'6-Hour' Deep-Dish Peach Pie 12.000

Greg Powers for The Washington Post

Aug 27, 2018

This glorious effort might not take as long to make as its name suggests -- and even if it does, we think it will be worth your time. It is based on the final dish of an Edna Lewis supper menu that the late Southern chef called “the great hot fruit dessert of the summer season that everyone looked forward to enjoying.”


You will need a deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish, preferably clear Pyrex (which makes it easy to check the crust’s doneness).

We found in testing that even with allotted time for draining, the hefty amount of canned and fresh fruit gave off a lot of liquid during baking. To help keep the bottom crust intact, you may want to par-bake it and cool it before adding the pie filling. Or just scoop out excess juices as you serve, with vanilla ice cream.

To read the accompanying story, see: On the menu at the Edna Lewis family reunion: Deviled eggs, peach cobbler and pride.

Make Ahead: The canned and fresh peaches need to drain, separately, for at least 1 hour. The pie crust dough needs to rest for at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour. The pie needs to cool for at least 1 hour, and preferably overnight, before serving.


Servings:
12 - 16

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12-16 servings

Ingredients
  • For the filling
  • 6 pounds, 10 ounces (one #10 can) canned sliced peaches in syrup
  • 10 to 15 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (see NOTE; may substitute 4 to 5 quarts home-canned peaches)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • For the crust
  • 6 cups flour, plus more as needed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chilled lard
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • Coarse sanding sugar (optional)

Directions

For the filling: Divide the canned and fresh peaches among two or three colanders (set in the sink, or over bowls if you plan to use the resulting syrup and juices). Let drain for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the crust: Sift together 3 cups of flour and half the salt in a mixing bowl. Add half the lard; use a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingertips to blend it in until the mixture resembles chunky sand. Bit by bit, sprinkle half the water over top, mixing as you go, just until the dough comes together. There will be little bits of flour left.

Turn out the mixture onto a cool surface (a granite countertop or marble slab is ideal, but a cutting board that has been chilled in the refrigerator will work as well), and shape it into a ball. Cover with a clean dish towel, then repeat with the remaining flour, salt, lard and cold water to make a second ball of dough. Let them rest for at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour. 

 

Combine the canned and fresh drained peaches in a large mixing bowl, stirring so they are evenly distributed.

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Generously flour a work surface and each ball of dough. Roll out the first ball of dough there, to a rectangle that’s large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish with an inch or two of overhang on all sides.

Transfer it to the baking dish; the dough will be fairly thin. Press it into the corners and along the base (if the dough breaks, simply press it back together, using a little cool water on your fingertips to prevent sticking).

 

Roll out the second ball of dough to about the same size, then cut that rectangle into lattice strips.

When you’re ready to bake, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar over the dough base. Use your hands to pile the peaches into the crust, gently packing them down as you go. (It doesn’t seem like they will all fit, but they do.) Sprinkle the remaining cup of granulated sugar across the top, then dot the fruit evenly with small chunks of butter.

 

Finally, lay the lattice strips of dough across the top, weaving the strips in a basket-like fashion or as you like. Use your fingertips or a fork to seal the edges of the lattice to the edges of the base dough, trimming as needed. If desired, sprinkle the top with coarse sanding sugar.

Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch bubbling juices) and transfer to the middle oven rack; immediately reduce the temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan from front to back. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the fruit is glistening and bubbling slightly, and the top is nicely browned.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

NOTE: To peel peaches, score their bottoms with a shallow "X" and drop into boiling water for a few minutes. Drain; when cool enough to handle, discard the skins, which should slip off easily.

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Recipe Source

Adapted by Mashama Lewis and Sara Franklin, from Edna Lewis’s “The Taste of Country Cooking” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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