This really is the world’s best peach pie recipe! Our prize winning family recipe features fresh peaches with a thick creamy custard and a salty crust.
This really is the best peach pie you’ll ever have. Promise. It’s a special family recipe: my mom’s Aunt’s won first prize at the county fair! I grew up worshiping this dessert, a custardy, creamy pie with fresh peaches. My family would eat it to christen the first peaches of the season, it was the only food where we were allowed to lick the plates clean. Here, my mom has shared our family’s best peach pie recipe with a few thoughts on tradition. Thousands of people all over the world have made it and agree…it really is special.
This recipe was developed by my father’s sister, Ruth, who was a fantastic cook and hostess. Aunt Ruth once won a prize for this peach pie at her county fair. When I was young, my mother (also a great cook) used to make this pie for my brother and I. It became my absolute favorite. I would savor each bite and especially liked the contrast of the thick, creamy custard with the salty crust. On a visit home to my mother as an adult, I remember being sick but not too sick to eat some peach pie my mother made. She knew how to draw me home and make me happy!
- 9” unbaked pie shell
- 4 to6 just ripe peaches*
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare a pie crust in a 9″ pie pan.
- Peel the peaches: Prepare a large pot of boiling water. Drop 3 peaches into the pot so that the water fully covers it, and boil for 45 seconds. Remove the peaches from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a bowl of ice water. Drop in the next batch and repeat. Once the peaches are cooled, use a sharp knife to puncture the skin of the peach, then peel it off in large sheets with your fingers. Repeat until all peaches are peeled. Cut each peach in half, remove the pit, and then cut it in half again to make quarters (if your peaches seem extra ripe and juicy, cut them only in half to make sure the filling doesn’t get too juicy). Place the peach pieces into the pie shell, using just enough to fill the pie shell.
- Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and a pinch of kosher salt. Pour in 1 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and mix well until smooth. Pour the custard over the peaches.
- Bake: Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 450°F, then turn down the oven to 325°F. Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer until it is just set but still wobbles when shaken – it will firm up fully after refrigerating. (If it’s still very runny at this point, bake 5 to 10 minutes more, watching so that it does not burn. Place an old baking sheet or tin foil below the pie pan in case the liquid boils over.)
- Cool: Once finished, remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack for about 1 hour.
- Refrigerate the pie: Once the pie is room temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. This is the final and most important step that thickens the custard and sets the pie. When ready to serve, cut into pieces and serve ice-cold.
*Good, room-temperature just ripe peaches are the key to this recipe. Make sure the peaches are just beginning to ripen and slightly soft to the touch, but not overly ripe. If you buy them when they are hard, ripen them for a few days in a brown paper bag (throw in a banana for extra power). Buying a few extra peaches is good insurance in case a peach goes bad.
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