It’s that time of year again! The sun is shining, the fruit is local, and the fairs are on their way. Because of that, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite summer treats.
The recipe is called Golden Peach Pie, and it was printed in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook in the 1960s. It’s been one of my favorites for years, and I even won a blue ribbon with it at my county fair!
At home, we have a few fruit trees, and a couple of them are peach trees . In a good year we will home-can and store our peaches for future pies, or just to eat plain! Even though we can grow peaches in Iowa, the trees are not reliably cold hardy enough to produce fruit consistently or commercially. Though Georgia peaches are famous, you might be surprised that most of our nation’s peaches are grown in California!
Photo courtesy of USDA
Peaches are a stone fruit, which means they have one large pit instead of small seeds, like apples. They are grown on trees, and bloom in the spring . This video shows what it’s like to grow peaches. There are many varieties of peaches, which affect when they ripen and where they can grow. Farmers prune, fertilize, and water the trees to ensure they grow well. Then, the peaches are picked by hand and carefully packed in crates before being sent from the farm.
This second video shows how peaches are processed and graded. Different machines will measure the peaches’ color and size, and will sort them accordingly. Peaches are also cleaned and “de-fuzzed” in this process.
Photo courtesy of USDA
Peaches are the star ingredient in peach pie, but you’ll also need sugar (from sugarcane or sugar beets, grown in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Idaho), flour (from wheat, grown in Kansas, North Dakota, and Montana), butter (from cows in California and Wisconsin), and added flavors like nutmeg, lemon juice, orange peel, almond extract, and salt (all of which originate on farms or the natural world!).
Here’s the recipe:
Golden Peach Pie
2 one-pound cans sliced peaches
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated orange peel
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Drain the peaches as well as possible. Depending on if you use fresh, home canned, or store-bought canned peaches, the juiciness can vary. If the peaches are still pretty juicy after you drain them, I would recommend putting in 2 tablespoons of corn starch, in addition to the flour. This will help keep the peaches in the pie crust and not in the bottom of the pan when you serve it!
Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg and salt.
Add butter, lemon juice, orange peel, almond extract and peaches. Stir until blended.
Pour into pie shell. Dot with butter, and add the top crust. Bake at 400⁰ F for 40 minutes.
As a bonus, please enjoy this utterly delightful recipe that my great-grandma used to make pie crusts. They’re strong enough to eat like pizza, but flaky, delicious, and easy to make.
Papamor’s Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup 1 tablespoon shortening
5 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
Cut shortening and flour together using a pastry cutter. Be sure to cut up the shortening as much as possible.
Beat egg, and mix egg, vinegar, salt, and water into mixture.
Mix until doughy, and pack into a ball shape. Put in covered container, and store in refrigerator overnight for easiest working.
Makes two double crusts.
Easy as pie! Enjoy!