Peach pie is a classic American summertime dessert. I think it'd be sad state of affairs if we had to wait for summers to get one. If you're interested in a delicious homemade pie outside of peach season, I have created a recipe that uses frozen peaches. This pie uses my all-butter pie crust to make a double crust pie filled with delicious peach filling.
I wish I could show you the inside, but this particular pie was a gift. You'll have to watch the video below for the cutting. 😅 If you could see the inside, it was juicy and not runny at all. The peaches were cooked perfectly and baking this pie makes your house smell like heaven.
I get requests for this pie year round, and because of that, I keep a nice stash of frozen peaches deep in my freezer. You can use store bought frozen peaches, just like I do in this tutorial, or peaches that you have frozen yourself.
So enter this recipe, which is my peach pie that I've been making for years. I even created a tower of pies for a wedding. The "topper" is a peach pie. It's the one with chickens on top.
Here's a close up:
No, for this recipe you don't.
All you do is prepare the filling using peaches straight from the freezer, and mix it with Minute tapioca, sugar, salt, and a touch of almond extract.
Many people think that frozen peaces contain more water than fresh. Some condensation may have collected on the outside of the peach, and I see that with my home-frozen peaches. But commercially frozen peaches will not contain more water than a fresh peach.
I've made multiple peach pies using both fresh and frozen peaches. Hands down, working with frozen peaches is much easier. In my method you don't need to thaw, to drain juices, etc.
When I work with fresh peaches, I have done all that, and yes, they were great pies, but this recipe will still get you to 90% of the way to peach pie nirvana.
Frozen fruit are supposed to be frozen "at the peak of ripeness". They are pretty darn good and only the top peach aficionados will tell you that frozen peaches weren't as sweet as you'd like.
I used to live next to one of the biggest peach distributors on the west coast. Throughout the summers, I would go out with my children and grab peaches from their stand outside their factory to get the sweetest and freshest peaches. I could choose from at least 5-8 varieties at a time to gauge sweetness, graininess of the flesh, and freestone vs. clingstone.
I know peaches. Trust me when I say that frozen peaches (esp if you buy a good organic brand) come very close to fresh peaches, in terms of pie making.
For fresh eating, well, that's a different story. 😉
Ah yes, a runny pie. It's a fact of life. I've done it so many times.
I could sum up the answer in a short statement. Choose the right thickener, add the correct amount, and cook until bubbling.
Easier said than done.
Ok, let's walk through this.
Choose the right thickener. We have lots to choose from, and perhaps I'll write a lengthy post on the differences. For my frozen fruit pie fillings, the winner for me is always Minute Tapioca. It's easy to measure, thickens up a pies with juicy fruits, and creates a clear, gel-like consistency that is perfect for pie.
Add the correct amount. Every fruit has a different water content. Think of juicy peaches vs. apples vs. blueberries. They also have different pectin contents, which also aid in gelling the pie together. Make sure you measure accurately and if you use a different thickener, know that your amounts will vary because each starch contains different kinds/amounts of thickening molecules. (As well as setting temperatures.)
Cook until bubbling. This one is a biggie. A fruit pie is never done until the inside juices are thick and bubbling. Thick, meaning the starch has started to swell and thicken the juices, and bubbling, meaning the temperature has reached near boiling. Most starches will boil under the temp of water boiling, but you will need to look into your pies and see that bubbling. For a fully covered pie, sometimes I can see my pie "breathing"! the top crust is moving up and down from the interior cooking.
And lastly, don't cut until its cooled! So hard, I know. But you run the risk of letting the juices run out, even if it is boiled properly. Wait at least 3-4 hours.
You can, though keep a foil cover handy because most likely what will happen is the wash on the crust will brown faster than the interior will cook. You will need to cover it probably 30 mins in.
Prepare a rack on the bottom level. Place a pizza stone on it if you have it. (Mine lives there permanently.) Preheat the oven to 425. Pies cook at high temperatures!
Preheat for at least 30 mins. Place your pie plate on the pizza stone. What's happening is that the pie is cooking from the outside in. The crust is crisping up and preventing a barrier so that we the juices thaw, they won't make the bottom soggy.
After 10 minutes, decrease the temp to 400.
Cooking time will vary but it will be at least an hour. In the video below, mine took almost 1.5 hours. Watch the pie. Cover it if it's getting to brown on the surface. And wait til you see those juices bubbling.
Why, yes you can. I love how you're thinking ahead. I do this all the time in case of urgent peach pie situations. Just freeze it in the pie pan for a few months. The baking procedure is still the same, it might take a little longer to cook, but your future is looking very peachy.
You will need a double recipe of my All-butter Pie Crust, so go here first to grab that recipe
|double recipe of my all-butter pie crust, cold from fridge||-||-|
|frozen peaches, preferably organic||5-6 cups||-||-|
|Minute tapioca (I use Kraft)||1/4 cup||-||-|
|granulated sugar||1 1/4 cups||-||-|
|almond extract (optional)||1/2 tsp||-||-|
|unsalted butter, cut into small cubes||2 TB||-||-|
1. Prepare a double recipe of my all-butter pie crust and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to roll out. (This can be done the day before.)
2. Place a rack in the lowest position and preheat your oven to 425. (Add a pizza stone to the rack, if you have one. This produces a super crispy bottom.) Preheat for at least 30 minutes.
3. Add the frozen peaches, Minute tapioca, sugar, salt and almond extract to a large bowl. Stir and set aside.
4. Flour your work surface and roll out the dough. Line the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan with your pie dough.
5. Add your peach filling to the pan. Roll out the top dough and lay on top of peach filling. Take the top dough and fold it around the edge of the bottom layer of dough. Seal and crimp with design if you like. Cut steam vents in the top.
6. Place the pie in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before baking. Once cold, place your pie on a foil lined baking sheet. Place your pie on the bottom rack. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the temp down to 400.
7. Bake for at least another hour, up to 1 hour 45 mins total if your pie is completely frozen. Cover with foil during this process if it is browning too quickly. You'll know the pie is done when the crust is a dark as a croissant, with crispy flakes all over, and the pie is bubbling out of its pie holes. The interior should look juicy, glossy, and thick. Cool at least 3-4 hours before cutting.