Baking time with Grandma is always a treasure. I remember watching her in her kitchen when I was young and always being amazed with both the speed of her prep work and the cleanliness of her kitchen. I remember eating many of her pies growing up, but I don’t think I actually remember ever making a pie with her. So, when our local farm stand brought in a shipment of beautifully ripe South Carolina peaches, I decided it was time for that to change. I spent this past weekend at her lake house and seized the opportunity for a pie lesson.
It was no surprise that she made everything look easy. Even with a homemade crust! I used to make pie crusts from scratch years ago, but my busy schedule has caused a dependence on crusts from my dear friend, Marie Callender. Grandma assured me that I could do this, though, and even taught me a few tricks.
Here’s what you do:
Mix together 2 1/8 cups flour with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup canola oil (or lard), and 1/2 cup milk. Stir with a fork until it resembles a ball of dough you can pinch (Grandma reminded me that all the measurements are approximate and you may need to adjust depending on how the dough feels).
Then, divide the dough into two balls. Place one ball on top of a piece of wax paper and place another piece of wax paper on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin on top of the wax paper to spread out a thin, round piece of dough. Roll off wax paper to line a 8″ pie pan with the first crust. Roll the second ball of dough out in the exact same way.
Meanwhile, find Husband or someone else to peel and slice the peaches. We used about 12 medium size ones, which made for a full, juicy pie. Toss a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar on top of peaches and let them sit while you finish with the crust.
Pour the peaches into the prepared crust. Top with 3 Tablespoons butter, split into 3 chunks. Use the wax paper to lift the second rolled crust and place over peaches. With your fingers, fold the top crust into bottom crust until it connects all the way around the pie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Place an empty baking sheet under the pie on the bottom oven rack to catch any bubbling overflow.
Once the pie is brown on top, remove it from oven. Cool a bit and serve with ice-cream or whipped cream. And there you have it! Our pie was a big success at our Father’s Day cookout and Grandma even let me take the credit for its creation, although I plan to be over again soon for many more pie lessons.
Anyone else have any baking secrets from Grandma?