Cue the Ray Charles, because I've got Georgia on my Mind.
I may not be from the South, but I sure do appreciate it's cooking. Biscuits, fried chicken, okra, and my personal favorite, peaches. For those unawares, peaches are at their peak in July and August. Seriously, a ripe, sweet, and cold peach is the perfect summer treat on it's own, but when they've passed their state of ripeness you can still slice them up and enjoy their summertime flavor. If you combine them with the rich flavor of a good Southern bourbon, I guarantee even better results.
I have to say I was never really a big pie fan. For a baker, that's pretty strange... but once I started making my own pies my opinion has slowly changed. There's nothing quite like a warm slice of fruit pie in a flaky homemade crust with a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream.
With bourbon caramel drizzled over the top? Yes, please! Basically it's a tiny bite of southern-style heaven.
Now for those who regularly use store-bought pie crusts, I have to say... I totally get it. Sometimes it's just easier to whip something out of the freezer for twenty min rather than make your own. For the record, Trader Joe's has an amazing pre-made crust. However, once in awhile pie crust is worth the effort and if you make a big batch, you'll have plenty of dough leftover in the freezer for future pie endeavors. There are plenty of theories on what type of, well, fat to use in your pie crust. There are arguments for cold butter, cold shortening, cold lard, half butter and half shortening, etc. but I've found that the best crust simply requires cold fat. That's it. Just make sure your fat is cold. Ew. Does that sound gross to anyone else?
For the rest of this Southern Peach Pie, the components are pretty simple. Caramel sauce, believe it or not, is fairly simple to make. No candy thermometer necessary. When you add in that bourbon to give it a culinary kick, your kitchen will certainly smell divine. If you get the caramel made and crust done ahead of time, assembling this pie will be a piece of cake. And you'll even be able to eat spoonfuls of caramel sauce as you wait for it to cook. I mean, not that I did that or anything...
Now, don't you just want to dive right into that?
Perfect Pie Crust
- 1 1/2 cups cold fat (i used butter flavored shortening)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 extra-large egg, beaten
- 5 tablespoons ICE cold water
- 1 tablespoons white vinegar
In a large mixing bowl, combine shortening (or butter or whatever fat you please) and flour with a pastry cutter until a course, mealy mixture is formed. If you don't have a pastry cutter you can also use two butter knives to dice the shortening into the flour. Or if you want the simple route you can also use a food processor. Once you have a texture resembling small pebbles, beat your egg and salt and stir into the flour. Add in ice water by the tablespoon until a ball is formed. lastly add in your tablespoon of vinegar and give one final stir. Do not over-mix! If there are small chunks of shortening or butter in your dough, it's a-ok! In fact, it may even lead to a flakier crust. Divide dough into three uniform balls. Flatten balls slightly in parchment paper and store in three ziplock bags, in the freezer, until ready to use.
Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (again)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium sized, heavy saucepan, heat sugar, 2 tablespoons bourbon, water, and corn syrup over medium heat. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Stop whisking and bring mixture to a boil, gently swirling the pan and brushing the sides of the pan with a pastry brush to keep caramel from burning. Once the mixture has reached a deep amber color, turn off heat and remove from stovetop. This color change happens quickly so keep a sharp eye on your caramel.
Add in butter and cream and whisk until homogenous. Let caramel cool for five minutes before adding in last of the bourbon and vanilla. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Bourbon-Caramel Peach Pie
- 2 pie crust dough balls (see recipe above for perfect pie crust)
- 1/2 recipe bourbon-caramel (see recipe above)
- 6 cups sliced fresh peaches
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour pie pan to prevent crust from sticking once backed.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in peaches and toss to coat. Set aside.
Roll out one pie crust dough ball on a well floured surface. and gently lift and place into pie pan. use fingers to ensure all sides of the pan are coated. Place peaches in the center and flatten out as best possible. Drizzle spoonfuls of bourbon caramel-over the top of the peaches until coated lightly and evenly.
Roll out second ball of pie dough for lattice top. Slice the dough into 1" strips. Start with your center lattice and work your way out, ensuring to basket-weave. If you need a diagram the kitchn has a simple tutorial. You can also simply cover the top in a solid pie crust and use a fork to merge the edges together. If you use this method be sure to place slits in the top of the crust to let the air release. Bake in the oven on 375°F for 40-50 min or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack for at least 20 minutes.
Pie can be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled. It is especially delicious with a scoop of ice cream and the remaining bourbon caramel drizzled over the top.