I have two options here. Option 1: I could throw up a picture of the gooey, hearty peach pie I just made and nonchalantly describe the process. I could pretend that making the flaky crust was a cinch, my kitchen stayed miraculously spotless throughout the effortless endeavor, and oh, by the way, my apron matches the bow in my carefully coiffed hair. Or option 2: I could tell the truth.

I’m an honest woman. The truth is, today was a disaster. A disaster that did end in the aforementioned gooey, hearty peach pie (thank God), but a disaster nonetheless. First of all, I was not planning on making a pie, but pie pockets.

It all started when Heidi over at Heidi Bakes posted these scrumptious looking Apple Hand Pies. Those little pie pockets caused all the trouble! They were so beautiful! And so PERSONAL — if I were talking to my 6th graders, who are practicing analogies, I’d say that cupcakes are to cakes what pie pockets are to pies. I had to make them! All of a sudden, I went a liiiittle bit insane (no really, ask Mike about my late night pie pocket instant messages) about the possibilities.

Here’s just a BRIEF list of all the possible pie pockets that ran through my head:

  • broccoli, cheese, and ham pie pockets
  • raspberry pie pockets
  • apple cranberry pie pockets
  • cherry pie pockets
  • strawberry cherry pie pockets
  • banana, oat, and nut pie pockets with gooey brown sugar, butter, streusel
  • blueberry pie pockets
  • NUTELLA pie pockets
  • pizza pie pockets
  • tomato, mozzarella, and basil pesto pie pockets
  • barbecue and apple pie pockets
  • peach and blueberry pie pockets
  • peach cobbler pockets
  • Philly cheesesteak pie pockets
  • beef burgundy pie pockets
  • coconut cream pie pockets

So what’s the problem? All of that sounds great (in fact, I’m getting excited all over again, which is pretty incredible considering the day I’ve had). Well, the problem is my chronic do-too-muchitis. I can’t just make some cookies; I have to make three types of cookies, decorate them according to each recipient’s favorite color, and tie them up in individualized bows. I can’t just bake a cake; I have to turn it into cupcakes, add three different types of filling, and oh yeah, try one batch with cake flour as an experiment. Get the idea? Alas, my do-too-muchitis struck again. No hyperbole this time around: I couldn’t pick ONE flavor of pie pockets to bake today. I had to pick FOUR flavors (two savory, two sweet) of pie pockets to bake, knowing full well that I’d never made a pie crust before in my life (Oh, I didn’t mention that part yet? That’s right. Never.)

I had done my homework. I’ve been reading about crusts for weeks. For months. I bought my myriad ingredients and dedicated last night to my mise-en-place. Look how pretty!

Pie Pocket Mise-en-Place

And I made my crust. Pretty simple, I thought, though perhaps a bit crumbly. Oh well. Into some plastic wrap and then into the refrigerator it went. This morning, I woke up early to do a quick assembly of each pie pocket before baking — easy as pie, right? — only to find that a bit crumbly was actually falling apart crumbly. Those that didn’t crumble to pieces before baking certainly did so after.

The picture no respectable food blogger would show: failpies!

All of you professional pie crusters know what I did wrong: I was stingy with my water. But since Julie Powell’s meltdowns in the movie Julie & Julia hit a little too close to home for me, I’ve been trying to take my mother’s advice. She told me once before a major baking project, “You just have to have a sense of humor about things that go wrong.” I also took Beth Moore’s advice and yielded to the right passion — delighting in the Lord instead of giving way to anger. In short, I channeled every known resource for avoiding a kitchen meltdown, and changed gears.

I would conquer the pie crust! And I would not waste one of my most exciting pie pocket fillings: peaches covered in gooey brown sugar and oats. So I dusted myself off (quite literally) and made another batch of pie dough. Shoving my do-too-muchitis aside, I made ONE LOVELY PIE, and boy, was that enough! I was still fighting my sullen mood until I took the first magical bite, and suddenly, all the baking was worth it. The crust? Perfect, tender, flaky, buttery. The filling? An indulgent cinnamon-and-spice herald of the coming fall. When topped with a mound of homemade whipped cream, I feel comfortable saying this is the best pie I’ve ever eaten. So after a long day of dough crises, recipe detours, and outrageous piles of dirty dishes, I’m proud to have ended up with a Peach Crisp Pie.

Oh, and to soothe my wounds a bit, I used the pie dough trimmings to make one last attempt at a pie pocket and was finally successful! Now that I’ve learned my dough lesson, count on seeing a pie pocket post in the future. Until then, I hope you’ll sit back, watch the leaves change, and eat some pie.

Peach Crisp Pie

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking (crust adapted from Crisco; help from here)
Yields: One 9-inch, two crust pie

Crust Ingredients:
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup cold lard (non-hydrogenated if available)*
3/4 cup cold butter, chopped
6-8 tablespoons cold water
*you can substitute vegetable shortening here if you wish, but I highly recommend the lard!

