Cooking With Maddie Newsletter #48

Peach Pie

Hi friends! 

I hope everyone enjoyed my friend Kate’s wonderful newsletter takeover last week. Like Kate said, I honestly don’t understand how our paths haven’t crossed until recently. Both born and raised in the Lou, both spending 4 wild years at KU and then now both living in Denver — we were destined to be friends. And the fact that she’s just as into cooking as I am? Well, that’s the cherry on top. 

When it comes to the recipes Kate shared, I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve whipped up the “top secret curry dip” since she made it for the Bachelorette season premiere. We may have had our frustrations with this season— I’m truly ashamed by my behavior when Katie sent Andrew S home — but it gave us an excuse to hangout on a school night, try new recipes and eat the infamous dip. And you can get your bottom dollar that we will continue this weekly tradition, dip mandatory, for BIP.

As for what’s been going on in our own kitchen these last few weeks, we’ve been obsessed with all things peaches — and clearly Kate felt the same way. Her peach and pancetta pizza recipe?! The only thing I love more than an alliteration is the idea of warm moz and ricotta, smeared on homemade dough, topped with juicy peaches and crispy, crunch pancetta. Yummmmm.

We haven’t been using our peaches in nearly as sophisticated ways— but trust, they’re still delicious. Peaches have become out go-to after dinner sweet, the fancy addition to our poor man’s cheeseboard (new fave snack) and of course, we’re still making the perfect summer caprese salad. Last week, we subbed the creamy burrata for some big hunks of parm, and it did not disappoint. Oh, and check out Kate’s crab cake beignets. Yes, they were just as good as they look.

Our love for peaches this summer has gone so far that we even decided to make not make Caitlin’s favorite birthday cake for a third year in a row, and instead, make a Peach Pie.

Cait celebrated her 27th birthday last week, and being the biggest peach head herself, she was all aboard the “birthday pie” train— something I’m trying to make happen because let’s be real, pie is better than cake. There, I said it!

I’ve made my fair share of pies before, but it just so conveniently happens that my idol, Alison Roman, recently shared her own peach pie recipe, solidifying the idea that a birthday peach pie was the way to go this year.

And because this was no ordinary pie — it was a birthday pie — I even decided to make pie dough from scratch. Something I do not take lightly considering I am very pro store-bought pie dough. And while my love for premade pie dough is still alive and kickin’, I will admit that Alison’s “The Only Pie Crust” recipe (from her books Nothing Fancy and Dining In) may be the first pie dough recipe that didn’t leave me pulling my hair out. She promised it to be easy, and it was just that.

As for the pie itself, while I followed Alison’s crust recipe almost to a T, I went completely rogue with the filling. No one’s surprised, I’m sure. I completely respect her lime/ginger journey, but for our pie, we wanted a more classic, traditional peach pie moment.

For the pie dough, here’s what you’ll need—

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 

  • 2 teaspoons sugar 

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ¼ cups (2 sticks + 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, chilled

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup ice water 

This recipe yields 2 disks of dough.

Start by whisking together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add your 1-inch chilled butter pieces to the bowl, tossing so each piece is covered in the flour mixture. Using your hands, smash each butter piece to create long, thin flaky bits, or pea-sized butter pieces. This takes about 5-10 minutes— but the faster you combine, the better. You don’t want your butter to melt. Do this until no large butter chunks remain. 

In Alison’s recipe, she instructs you to then dump the flour-butter mixture out onto a clean work surface before adding the apple cider vinegar and ice water. I did this, and while it worked, in the future, this is what’d I’d do instead—

Combine the apple cider vinegar with the ice water. Create a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture, still in the bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar and ice water (not the cubes themselves though) to the center of the well. Using your fingers, mix until the liquid is absorbed. Then dump the mixture out onto a clean work surface. 

Using your hands, begin to knead the dough, making sure to get all the loose, dry bits from the bottom. Continue to knead until the dough looks like a shaggy mass, about 5 minutes. 

Using a bench scraper, cut the dough in half. Pat each half into a flat disk, about 1-inch thick. If you want to be real exact about it, you can weigh the halves to ensure they’re of equal weight, but I would never do this. I eyeball it every time.

