Mom's Raw Peach Pie - on brown sugar biscuits or cinnamon sugar pie crust
Summer reminds me of fresh fruit – strawberries, blueberries, watermelon and peaches – and hot summer weather reminds me of my mother’s raw peach pie. It’s what I call a “freestyle” recipe. She made it every summer when peaches came in season. It’s a family favorite and a perfect summer treat because it’s easy, light, refreshing and delicious. Mom always made hers with pie crust, but for the sake of shortcake lovers, I’m giving you TWO versions to choose from. One is made with cinnamon sugar pie crust and one is made with brown sugar biscuits. I have a personal favorite, but I’ll let you decide which one sounds best.
There are only a few basic ingredients:
fresh peaches – peeled and sliced
sugar – to sweeten the peaches
whipped cream – I prefer homemade
your favorite biscuit mix OR pie crust recipe
cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on your biscuits/pie crust
brown sugar (optional, if you’re using the biscuit method)
To prep your raw peach pies, begin by peeling and slicing your peaches. Sample a few slices to determine how sweet your peaches really are. If they need it, add a few tablespoons of sugar, give them a good stir, and place them in the refrigerator to macerate for at least one hour. If you don’t need extra sugar on your peaches, e-mail me immediately and let me know where you’re buying yours. Our peaches smell fabulous, but they’re not very sweet.
The next step is deciding which crust appeals to you – are you a biscuit guy/gal or a pie crust person? If you’re making pie crust, simply use your favorite recipe, roll the dough into a rectangle and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the pie dough with melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 425F until the crust turns a beautiful shade of light brown, as if you’re baking a pie. Remove from the oven and allow the pie crust to cool to slightly warm or even room temperature. Can you cheat and use that store-bought brand that comes in a box and rolls out? Absolutely! Who’s going to know except you?
If you are a biscuit lover, grab your favorite biscuit mix. I prefer Pioneer Buttermilk Baking Mix, but if you are a loyal Bisquick user, that works, too. Depending on how many people you’re serving, measure the biscuit mix into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar for extra flavor (this is dessert, after all), stirring to combine it with the biscuit mix. Then add enough milk or buttermilk to form a nice biscuit dough. Place it on a floured surface and roll it to approximately 3/4″ thick. Cut into round biscuits, placing them on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 425F until they are fluffy and light brown. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool to slightly warm or even room temperature.
While your pie crust or biscuits are baking, beat up a batch of homemade whipping cream. I like to use one pint of really cold heavy cream, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. You can use vanilla extract. It works just as well, but I love those vanilla bean flavor flecks you get with vanilla bean paste, so if you can find it, use it. You’re worth it.
To assemble, grab a serving bowl or plate and begin with a layer of pie crust or biscuit. If you’re using biscuits, I like to split them in half. If you’re using pie crust, just grab your slab of cinnamon sugar crust and break it into serving dish size pieces. Top your crust of choice with a big spoonful of sweet peaches and a dollop of whipping cream, then create another layer. You can stack them as high as you like; the sky and gravity are the limits. Or you can just pile cut biscuits or pie crust into the bottom of a bowl and top it with peaches if presentation is not high on your priority list. It’s your bowl; do whatcha’ wanna do. Now for the big flourish – top with a generous blob of whipped cream and you’re done. Grab a spoon and a glass of ice tea and enjoy the best summer and my Momma has to offer. Thanks, Mom.