is visibly bubbling. If you find that the pastry is getting too dark in the last 15 minutes of cooking time, tent the pie loosely with tin foil.
- ENJOY: Allow to cool completely in the dish before slicing and serving, I like a scoop of vanilla ice cream with mine!
EXTRA SPECIAL KITCHEN TIP: Whichever peaches you buy, the best way to halve them is by cutting around the centre of the peach horizontally rather than vertically, like the equator of the earth, then twisting to separate - trust me!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 553Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 77mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 4gSugar: 44gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
Hi Jay. I usually find with fruit filled pies the bottom pastry doesn’t cook through and consider I should bake it Blind first. Is there a tip with regards to cooking it so it will bake properly on the base? I’m averse to trying it without the blind bake first for this aforesaid reason. Thanks Carol
Hi Carol! This is a great question! It can absolutely be worth blind baking the pie crust if you’ve had difficulties in the past. Underbaked crust tends to be to do with the type of pie dish used and and placement of the pie in the oven.
Ceramic pie dishes don’t conduct heat as well as glass or metal tins which can cause the base to be undercooked. If I am not blind baking the base I always put a baking tray in the bottom third of the oven to get nice and hot while the oven preheats – this means the pastry starts to cook the moment you put the pie in the oven. The position in the lower third means the base is closer to the bottom element (something I also do with pizza to ensure a crispy base!)
I find this technique works in the ovens that I use, but there is certainly no harm in blind baking the pie base if you want to be extra sure! Thanks again for the great question and I will update the FAQ’s with some of this info. J.