beach-house baking: peach streusel pie

peach streusel pie | the merry gourmet

It all begins on Monday.

Middle school.

I don’t feel ready for this next part of my daughter’s life. Or rather, I do feel ready in part. I feel ready for the part where I stick to my parenting skills, where I love her unconditionally, and where I try my very best to support her no matter what. But I don’t feel prepared for all the outside pressures that I know will be piled on her shoulders as she enters middle school.

I worry that we have not prepared her well enough for the mean girls she will certainly encounter or for the subtle bullying that I know she’s already experienced (and didn’t recognize).

I hope we’ve prepared her to trust her instincts and intuition about what is right and what is wrong. I think we have, but these next years will be telling.

All of this is on my mind this weekend, the last weekend before school starts. If you have any advice or guidance for me, please share.

peach streusel pie | the merry gourmet

A little over a week ago, the beginning of the school year was far out of my mind. As is our family tradition, we spent a week at our favorite beach with some of our closest friends and their children.

There were hours of conversations held in our circle of beach chairs. The Gulf of Mexico was as beautiful as ever – clear, cool turquoise water for miles – and the kids had a great time building sand castles and digging holes in the sugary sand. Most of the group (not me) tried paddle boarding, and we all took turns kayaking on a day when the Gulf waters were as flat and calm as I’ve ever seen.

We dined out many times, but we cooked together, too. These meals cooked in our rented beach house have become my most special memories of our annual week at the beach.

peach streusel pie | the merry gourmet

I like to bake dessert during our week at the beach. This year, I baked a peach streusel pie – two of them, to feed our crowd of 13.

I came prepared, having made and packed two piecrusts before leaving for the beach. They traveled the 5 hours in our cooler and then rested in the fridge until one night mid-week. I wasn’t sure what type of pie I would make, but the in-season peaches at the market were large, ripe, and sweet. The peaches declared themselves as the only sensible choice.

I’m thinking about that peach pie this morning, and about how great it feels to make beautiful and delicious food from scratch, and then to share that food with friends and family.

And, although it may sound silly, it’s true. In feeding others, I find nourishment for myself.

peach streusel pie | the merry gourmet

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Peach Streusel Pie

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book is a wonderful pie book, and it's my go-to for pie inspiration. This recipe is tweaked from the authors' recipe for Skillet Stone Fruit Streusel Pie.

This pie is amazing on its own, but to really wow your guests, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Ingredients for Pie Crust:
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2-1/4 sticks (257 grams) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ice

Ingredients for Streusel:
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (42 grams) packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons (12 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, room temperature

Ingredients for Pie:
4 cups sliced peaches (from about 4 or 5 peaches)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (160 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Make Pie Crust Dough:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, then add the flour mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add cold cubed butter and pulse just until a coarse meal is formed. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice into a small bowl or measuring cup. Add 8 tablespoons of the cold water mixture to the dough and pulse a couple of times. Add more liquid by the tablespoon, pulsing after each addition, until the dough begins to clump together in moist clumps.

Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and divide dough in half. Flatten each dough ball gently into a thick disk and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour before rolling.

NOTE: For this pie recipe, you will only need one of the discs; the other can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Make Streusel:

Stir together the flour, sugars, and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle the butter pieces over and toss to coat. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is chunky. Chill for at least 15 minutes before using.

Make Pie:

Butter a 9-inch pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk of the pie dough into a 12-inch round. Gently fit the dough into your pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough, and trim overhang to 1-1/2-inches. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Heat oven to 425 degrees F, with the oven racks in the bottom and center positions. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack.

Combine the peaches, lemon juice, light brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Pour peach mixture into the pie crust. Fold the overhanging crust over the top of the fruit, and sprinkle streusel over the rest of the pie.

Place the pie plate on the preheated baking sheet and bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, about 30 to 35 minutes longer.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack for 2 to 3 hours.

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33 Responses to “all-butter pie crust dough”

  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food — September 19, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    I have to admit, I have never made a pie… but this year will be it! I’m gonna do it! And I think yours will be the recipe I use!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 19th, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

      Brian, I tend to make the same pie over and over again — pumpkin. And it’s getting to be that time of year again. My kids are already asking for my pumpkin pie, so that will probably be an upcoming post. I’ve been thinking of branching out into the other fruit pies. We can journey into pie baking together. 🙂

  2. Kim - Liv Life — September 19, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    I love all butter pie crusts! That is the only kind I make. I had someone tell me the other day that if it wasn’t made with lard or shortening, it really wasn’t a pie crust… and this lady claims she is writing a book on pies! In any case, your crust look just perfect, and pumpkin pie sounds good!

  3. Gail — September 19, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

    My heart is soaring! You’re BAKING!!!!! BAKING!!!!!!! Baking a pie. Next up…cake.
    I adore making pie crust. Tart crust…..any crust. ‘Cause it means baking.

