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May 10, 2011 09:13 AM

Fresh Peach Pie

Cook's Illustrated had a great recipe for fresh strawberry pie using sugar, pectin and cornstarch with pureed strawberrys to make the glaze. It came out great. My question for the group is whether this would work equally as well substituting peaches for strawberrys. Any thoughts or tips would be much appreciated.


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  1. When I make fresh peach pie I skin the peaches first, then slice them in wedges and toss the wedges (in a bowl) in sugar (not refined), a bit of brown sugar and a sprinkling of AP flour, a sprinkling of fresh lemon juice and some ground cinnamon & nutmeg. I do not use pectin. I've been making peach pies for 45 years...

    13 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      So you really don't use any thickening agent so to speak? (A sprinkling of flour wouldn't do much, I'd guess). Doesn't it come out soupy? I love peaches, but most peach pies I've tried are too watery. How ripe are the the peaches you use?

      The few times I've made it, I macerated the peaches in sugar/spices in a ziploc for a few hours. Then strained out the liquid, and boiled it down to peach syrup. The whole mess - with tapioca for thickening - then goes into the pie crust (bottom coated with melted white chocolate or egg white to seal).

      1. re: sbp

        You're right about a sprinkling of flour. Use about a 1/4 cup flour for a 9" pie.

      2. re: Gio

        Sounds wonderful. I will have to try this. We vacation every July at the Outer Banks in NC, and the peaches there are unbelievable. The day before we come home, I always make a trip to the local farmstand and buy TONS of peaches. Once home, I eat them until they are gone- usually standing over the sink because they make such a mess. But I love the idea of a peach pie. Will try it for sure this summer.

        1. re: Gio

          that's the way I've always made it, Gio -- and I'm at about 35 years for mine.

          1. re: sunshine842

            That's a lovely pie but the OP is looking for the one with whole fruit suspended in a gel, to be served chilled, not a traditional pie pie.

            1. re: buttertart

              You can't make a pie like this with whole peaches -- it would just be 3-4 glazed peaches sitting in a pie crust.

              it would have to be sliced or quartered at minimum...and I think the texture difference between fresh and baked peaches would pretty much mandate at least poaching the peaches beforehand. Baking/cooking brings out the sugars and softens the flesh.

              It works with strawberries, because strawberries work best in a pie like this if they're not cooked. (there aren't a whole lot of cooked-strawberry recipes out there that I can think of...jam, of course...but not too much in the way of pies/tarts)

     (you can at least see the picture, even if they put their dumb subscribe-or-you-get-jack box up over the recipe itself)

              1. re: sunshine842

                I don't think it was intended to be with whole peaches, I should expect they would be cut up into approximately the same size as the strawberries (as noted in biodanomina's post below). It could work but there are pitfalls (cf my post below). The baked peach pie is a thing of beauty but this type of strawberry pie is a different breed of cat. (My mother used to make a baked strawberry pie as for the baked peach pie and when the berries were really good, it was spectacular.)

              2. re: buttertart

                OK.. I misread the strawberry part. As I understand it now, some strawberries are pureed to make a glaze for whole strawberries...and wonders if she can substitute peaches for the strawberries using the CI recipe. In that case I say, "yes".. Slice the unpureed peaches in wedges about the size of large strawberries.

                1. re: Gio

                  Yes ma'am, precisely. Will be good, don't you think?

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Definitely scrumptious. Love peaches...

                    1. re: Gio

                      Me too. Was thinking white peaches and a whiff of lemon verbena in the puréed part? Ooh.

            2. re: Gio

              I have a ton of peaches right now, and some out of town guests coming. I'm going to use your recipe this weekend. I will post my results after. Quick question, do you use a lattice top or a full top?

