June Pie of the Month: Vanilla Peach Pie with a Praline Crumble Top

You doubted me, didn’t you?  You thought June would pass without a pie.  How could I disappoint?  I have been pondering all month the flavors that would go in this pie; I’ve just been waiting for an opportunity to make it.  Peaches are in season in June, and what good Georgia girl wouldn’t take advantage of that?  As such, I wanted to make a pie rich with traditional Southern flavors.  I had initially thought “peaches and cream,” but that doesn’t fit with my concept of peaches.  When I think of eating peaches, I always think of how my Grandma prepared them.  Every summer, my grandfather – or perhaps one of his friends – would take a trip to South Carolina and buy bushels of peaches.  We would be saturated in an abundance of peaches.  Grandma would make peach cobbler and peach crisp, but I loved peaches best the way she prepared them for the freezer.  She would pack them in plastic quart containers with sugar and make a syrup to pour over them.  Dozens of them would go in the old Whirlpool deep freeze in the utility room at the back of the house.  Occasionally, I would see one of the quart containers sitting on the counter when I came home after school, defrosting.  At dinner, we would each have a small dessert bowl of the peaches – rich, syrupy, sweet, cold.  I loved them plain.  My Grandpa would often pair them with a slab of vanilla ice cream or would “ruin” some pound cake with them piled on top.  I wanted my pie to pair peaches with syrupy sweetness, and then add some richness in the form of a buttery praline topping.

Vanilla Peach Pie with a Praline Crumble Top

 

  • 1 recipe for a 9″ pie crust or 1 ready made 9″ deep dish pie crust

 

for the filling

 

  • 3 lbs. peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 3/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 2 T corn starch 
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 C butter
for the topping
  • 1/2 C pecans
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C butter
Preheat oven to 400°.  In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients for the pie filling except the butter.  Stir until the juice from the peaches and the wet ingredients combine with the dry to make a sauce.  Heat the mixture until it bubbles.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust, and dot with the butter.
Pie filling dotted with butter
Next, make the topping.  Slice the butter into small pieces, then combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Work the mix with your hands until the mixture begins to form crumbs.  Keep them coarse, or work them finer – the texture is up to you.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the pie.  
Sprinkle pie with the crumble topping
Place the pie on a baking sheet; this pie has a tendency to run over quite a bit.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden.  Remove pie to a rack.  Let cool complete and set before serving.
A marvelous garnish or serving suggestion for this pie is bourbon whipped cream.  Add a couple of tablespoons of casters sugar to a cup and a half of heavy whipping cream.  Add about a tablespoon of bourbon and a bit of vanilla, then whip away.  Heavenly.
Straight from the oven
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