  4. Jennie — September 20, 2010 @ 7:01 am

    All-butter crusts are my favorite too. I’ve been in a fall sort of mood ever since we came back from Cape Cod. For me that’s the official end of summer. This September 23rd business is a mere formality. I even brought my pressure cooker out last week. Happy baking!

  5. Eileen — September 20, 2010 @ 8:42 am

    I’ve never made an all-butter crust before – I’ll bet it tastes rich and flavorful!

  6. Macaroni Mama — September 20, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    The song! The pie crusts! Those are definite signs of fall!

  7. Maria at Fresh Eats — September 20, 2010 @ 10:37 am

    I’m going to make a pie soon, and this crust is going to be my inspiration. I’m all about the all-butter variety. Shortening scares me. : )

  8. RavieNomNoms — September 20, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    Love it!

  9. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — September 20, 2010 @ 10:59 am

    I could have written this post! I’ve used the Pillsbury crust for years and to be honest…still would without guilt but have found that if I make a double crust version like you have…I don’t need it because I always have a homemade version in the freezer.

    I use the standard Pate Brisee crust with a bit more sugar for a sweet filling which is almost exactly like yours but with a bit less sugar; is that the southerner..needing things a bit sweeter? 🙂

    In anticipation of knowing I’ll be making my own now, I also take a pound of the butter I get from Costco (you know…4 lbs at a time!), cube it and stick it in the freezer. I guess I end up with my own little pie dough section in there after all is said and done but those things keep the convenience factor up and the buying Pillsbury no longer a factor!

  10. May Ling Wu — September 20, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    I always use store bought crust but this year I’m gonna try to make my own. Thanks for the post!

  11. Kate @ Savour Fare — September 20, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    (Trader Joe’s frozen is really good). I’ll have to try this recipe, because while I love the rollability of my sour cream pie crust recipe, it’s almost too rich for some pies. I need to improve my pie dough skills, too. Husband loves pie.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 20th, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

      We don’t have a Trader Joe’s here, but I sure wish we did. Sour cream pie crust? Oh, my. I’m going to have to try that. That sounds like some serious goodness.

  12. Megan Gordon — September 20, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

    Yes…today has felt like fall big time here in CA. The light’s just different…I’ve had pie crust on my mind a lot lately. When I was in Seattle for IFBC, I took a pie class from Kate McDermott and she uses lard in addition to butter. I just started and I have to say, it’s kind of awesome (but strangely hard to find here!). But a classic butter pie crust? What’s better. Yours looks beautiful.

  13. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — September 21, 2010 @ 6:44 am

    This is absolutely magical MJ. I am afraid of pastry and when I was at culinary school, it was the class where I had to keep leaving to room to calm down because I felt I was taking out all my frustration in my pastry! I have bookmarked this though and will try it soon with a fall pie!!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 21st, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

      Okay, Mardi. You, the macaron master, can absolutely handle a pie crust. If I can do it, I KNOW you can.

  14. Heather @ The Single Dish — September 21, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Homemade pie crust is the best! I use Ina’s recipe- has Crisco and butter in it. Delicious! I might switch things up and try your all-butter dough. Thanks!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 21st, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

      Heather – I’ve used Ina’s recipe, too, and I like hers. The Crisco is just a little freaky to me. Something about the consistency. I’m weird, though. I admit it. 🙂

  15. Kirsten — September 21, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this crust yesterday in a mascarpone apple pie, and it was wonderful! And so easy!! I had never made my own crust before- I, too, was a long-time purchaser of the Pillsbury. I usually abhor pie crust, but I found this to be quite palatable.
    Thanks for curing me 🙂

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 21st, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

      Yay, Kirsten! You just made my day. 🙂

  16. Judy — September 22, 2010 @ 12:16 am

    It’s amazing how much people are moving away from brands and store-bought convenience like Pillsbury. I recently just moved away from storebought breadcrumbs, amongst many, many other things. It’s great that once in a while your repertoire includes pie crust, home made! It’s also great that you guys have seasons. Looking forward to fall chowder and winter soups isn’t as dreary as it might sound. I would love it if it snowed on the tropical island where I am!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 22nd, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

      Judy – We sort of create our seasons here in north Florida. We have a very long summer and then a brief winter. Our fall and spring last for about 5 days each. 🙂

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  18. Chris — September 25, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    I am TOTALLY with you on the fear of shortening. I refuse to have it in my kitchen–there is something so processed and un-natural about it!– so all-butter pie crusts are all you’ll find in my kitchen. I am a diehard fan of Jamie Oliver’s all-butter crust recipes (I have a couple of them) but am intrigued by your addition of kosher salt. This is a must-try for my next pie. Thanks!

  19. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — September 26, 2010 @ 12:31 am

    So glad to finally see a pie crust made with all butter (and none of that Crisco business). I know some people swear by it, but I’ve always made pie crusts with butter and they’re incredibly flaky. The trick is to have the butter and water super cold and not over process!

    Thank you!! Love your blog.

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