Rum And Bitters Peach Pie
It’s been so hot and it’s a few days into September already and I truly am not sad about it! What’s making me so happy is that there are still plenty of peaches and plums on trees in the Niagara Region providing us sweet fresh produce to enjoy well into September. When any fruit season comes along I always have to use it ina pie. I didn’t do a strawberry one this season but i did do a galette which is pretty much a rustic or in my case a much more rustic pie as all my pies look rustic already.
I pretty much have a staple pie crust recipe that is so good with all sorts of fillings. It’s wonderfully easy to make and has never failed me yet. I strongly recommend you having a look at it but feel free to use your own if you are very comfortable with it. This one is buttery and flaky and hold ups so well even with the juiciest fruit.
When I make a new pie or experiment with a new filling I love to do my research. I have no time for fails in the kitchen so I do my due diligence and try to plan all the flavours before I make it. Some great resources I use are the Serious eats website, along with the kitchn and several other very informative websites that help me out with the fillings when it comes to the ratio of ingredients to ensure a nice pie filling. Not too runny and not too thick. This time I came across Zoe from Zoebakes making her peach pie on her Instagram stories. Her stories are the best by the way and I learn so much from her. Her filling recipe was simple and straight forward. Not quite a dump your peaches in and done but simple enough for me to make, so that should tell you enough.
She recommended peeling them and the easiest way to do so which I have actually done with tomatoes many times before. A very simple step but a good one especially to make sure no skins are floating around in your pie. A few skins won’t kill you, I promise you that so if you skip that step it’s not the end of world. Then the peaches hang out with some sugar and release their wonderful juices and then you make a quick thickened sauce with them and their juices before putting them in the pie. Really easy steps which are definitely worth it for a delicious pie filling.
Let’s talk about the rum and bitters. The original recipe called for bourbon and if you prefer bourbon then feel free to sub it out and I have a none alcoholic option below as well. Bitters is what I got so accustomed using while I lived in Trinidad and I guess it has stuck with me. It’s great in all fruity cocktails and juices, fruit salads and I love to use it in cakes too. I used the Angostura orange bitters in this pie and it was amazing but the original is just perfect with it too. It always adds a wonderful flavour to baked goods. I usually replace the extract with it or go half and half with vanilla or almond when I decide to use it in my baked goods. It’s made with warming baking spices that just go so well in pies!
I know you will love this pie with a big ol scoop of ice cream or dollop of whip. My favourite way of eating it is warmed in the oven and with some ice cream that melts into a cream that you can dip each bite of pie into. Heavenly! Enjoy you guys and get all the peaches in you in whatever form before the season is over!
For the pie crust (makes 1 single pie crust – DOUBLE for lattice or solid top sheet)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted very cold butter
- 4-8 tablespoons ice water, divided
For the filling
- 8 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (instructions on how to easily peel peaches below - peeling them is optional but recommended)
- ½ cup raw sugar
- ¼ cup rum (if you don’t want to use alcohol, you can substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
- 1 tbsp of angostura bitters (I used the orange one but the regular/original one is perfect too)
- A pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp each of sugar and flour to dust the crust before filling.
- A pinch or two of Sugar for sprinkling after egg wash
For the egg wash
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of rum
- ½ tsp of angostura bitters
How to peel peaches
- To peel the peaches simply place them in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute and then transfer them with a slotted spoon to an ice bath until completely cool.
- Proceed to peel them with a pairing knife or your fingers. The skin should peel and slide right off. It’s ok if a few stubborn skin pieces stay one.
- Once they are peeled then slice them according to recipe.
For the dough
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Alternatively if making crust by hand, whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Remove the butter from the fridge and cut it into several small cubes.
- Scatter the cubes of butter over the surface of the flour in the food processor and pulse 15 to 25 times until the mixture resembles cornmeal with pieces of butter no larger than a pea. Alternatively, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter a fork, or your fingertips but do not overwork.
- Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the butter-flour mixture.
- Pulse 4 to 5 times to combine. Check to see if the dough is holding together by squeezing a bit of it in your hand — if it holds together, it’s ready; if it breaks apart easily, add a little more water one tbsp at a time. The final dough should not come together in as a typical dough, but you should see no more powdery flour and the dough should just be starting to clump together in large crumbs. Alternatively, sprinkle the water over the flour and use two forks to toss the flour to combine.
- Test the dough and add more water as described above, handling the dough as little as possible with your hands.
- Turn the pie dough out onto a clean work surface. Use your hands to very quickly gather and press the shaggy dough into a thick disk.
- Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days (or freeze for up to 3 months; defrost in the fridge overnight before using).
- When ready to use remove the dough disk from fridge, sprinkle your clean working surface and rolling pin with flour.
- Unwrap the dough and lay it on top of the flour. Working from the middle of the dough outwards, roll the dough into a circle approx 12 inches in diameter (a few inches larger than your pie pan). Be careful to work the dough as little as possible. If the dough cracks when you first start rolling, let it stand for one minute to warm slightly before rolling again. Use more flour if the dough starts to stick. Use a pastry scraper to lift the pastry from the work surface and make sure it’s not sticking.
- Lay your rolling pin on one edge of the pie crust and begin gently rolling the pie crust over the rolling pin with the help of dough scraper if needed.
- When it’s all rolled up, move it to the 9 inch pie pan (NOT deep dish for this recipe) and gently unroll it into the pie plate and shape or ease it into the plate.
- Trim the pie dough edges and crimp them using your finger or a fork. Then place the dough in the fridge while you make the filling and lattice (directions for lattice below)
For the filling
In a large bowl toss together the peaches, rum, bitters, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, folding with a flexible spatula until well combined and set aside for at least 30 minutes for the peaches to macerate and juices to form.
Strain the peaches and mix the juices with the cornstarch. In a saucepan, cook the cornstarch mixture on low/medium heat until it is thick and translucent.
Whisk in the vanilla extract and then add the thickened juices back to the peaches in a large bowl and allow to cool.
Sprinkle pie crust with a dusting of flour and sugar and then scrape the peach mixture into a prepared pie shell and top with remaining dough, using a solid sheet, cutouts, or a simple lattice-top design.
Trim away excess dough and press in the edges with a fork or your fingers and refrigerate to ensure top crust is completely chilled, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 425°F
In a small bowl whisk together the egg, rum and bitters for your egg wash.
Brush over chilled top crust in a thin, even layer. Sprinkle sugar evenly over crust.
Place chilled pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425 ° F for 30 minutes and then REDUCE heat to 350 ° F and bake for another 45 minutes to an hour until golden and filling is bubbling. Time depends on the thickness and type of pie plate. Mine usually takes 1hr 15-20 minutes and I use my thicker ceramic pie plate. My edges were getting dark fast so I made a foil ring by cutting out the center of a piece of foil the size of the center of the pie and placed it over the edges of the pie so the edges did not burn. (Alternatively, an empty baking sheet can be placed on the topmost rack of the oven to serve as a shield.)
Cool pie on a cooling rack until the pie plate is no longer warm to the touch (approx 3 hours) and then serve or refrigerate if serving later.
Wrapped in foil, leftovers will keep up to 3 days at room temperature; warm 10 minutes in a 350°F oven to revive crust before serving.
For simple Lattice instructions
- Prepare the top lattice crust. Roll out the second pie crust to a roughly 11-inch diameter (slightly smaller than the bottom crust).
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the crust into even strips roughly ¾-inch wide. (It’s fine to make thinner or thicker strips if you’d like, I chose thicker and fewer strips to keep things simple and then I decided I was going to braid some of them and add some thinner strips for interest - the thinner strips follow the directions of one set of the large strips and the braided ones follow the direction of the other larger strips).
- Lay half the strips horizontally across the pie: Lay half the strips horizontally over the pie, using the longer strips in the middle of the pie and shorter strips toward the edges. Space the strips a little apart.
- Fold half the strips back on themselves: Fold every other strip back on itself.
- Lay one strip of pie crust vertically over the pie: Lay one of the remaining strips of pie crust vertically over the pie so that it lays across the unfolded horizontal strips. Snug it up against the folded strips.
- Begin latticing one side of the pie crust: Swap the folded and unfolded horizontal strips: unfold the folded horizontal strips so they lay over the vertical strip and fold the strips running under the vertical strip back over top. Lay another vertical strip of pie crust over the pie, snugging it up as closely as possible to the preceding vertical strip.
- Continue swapping the folded and unfolded horizontal strips and adding one new vertical strip each time. Continue until one half of the pie is completely latticed.
- Lattice the second half of the pie: Lattice the second half of the pie following the same pattern. Use the longer strips of pie dough in the middle of the pie and save the shorter strips for the edges.
- If the crust starts to soften too much while you’re creating the lattice, put the whole pie and any remaining strips of dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill and firm up before continuing.
- Crimp the edges: Trim the edges with a sharp knife if needed, then roll them inwards toward the center of the pie. Firmly crimp the edges to seal. Use your egg wash and prepare to bake as normal.