Wrap each disk individually with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to 4 days in the fridge. 

Now for the pie itself.

For my Peach Pie, here’s what you’ll need— 

  • 2 disks pie dough — if you get store-bought, they usually come 2 in a package

  • 3 ½ - 4 pounds peaches, cut into wedges — we got a mix of elberta and glohaven peaches from the farmers market

  • ¼ cup cornstarch 

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

  • Zest of 1 lemon 

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg 

  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar 

  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out pie dough 

  • 1 large egg, beaten 

  • ½ cup demerara or sugar in the raw 

Let’s start by rolling out the first pie dough disk. Let one of the disks sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to slightly soften. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough on a generously floured surface until it’s about 12 inches in diameter. When you’re rolling out your dough, continuously turn and flip your dough to ensure even rolling and no stickage. 

Transfer the pie dough to a standard size pie dish, lifting the edges to allow the dough to fall into every part of the dish. Using your fingers, gently push the pie dough into the dish, eliminating any air pockets. Set in the fridge to chill while you make the peach filling. 

To make the peach filling, gently toss the peach slices with the cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extra, salt, nutmeg, sugar and 1 tablespoon flour in a large bowl. Set aside. 

You’ll now want to roll out your second pie dough disk. Just like the first disk, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Use your rolling pin to roll out the second disk into a 12 inch round. 

Remove your pie dish from the fridge. Pour the peach mixture, which should be pretty juicy at this point, into your chilled pie crust. Transfer your second rolled-out pie dough on top of the filling. Use your fingers to push together the bottom and top pie doughs, forming a seal. Cut the hanging pie dough so that only ½ an inch hangs over. Tuck that ½ inch under itself, so the opening is facing inward. Finally, use a fork to push the pie dough into the pie dish edge, making one last seal. 

Set your pie on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes. My freezer wasn’t big enough for this, so I let it chill in the fridge for about 45 minutes. 

While your pie chills, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. 

When your pie is done chilling, remove from the fridge or freezer. In a small bowl, combine one large egg with 1 tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. Use a silicone brush to brush the top pie crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with ½ cup of demerara sugar. This is the best part!

Bake the pie for 1 hour. At the 1 hour mark, rotate the pie and bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is a dark golden brown. If you think the crust is getting too dark, you can always tent the pie with aluminum foil. And here’s my warning to you — you will have spillage. I’ve never made a pie without spillage. Don’t fret. That’s why you lined the rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil!

Remove the pie from the oven, letting it cool to room temperature. Alison suggests waiting a longggggg 4 hours before eating, but there’s just no world where I’m waiting that long to take a bit. Let cool for as long as you can. For us, that was about two hours. 

For what’s been giving me life recently, it has to be my little brother spending the month of August here in Denver with us. Max is a working dude now, meaning he can finally contribute more than manual labor to this household. Yay!

It was surprising my best friend/ sister/ roomie/ soulmate Caitlin with a birthday dinner at American Elm. We had just as many courses as we did old fashioneds — meaning the next morning was rough. It was getting dinner with our sweet friend Annie at El Five. We got pretty much every tapas on the menu, but the matzo ball soup dumplings had to be the winner. It was squeezing in a Rockies’ game with the Woods before they caught their flight back to Tulsa. It was the absolute best company on the absolute hottest day. 

It’s been swinging in hammocks, paddle boarding in Boulder, exploring the Korean grocery store H Mart, buying ALL the produce at the farmers market and teaching myself how to draw. That was my goal for summer 2021, and unfortunately, I don’t have much to show for it.

And lastly, it’s this newsletter hitting its one year anniversary. I honestly can’t believe it’s been an entire year since hitting send on the first ever Cooking With Maddie, and boy, what a year it’s been. I’ve experienced some of the greatest moments this year, but I’ve also had to overcome — well, still overcoming— some of the most difficult challenges. This newsletter has given me the space to create, play, reflect, vent, experiment, grieve, laugh and celebrate. It has put a lot of my life into perspective. Thank you for sticking with me. For sharing it with friends. For sending me photos of the recipes you’ve made. For ignoring the fact that most of the time, I treat this as a diary that just so happens to include a recipe. Thank you for all of it. 

Wish I was with you,