For the Pie Pastry-
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
6-8 tablespoons ice cold water
Place the flour, sugar, salt and cold butter into a large mixing bowl. Use a bench scraper or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water around the bowl, tossing the mixture to distribute the water. The dough will become shaggy. Add just enough additional water (1 or 2 tablespoons) so that the mixture holds its shape and forms a soft dough. Divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a disc. Wrap each disc of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.
Lightly butter and flour a 7”x 3” springform pan. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out one disc of pie pastry into a circle about 10” in diameter and about ⅛” thick. To transfer the pastry to the springform pan, lightly dust your rolling pin with flour, roll the pastry up in the pin, place the pastry wrapped pin over one edge of the springform and gently unroll the pastry. Without pulling or stretching the pastry, ease it into the pan, using your fingers to line the bottom and sides and leaving an overhang of about ½”. Turn the overhang under to create an edge. Crimp the edges and place the pastry-lined pan in the freezer. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out the second disc of pie pastry into a circle about 10” in diameter. Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut the circle into ½” strips. Slide the parchment paper with the lattice strips onto a small baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
3 pounds of freestone peaches, rinsed, peeled (if you wish,) halved, pitted, cut into thick wedges (you should have 6 cups of fruit)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3-4 tablespoons minute tapioca, finely ground in a coffee grinder or food processor (if the peaches are extremely juicy, I use 4 tablespoons, if less so, 3 tablespoons)
egg wash made from 1 egg yolk beaten with two tablespoons milk or heavy cream
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
Assemble the ingredients for the filling. Place the sliced peaches and lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside. Do not combine the fruit with the remaining ingredients until after you have blind-baked the bottom crust (or the filling will be swimming before you place it in the pie shell.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Retrieve the springform pan from the freezer. Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the pastry to prevent the dough from puffing up. Line the pastry lined springform pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Press the edges of the foil or parchment snugly against the bottom and sides of the pastry, and all the way up and over the edges. Fill the pan with pie weights or dried beans. Be generous- go all the way up to the top so the crust doesn’t slink down. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake it on the bottom rack of the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and using oven mitts, carefully lift out the foil (or parchment) and beans. Set the foil/beans aside (I stash them in a cast iron skillet to cool down) and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Return the partially baked crust back into the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the bottom is golden and dry and the edges are lightly brown. Set aside to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the zest, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and finely ground tapioca. Add this mixture to the peaches and lemon juice, using a rubber spatula to combine the fruit with the sugar and spices. Scrape the filling into the pre-baked pie shell. Moisten the edge of the piecrust with a bit of the egg wash. Retrieve the lattice strips from the refrigerator. You can either weave the strips into a woven lattice top or simply set half of the strips horizontally across the pie, then add the remaining strips vertically to create a ‘faux’ lattice. (No one will judge you; promise.) Make sure the edges of the lattice strips are tucked and sealed beneath the crimped edge. (Because you blind-baked the crust, the edges may be a bit fragile- be gentle.) Brush the lattice crust (but not the edges- they’ll get too dark) with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Make sure the springform is sitting on a parchment lined baking sheet before you transfer it to the oven. One more thing- I like to wrap strips of aluminum foil around the edges of the pie to prevent overbrowning and remove the foil strips the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
Bake the pie on the bottom rack of the preheated 425 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F, move the pie to the middle rack of the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Carefully remove the aluminum foil strips from the edges of the pie and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the pie is bubbling around the edges and from the center of the lattice. Everyone’s oven is slightly different- keep an eye on things; if the top of the pie is getting too dark, cover it with a sheet of parchment paper or reduce the heat by 15 degrees. Because you are using a springform pan, it is important that the filling bubbles enthusiastically. Equally important, the pie must cool completely before slicing if you want it to stand tall. This will take a minimum of 3 hours. If you simply can’t wait, the filling may pool on the plate. In that case, you may wish to substitute a bowl and a spoon for a plate and a fork. Serve the pie with generous dollops of Bourbon Whipped Cream. Wrap and refrigerate any leftovers.
Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon bourbon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Place the heavy cream, bourbon, vanilla extract, and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Whip with a hand-held electric mixer or a whisk until the cream thickens and holds soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until serving.