Peaches ‘n’ Cream Pie

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I haven’t gone completely crazy. I simply realize that while most everyone likes many of the trappings of the holiday feasts, there are those who don’t like everything – or want variety. For instance, I like pumpkin pie like anyone else, but it’s nothing I seek out. I could live without it. I’m not into pumpkin-flavored anything else: Sorry, Starbucks, sell all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes you want, I won’t be buying any.

If you are making a holiday dinner, or bringing something, try a complete surprise – Peaches ‘n’ Cream Pie. Peaches are certainly not in season, but this is a pie you rarely see. Grocery stores don’t sell them. Many people in the north have never even heard of it, and fewer Southerners than ever can claim to have tasted it.

It takes a classic Southern dessert – fresh peaches coated with heavy cream and a sprinkling of sugar – and puts it into a pie crust for a highly satisfying dessert that is sweet, fruity and moist.

In developing this recipe, one that required much more trial-and-error than usual, I wanted to created a baked pie that didn’t use the usual ingredients in peaches-and-cream-pie combos you see online. Those have canned peaches, cream cheese, or pudding mix. I wanted real cream, frozen unsweetened peaches (as close to fresh as you can get), and as simple a recipe as possible. (The journey was inspiring, though: how I develop a recipe is my next blog.) If you have fresh peaches to make it with, the recipe is still the same.

It’s a nice surprise for family or friends, no matter what the season.

Peaches and Cream Pie

Homemade or purchased pie crust (deep-dish 9-inch pie crust with top)
1 egg white
4 cups (approximately 20 ounces) frozen peaches, thawed and chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Brush bottom of pie crust with egg white. In a large bowl, mix thawed peaches, sugar, salt and vanilla.

In a separate small bowl, mix cornstarch, heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and lump-free. Add cornstarch/cream mixture to large bowl of fruit mixture. Stir thoroughly until blended.

Pour filling into pie shell. Cover pie with top crust. Brush top of crust with egg white. Place in refrigerator 1 hour to chill. Prior to baking, preheat oven to 400 F.

Bake on center rack for 50 to 55 minutes; cover edges in foil the last 15 minutes to prevent crust from burning. Remove from oven and let rest at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving.

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