End of Summer Peach Bake-off


We got peachy last week with a peach dessert bake-off. We scoured the web for recipes, tested them, made tweaks and did a little inventing. Everyone made something different, but all were equally delicious! The Southern Peach Cobber had a cinnamon sugary top crust that satisfied every sweet tooth. The Vodka Crust Peach Pie was flaky, simple and clean. The Lattice Cream Cheese Crust Peach Pie was decadent, rich and beautiful. The Peach Custard Tart tasted like a rich buttery cookie with creamy peach filling.

*Essential peach baking tips: Blanch peaches for easier peeling and place a cookie sheet or large cake pan underneath your pie dish to catch overflowing peach juices.

See all four recipes below—

1. Southern Peach Cobbler

Inspired by allrecipes.

(Peach Filling)
6 peaches, peeled, sliced & pitted
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

(Cobbler Crust)
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled & cut into small cubes
¼ cup boiling water

(Cinnamon Sugar)
2 tablespoon white sugar
⅔ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine peaches, ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 9” pie dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in ¼ cup boiling water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of the cobbler crust mixture over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

2. Vodka Crust Peach Pie

Crust inspired by Alice Waters.

(Vodka Crust)
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
3 tablespoons chilled lard
¼ cup cold vodka
¼ cup cold water

(Simple Peach Filling)
6 Peaches, underripe, unpeeled, sliced & pitted
6-8 tablespoons caramel sauce
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together flour and salt. Add butter, lard and use pastry blender or finger tips to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle in the water and vodka, mixing with a fork until the dough clings together.  Divide into 2 halves, flatten into a disk shape. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. When ready to use, take out both discs and let soften on counter for 10 minutes then roll out. Place 1st crust in pie dish.

In a large bowl combine peaches, caramel sauce, potato starch and lemon juice. Toss to coat evenly. Pour into pie dish. Top with 2nd pie crust.

Bake until crust is golden, about 30-40 minutes.


3. Lattice Cream Cheese Crust Peach Pie

Crust by Martha Stewart & Peach Pie by America’s Test Kitchen.

(Cream Cheese Crust)
4 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoon cold cider vinegar
3  cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon salt
2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces

(Peach Filling)
6 peaches, peeled, quartered, and pitted, each quarter cut into thirds
½ cup tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons low or no-sugar fruit pectin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛  ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine water and vinegar in a small bowl. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon salt in another bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter and cream cheese into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining.

Add water mixture to dough in a slow, steady stream, stirring, until mixture just begins to hold together. (Alternatively, pulse ingredients in a food processor.) Divide into 2 halves, flatten into disk shape. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight. (Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw before using.)

Remove dough from refrigerator and let it sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Roll dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edge, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Turn overhang under so that edge is flush with rim. Flute edge. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. 

In medium bowl, toss peaches, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Combine pectin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl and set aside.

Roll 2nd disk of dough into 12-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. With pizza wheel, fluted pastry wheel, or paring knife, cut round into ten 1¼-inch-wide strips. Freeze strips on sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Meanwhile, transfer 1 cup peach mixture to small bowl and mash with fork until coarse paste forms. Drain remaining peach mixture through colander set in large bowl. Transfer peach juice to liquid measuring cup (you should have about ½ cup liquid; if liquid measures more than ½ cup, discard remainder). Return peach pieces to bowl and toss with cornstarch. Transfer peach juice to 12-inch skillet, add pectin mixture, and whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and pectin is dissolved (liquid should become less cloudy), 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, add peach pieces and peach paste, and toss to combine.

Transfer peach mixture to dough-lined pie plate. Remove dough strips from freezer; if too stiff to be workable, let stand at room temperature until malleable and softened slightly but still very cold. Lay 2 longest strips across center of pie perpendicular to each other. Using 4 shortest strips, lay 2 strips across pie parallel to 1 center strip and 2 strips parallel to other center strip, near edges of pie; you should have 6 strips in place. Using remaining 4 strips, lay each one across pie parallel and equidistant from center and edge strips. If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate pie and dough strips until dough firms up.

Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Press edges of bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold under. Folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers. Using spray bottle, evenly mist lattice with water and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly at center, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Let cool on wire rack for 3 hours before serving.


4. Peach Custard Tart

Inspired by Land O Lakes.

½  cup butter, softened
⅓  cup sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼  cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon almond extract

(Peach Filling)
3 large peaches, unpeeled, pitted & sliced
½  cup sugar
¼  cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine butter and ⅓ cup sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add 1 ¼ cups flour, salt and almond extract; beat at low speed until well mixed.

Press dough onto bottom and up sides of ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork. Bake 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove crust from oven; arrange peach slices over hot, partially baked crust.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Combine all remaining filling ingredients except almonds in bowl with whisk. Pour filling mixture over peach slices; sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake 32-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is set. Cool completely. Store refrigerated.