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Latticed Peach Pie

This is one of the best pies you will ever make, with a lattice top to show off the beautiful filling. For some reason, peaches taste even better when cooked.

Ingredients:

For the pie shell:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 7 Tbs. cold water

For the filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, pitted and sliced peaches
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

To make the pie shell, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and shortening (in one lump). Process with 15 rapid off-on pulses; the mixture should look light and dry and resemble tiny, irregular flakes and crumbs. Add 4 Tbs. of the water and process again with 5 rapid off-on pulses. Add 2 Tbs. of the water and process with 3 rapid pulses. Stop and feel the dough (taking care not to touch the blade); it should be just damp enough to mass together. If necessary, add more water by teaspoonfuls, processing for just an instant after each addition. The total mixing time is less than 1 minute, and the dough should not form a ball; it should remain a rough, shaggy mass.

Cut the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll out one half into a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Try to keep the dough as round as possible. Transfer the rolled-out pastry to a 9-inch pie dish. Roll out the pastry for the top crust and cut it into strips about 3/4 inch wide; set aside.

To make the filling, place the peaches in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat well. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Add to the peaches and toss to combine. Pile the fruit mixture into the pastry-lined pan and dot with bits of the butter.

To create the woven lattice top, use the longer pastry strips near the center of the pie and the shorter ones near the edges. Cross the two longest strips over the center of the filled pie. Place a second long strip over the top cross strip. Fold back every other strip onto itself and lay a cross strip in place, then return folded-back strips to their original position. Continue weaving in this fashion, working from the center of the pie toward the edges, until all the strips are used. Trim and flute the edges decoratively with your thumb.

Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake until the juices are bubbling and the top is browned, about 25 minutes more.
Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Pies & Tarts, by John Phillip Carroll (Time-Life Books, 1992).