You won’t be able to stop making this perfect peach pie all summer long.

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Unless it rains, once it’s warm and summer has officially started, my friend Dawn and I text each other every weekday morning just before daybreak. shall we paddle my bay side or his side? This is the daily question.

Depending on who’s in town, we can be 10 or just two. Either way, within seconds we’re devising a plan for where to meet for our morning paddle, and we’re on our boards by sunrise.

The fast, sometimes frantic pace of getting out of bed and out the door changes as soon as I step out and head for the shore. I begin to calm down and a humble sense of gratitude washes over me as I paddle out to meet everyone on my own. The beauty of the sunrise and the quiet sound of my paddle moving through the water becomes a meditation. Amid the diving pelicans and leaping mules, it’s not uncommon to see dolphins surfacing – a sight that takes my breath away every time.

The houses form an L-shape along the bay where I live – mine faces south, others face east. Both legs of the L connect to a rocky point, and when I go off the Dawn side, I paddle out of my house with the shore to my left. I turn left around the point and head north to meet my fellow paddlers. Depending on which direction the wind is blowing, one side or the other is usually much calmer.

Once we’ve been on our boards for a while and are fully awake, we inevitably start sharing and laughing about things that happened the night before. Sooner or later we come to what each of us had for supper. Every once in a while a recipe is shared that we all want to try – and this peach pie was it. It’s the perfect pie for when you have perfect peaches, and we get a lot of top quality peaches here in the summer.

Along with the ingredients needed to make cornbread and sunset drink options, we live off fresh summer produce provided by our local farmers markets and neighbors who share their own gardens.

I’m talking yellow squash, sweet corn, sliced ​​tomatoes, peas and cornbread, pickled cucumbers and a little something sweet. I don’t know anyone here who doesn’t consider this (or something similar) the best summer supper.

And this peach pie perfectly complements the lighter dishes we enjoy at this time of year. The fresh fruit is slightly enhanced with a slightly sweetened, slightly thickened filling made from the peaches themselves. It should be called Naked Peach Pie because the peaches are uncooked, just plain.

Hearing about this pie while paddling that day made our mouths water. My friend who shared the recipe had stopped at a farmer’s market on her way down from Birmingham, where she had a slice of the now closed little cafe attached to the market. The recipe was printed on cards next to the box of peaches.

The only thing she added was a teaspoon (or a tablespoon) of liquor to the filling. Because it enhances the flavor and makes it taste a bit more complex, I highly recommend keeping it in the recipe. She used brandy or some kind of peach schnapps in hers, but I had a bottle of Cointreau and used that instead. I’ve used Grand Marnier on other occasions, and you can also use any liqueur you like and have on hand.

I make this pie as soon as the peaches are good enough. Once they start hitting the markets, I buy one at a time, patiently trying them out. I wait for the really good ones to arrive, which is almost always early to mid-June, just when the blueberries in my blueberries are starting to ripen.

The Gulf Coast is hot and humid, so this cold and fresh peach pie is just what you want at the end of a light meal or to accompany a nice cup of coffee or tea. Laid back and unpretentious, it’s summer in dessert.

This pie tastes amazing and it does not take long to prepare. The only time-consuming part is peeling and slicing the fresh peaches, but at this time of year there’s usually someone around who won’t hesitate to help me out. I also love that I can pre-bake pie crust in my toaster oven so I don’t have to heat the whole house.

As long as the peaches are perfect, this pie is synonymous with the jubilant but languorous, carefree and fleeting moments of summer. This is then refreshing and then light. The only thing you might want to add is a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Every year I think I’ll be smart and freeze some of those glorious summer peaches, but I never do. Instead, I just enjoy them while they last. Like summer days, returning friends and early morning paddleboarding – enjoy it while it lasts.

Ingredients:

Peaches

More than anything else, you need the perfect peaches for this recipe. They should be juicy, tree-ripened, and sweet. I think the best summer peaches come from Georgia, South Carolina or Texas, but I don’t pretend to know everything.

You should be able to smell the peach aroma, but they shouldn’t smell so strong that they’re on the verge of “burning out”, i.e. overripe and about to rot.

Thickener/Starch

You can use good old cornstarch for this pie, but feel free to use arrowroot or tapioca (cassava) starch. If you are using tapioca starch, you should use twice as much as cornstarch or arrowroot.

Crust

If you have a neutral-tasting homemade pie crust that you would like to make for this pie, feel free to do so. But feel free to use a regular frozen store-bought crust.

Don’t use an overly flavorful crust like graham crust, but anything plain is fine.

The only essential thing? Pre-bake your crust and let it cool.

Ingredients

5 cups peeled and sliced ​​fresh peaches, plus

1 cup additional peeled and sliced ​​fresh peaches (for garnish)

2/3 cup sugar or equivalent sweetener of choice

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot

1-2 tablespoons Cointreau, Grand Marnier or peach schnapps

1 pre-baked pie crust, cooled

directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup peaches with 2/3 cup water. Blend until completely smooth. Add additional water to the mixed peaches to measure 1 1/2 cups.
  2. Mix sugar and starch. In a saucepan, pour 1 1/2 cups of mixed peaches and water, then stir in the combined sugar and starch.
  3. Cook and stir over medium to low heat until thick and bubbly. Continue to simmer 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur.
  5. Leave to cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
  6. Spread 1/4 cup filling over bottom and sides of pie crust.
  7. Place half of the sliced ​​peaches in the pie crust.
  8. Spread half of the filling over the peaches.
  9. Place the remaining half of the peaches on top.
  10. Spread the rest of the filling over the peaches, making sure they are all covered. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  11. Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

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