Peach and crème fraîche pie

It’s peach season. Praise the Lord, it’s peach season. This is incredibly exciting for me for two reasons:

1) I get to eat a juicy, sweet, incredibly delicious peach daily.

2) My peach consumption often sometimes comes in the form of crumble, pie, cobbler, jam, danish, etc.

That counts toward my food triangle, right? Don’t look at me that way. You play this food justification game too.

This is my favorite kind of pie because it puts the fruit front and center, and enhances the flavor with a little bit of sugar and pastry goodness.

There are only four things going on here: a single pie crust, some streusel, big chunks of quartered peaches and crème fraîche. When these ingredients are baked together, the crust becomes a shell that decks your plate with pastry flecks and flakes, and the filling bakes itself into something more like a tangy custard and less like a traditionally sweet slumpy pie.

This is a peach pie for grown-ups. At 25, I’m apparently a grown-up. Enjoy your grown-up pie friends.

Peach and crème fraîche pie  

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 recipe of your favorite pie crust recipe. (I realized tonight that I’ve never posted my recipe on our web site — I’m too tired tonight, but I’ll post it later this week. :-))

Streusel
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Filling
1 1/2 pounds ripe (4 to 5 medium) yellow peaches, pitted and quartered
2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on  your desired sweetness)
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons crème fraîche* (see note below)

Prepare pie dough: Roll out pie dough (look!: a tutorial from smitten kitchen blogger Deb) to about 1/8-inch thick and fit into a regular pie plate. Pierce bottom of dough all over with a fork. Transfer to freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F right before you take it out.

Make streusel: Stir confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, salt and three tablespoons flour together in a small bowl. Add bits of cold butter, and either using a fork, pastry blender or your fingertips, work them into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add additional flour as needed; Set aside.

Par-bake crust: Tightly press a piece of aluminum foil against frozen pie crust. From here, you ought to fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans, I got pie weights for Christmas so I pie-weighted it up, but don’t worry if you don’t have ’em. I was pie weightless for years and everyone still ate my pies — don’t fret.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove carefully remove foil and any weights you have used, press any bubbled-up spots in with the back of a spoon, and return the crust to the oven for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Make the filling: Sprinkle quartered peaches with sugar (two tablespoons will make a just-barely-sweeteened pie; add the other two for a still not overly-sweet but sweeter pie), flour and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. Spread two tablespoons crème fraîche in bottom of par-baked pie shell, sprinkle with one-third of the streusel and fan the peach quarters decoratively on top. Dot the remaining three tablespoons of crème fraîche on the peaches and sprinkle with remaining streusel.

Bake the pie: Until the crème fraîche is bubbly and the streusel is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cover edge of crust with a strip of foil if it browns too quickly. Let cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before serving.

Make sure you store this dude in the fridge after serving (because of the crème fraîche.) Erick and I actually like this pie better when it’s cold — we think the flavors marry together better.

* Make your own crème fraîche: It’s true! You can make a version of it at home, using these instructions.

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