              1. re: Gio

                Hi Gio. Do you bake the pie crust first or not? I just bought a lug of Fay Elberta peaches and am drooling at the thought of a fresh peach pie. Also, whether you bake it first or not, does the juice soak the bottom crust and how do you keep that from happening?? The rest I'll turn into peach jam and canned peaches.
                Thanx, caiatransplant

              2. You might also try this recipe, from Marthasway, which I made several times last summer and which is amazing. It calls for apricots, but I don't see why you couldn't use peaches - cut in quarters, perhaps.


                1. I use my mom's old recipe for fresh peach pie (which I assume she got from my grandmother) - it is delicious and WAY better than the ingredients would suggest! I peel and slice the peaches, arrange them in the pre-baked shell, then pour in a mixture made from black cherry Jello (you could use any flavor, but black cherry is my favorite), cornstarch, sugar and water. I can post the exact ratios and method when I get home if you like, but I think the cornstarch keeps the gelatin from setting up too hard - this pie always comes out perfectly slice-able but not rubbery.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: biondanonima

                    Do please post this, my mother-in-law would love it.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      I generally shun anything with jello, but fresh strawberry pies along the lines you have described ARE awfully good, and worth making an exception for!

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        Here you go ladies - an oldie but a goodie! I remember making this once in college - I made two pies because I was expecting 8 people and I wanted some leftover. Only 4 showed up and both pies were DEVOURED!

                        Any good pie crust recipe, blind baked until golden brown
                        4 lbs (more or less) fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (to taste - I like them thin-ish but thick is ok too. I've also forgotten to peel them and it's still good!)

                        1 c. cold water
                        1 c. sugar
                        3 T. cornstarch
                        pinch of salt
                        1 pkg Jello (black cherry or black raspberry are my faves with peaches, but you could use anything, even peach flavor! The color contrast with black cherry is beautiful though.)

                        Combine water, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and cook until thickened , then add Jello and stir until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Arrange sliced fruit in a pre-baked pie crust. Pour filling over fruit, shaking pie plate gently to encourage filling to settle into all crevices. Refrigerate until set and serve with mountains of sweetened whipped cream!

                        I've only made this with strawberries and peaches, but it would no doubt be delicious with apricots, nectarines, maybe even something like mango would work!

                      2. I would think you could and I bet it would be terrific (raw peaches suspended in peach glaze) - but I'd want to get it eaten up quick because the peaches would discolor.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: buttertart

                          Good point. What about adding some fresh lemon juice to the peaches? Might that prevent, or slow, the discoloration?

                          1. re: avandelay

                            The additional acid might do something to the jelling, I'd be leery of doing that. You could poach the peaches (say in the initial stage part, before adding the thickeners) but I don't think that's what you really want in this, right?

                            1. re: buttertart

                              You are exactly right--I was looking for a raw peach pie with the peaches suspended in a gel. I intended all along to cut them, probably into quarters although wondering if I could make slices and build a mound that way. To sunshine's point, I think the texture would be fine--certainly different than a cooked peach pie but feel like it would work. Also the strawberry pie calls for lemon juice in the glaze and I wonder if that would be enough to inhibit discoloration.

                              1. re: avandelay

                                I'd go for it, I think it sounds terrific. What's to lose? Looking forward to hearing about it. With August peaches, it could be unbelievable.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  In Arizona, its peach season right now and so far its shaping up to be a pretty good year (last year was a total disaster for peaches). I'll update with results.

                                  1. re: avandelay

                                    Great, lucky you, I love peaches. How long a season do you get?

                        2. Well it worked, sort of. In terms of flavor it came out great. Keeping the pie together was a different matter altogether. Cutting the strawberry pie was difficult but was doable. The peach just had a lot more liquid and was significantly more difficult to keep together after sliciing. I think I probably needed more pectin or corn starch but not sure how that would have affected the texture. Think I will try a traditional cooked peach pie next time.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: avandelay

                              avandelay, I posted my recipe up the thread a bit - try it before you give up on fresh peach pie altogether. No issues with excess liquid, just a perfectly set, delicious pie every time!