As we go into the holiday weekend, Peach Dumpling Pie is a fine way of celebrating this last bit of summer. Based on the Apple Dumpling Pie I usually make all fall and winter, these just-ripe peaches are laid out in a thin layer rather than piled high as for apples. This allows the extra juices to cook off, and the fruit soften without losing their shape.
I’ve gotten into the habit of mixing in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar when making pie dough. This is a traditional addition in New England, which is used to help “shorten” the crust and improve the texture. The acid breaks down long the protein molecules of the flour into shorter pieces and relaxes gluten formation, resulting in a flaky, tender dough that is easier to work with. Other suitable acids include lemon juice, buttermilk, sour cream, or even orange juice.
Peach Dumpling Pie
1½ cups flour (1¼ all purpose + ¼ whole wheat pastry)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces or 1 stick butter
¼ cup cold water + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, stirred together
A pinch of cinnamon
¼ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon flour
3 to 4 peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
– To make crust: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in the cold water and vinegar mixture a tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork to mix, using only enough liquid for the dough to form. Gather up the dough into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Place in a covered container, and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
– To make filling: Toss the cinnamon, ¼ cup sugar, and flour together to mix, and set aside. Peel, pit and slice the peaches. In a separate bowl, toss the peach slices with the lemon juice. When ready to assemble the pie, toss the peaches gently with the cinnamon sugar to coat.
– To assemble the pie: Roll out dough until it is a rough circle, about 14 inches in diameter. Place the crust onto a round pizza pan lined with parchment, and spread the peaches in the center, leaving about 3 inches of crust around the filling uncovered. Working your way around the pie, pull the crust over the filling, leaving a gap of about 4 inches in the center. Chill the pie in the fridge for 30 minutes.
– To bake the pie: Heat the oven to 425°F. Remove the pie from the fridge and lightly brush the edges with the egg wash. Sprinkle the edges with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake at 425°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the peaches are tender and crust has begun to brown. Remove and let cool and the juices set before serving.