Filling Ingredients:
5-6 peaches, peeled and quartered
1/2-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup oats
pinch salt

Egg Wash Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Whipped Cream Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or flavoring of your choice)

Pulse flour and salt together to combine. Add scoops of lard and pulse into the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Add in chunks of butter and pulse until butter pieces are no larger than small peas, about 10 pulses. Add minimum amount of water and pulse on low. If dough remains crumbly and doesn’t come together, add another 2 tablespoons of water. Add as little as is required to enable the dough to be rolled into a ball. Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes while preparing your filling.

For filling, mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll one disk of dough out to around 2 inches larger than your pie plate and transfer it, situating it in the plate. Trim the excess flush with the edge of the pie plate. Fill the pastry covered plate with filling. Roll the other disk out to about 1 inch larger than your pie plate. Situate it over the filling, tucking the edges of the top dough behind the edge of the bottom dough and crimping the edges. Use excess dough to add dough cutouts to top of pie if desired (I made some fall leaves).

In a small bowl, beat cream and egg yolk together for egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the top pie crust (can sprinkle lightly with sugar if you desire). Cut vents in the top crust. Shield crimped edges of pie with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes before turning the heat down to 350 degrees F and baking 30-35 minutes longer. For the last 15 minutes, remove foil shielding. Allow pie to cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. To make homemade whipped cream, mix all ingredients together until soft peaks are obtained.

18 Comments on Peach Crisp Pie

  1. Jenni
    September 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm (15 years ago)

    Oh good job triumphing! I, too, get over excited about baking. You should see me making cookies at Christmas time…hahahaha

    Glad you stuck through your pie crust making crisis, and that your peach pie turned out great! It looks marvelous!

    • Julie
      September 5, 2009 at 11:13 pm (15 years ago)

      Thanks, Jenni! I did get in a bit over my head this time around 😀

  2. Angela
    September 6, 2009 at 1:46 am (15 years ago)

    Well obviously the Lord didn’t want you to make dozens of different pies, he was training you to make the perfect peach pie! I’ve been dreaming of pies lately… xxx

    • Julie
      September 6, 2009 at 7:36 am (15 years ago)

      Thanks, Angela! I’m glad He changed my course!

  3. missfattyfoodie
    September 6, 2009 at 5:18 am (15 years ago)

    pie pockets sound delicious! it’s ok, i failed more than i succeed in baking, and now im gaining more confidence as my cakes are starting to look like real cakes! lol, your peach pie looks yummy

    • Julie
      September 6, 2009 at 7:36 am (15 years ago)

      Thanks, Miss Fatty Foodie 🙂

  4. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella
    September 8, 2009 at 1:28 am (15 years ago)

    Oh I can totally relate to the chronic do-too-muchitis! What a lovely looking pie in the end though 🙂

    • Julie
      September 8, 2009 at 6:07 am (15 years ago)

      Thanks, Lorraine! 🙂

  5. dianna
    September 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm (15 years ago)

    You have a wonderful website and very creative and down to earth..You also have a tough wonderful job and I think the children are blessed to have you..Keep up the good work and hope to maybe see you on food network one day..God Bless you

    • Julie
      September 8, 2009 at 5:44 pm (15 years ago)

      Aw, thanks so much, Dianna! I’m blessed to have such sweet students — for the most part, they really care about their schoolwork. Thank you for visiting!

  6. CookiePie
    September 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm (15 years ago)

    WOW – that is one gorgeous pie!!! I’m sorry it was so painful getting there, but it sure looks like it was worth it! Well done!

    • Julie
      September 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm (15 years ago)

      Thank you, CookiePie! I’m actually happy as can be with it now, after all the stress of the day wore off 🙂 I’ve been chiming to Mike every few hours, “I made a pie!” I’m sure he’s just about sick of hearing about it.

  7. Barbara
    September 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm (15 years ago)

    Such a fun post to read! I’m so glad the story had a happy ending. I love happy endings, especially when they end with a fabulous peach pie!

    • Julie
      September 8, 2009 at 11:28 pm (15 years ago)

      Thank you, Barbara! At the end of the day, the peach pie cured all my frustration 😀

  8. Sumaiyyah
    November 30, 2011 at 7:37 am (13 years ago)

    I think I have chronic do-too-muchitis…. thank you for naming this ailment. I often do my baking in the middle of the night, and for some reason that’s when so many recipes seem to call out to me- which results in attempts to make two or three things at the same time! And speaking of pies, I started learning to make them on my own a few months ago. I’ve probably made nearly 20 or 30… and once when i used a recipe for an oil crust, they resulted in a crumbly sort of crust too. I guess with pie crusts (as with many things) one needs a lot of practice, patience and determination. It’s not difficult, but you have to keep going at it to get it right! 🙂

  9. Beth
    September 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow – just got on here and love everything I’ve seen so far! Started out wondering if anyone has done carrot cake waffles, and it went from there. Love you’re delighting in the Lord – He brings across my brain some crazy things, and even if it’s only to enjoy the nuttiness – I love it 🙂

    Thank you!


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