Now that summer has unofficially come to pass (as I write this, the thermometer currently reads nearly 100 degrees), I’ve had ample time to reflect upon my favorite desserts of this past season. The most memorable desserts for me are almost always berry-themed, but peak stone fruits also earn their rightful place in any dessert lineup. Why choose to honor either category when you can have both? Enter: Smitten Kitchen‘s Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie, which she adapted from a previous Martha Stewart recipe.
Naturally, I gravitate towards any dessert with a streusel or crumble topping. So when I stumbled upon Smitten Kitchen’s righteous Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie with a streusel topping on Instagram, I knew I had to put my own spin on it. Furthering my intrinsic motivation was the fact that it was my mother’s birthday. I added blueberries and a bit of lemon juice/zest to this recipe, as to help elevate the flavors to another level. One simply can’t go wrong with a fruit, crème fraîche, and streusel trifecta.
I don’t consider myself a natural baker by any stretch, but this recipe came along smoothly until about the halfway point. What started as a smattering of blueberries later turned into a volcanic eruption as the pie baked in the oven. As someone who likes to tailor recipes to look exactly like the picture, I later learned to accept the resulting pie as a beautiful disaster. And it was. The contrasting textures and flavors complimented one another brilliantly.
To celebrate my mother’s birthday, we paired the Peach-Blueberry Streusel Pie with some slow-churned vanilla ice cream from my childhood ice cream parlor, further adding to our state of dessert bliss. A memorable meal or dish serves as one of life’s great connectors, especially those that evoke memories of the past while helping to celebrate the present.
There’s little time to conjure this pie up with the fleeting berry and stone fruit season, but why wait?
Peach-Blueberry Streusel Pie
10 in. pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3-6 tbsp. all-purpose flour (use more for a more crumblier topping)
¼ c. cold (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1½ lbs. ripe (4 to 5 medium) yellow peaches (I used white), pitted and quartered
2-4 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tbsp. crème fraîche*
Make streusel: Stir confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, salt and three tablespoons flour together in a small bowl. Add bits of cold butter, and either using a fork, pastry blender or your fingertips, work them into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add additional flour as needed; I needed to almost double it to get the mixture crumbly, but my kitchen is excessively warm and the butter wanted to melt. Set aside.
Par-bake crust: Tightly press a piece of aluminum foil against frozen pie crust. From here, you ought to fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans, or you can wing it like certainly lazy people we know, hoping the foil will be enough to keep the crust shape in place. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove carefully remove foil and any weights you have used, press any bubbled-up spots in with the back of a spoon, and return the crust to the oven for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Filling: Sprinkle quartered peaches with sugar (two tablespoons will make a just-barely-sweeteened pie; add the other two for a still not overly-sweet but sweeter pie) and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. Spread two tablespoons crème fraîche in bottom of par-baked pie shell, sprinkle with one-third of the streusel and fan the peach quarters decoratively on top. Dot the remaining three tablespoons of crème fraîche on the peaches and sprinkle with remaining streusel.
Baking the pie: Until the crème fraîche is bubble and the streusel is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cover edge of crust with a strip of foil if it browns too quickly. Let cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before serving.
Notes: Recipe adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen’s version