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The last rays of summer

This summer, there were two destinations I was planning to visit: Italy and USA. Alas, both of these trips turned into a no-go. So, for the last part of my Summer Travel Food series, my mind wanders to how I can connect these two destinations with a recipe that screams “last days of summer”… cue the peaches!

Photographs: Andreas Wiking

Text: Erin Chapman

Peaches (and nectarines!) are my thing. I planned to go to Italy again this summer, famous for its food, vibe, wine, and loads of fresh summer produce. But when we were visiting Sardinia two years ago, the peach stands were speckled everywhere along the roadside, with giant peaches bursting with juicy flavour. I was in serious peach heaven. I couldn’t get enough.

I also planned to head to the USA to visit my family for the summer. More peaches. I remember climbing a ladder as a young child in the backyard of my family’s farmhouse to pick huge ripe peaches off the trees. The (too) warm midwest summers allow for gorgeous and plentiful farmers markets that I love to visit. Luckily, the fresh late-summer produce is in full swing right now here in Denmark, too. People often ask me at the pie shop – or while I am teaching pie baking classes – what my favourite pie is. And while many make my “Top Pie” list, Peach Pie is my Numero Uno. I think it’s because the window for great peaches and nectarines is so short, so this pie truly is a once-a-year pie. For me, it literally tastes like the last warm rays of the summer sun and begs for cold vanilla ice cream to slowly melt over the top.

Happy end-of-summer, no matter where your destination should have been!

Peaches’n’Dreams / Sour Cream Peach Crumble Pie

Serves 8 slices

TIP: You can make the Pie Crust and Crumble a few days in advance and store in the refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble and bake!

Single pie crust

115 g butter, cold (½ cup / 1 stick)

150 g flour (1 1/3 cups)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

50 ml, cold water (3-4 tablespoons)

Crumble topping

100 g butter, cold (7 tablespoons)

150 g flour (1 1/4 cup)

100 g sugar (½ cup)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt


7-8 peaches (or nectarines), peeled & cut into quarters

150 g sugar (2/3 cup)

50 g flour (1/3 cup)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

200 g sour cream (3/4 cup)

Beaten egg for brushing crust

Single pie crust

#1 Cut the cold butter into cubes, and keep chilled. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and

salt in a large mixing bowl you can get your hands into.

#2 Place cold butter cubes into the flour mixture and, using a pastry blender or fork, begin

to cut the butter into the flour mixture until smaller chunks form. Continue to do this

until you have a mixture with pea-sized butter chunks and few larger grape-sized chunks

left in it. NOTE: You can also do this step with a food processor or stand mixer, but be

careful not to break down the butter into a fine crumb. Larger chunks of butter in the

dough = flakier crust.

#3 Drizzle in half the cold water and, using a rubber spatula, begin to bring the dough

together by pressing it against the side of the bowl. Add the rest of the cold water until

you’ve added enough to just in corporate the dough.

#4 Use your hands to finish bringing the dough together, working quickly so the butter

chunks won’t melt in the warmth of your hands, but pressing hard enough, so you don’t

have any pockets or dry spots in the centre of your dough together into a ball.

#5 Wrap the dough ball tightly with plastic wrap. Then flatten into a round disk. This will

make it easier to roll out later. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. You

can also freeze the dough at this stage, and it will keep for up to 6 months.

#6 Once the dough is chilled, generously flour a clean surface and roll out the prepared

dough, rotating it often, to form a circle that is about 5-8 cm larger than the diameter of

your pie pan. (You’ll want to use a pie pan that is approx. 23cm/9 inches.) Fold the

dough in half, then in quarters, and place in the pie pan. Then unfold and adjust to

centre it. Fold the edges of the pie dough in and under around the edge of the pie

pan, then crimp or flute the edge using your fingers or you can simply press a

decorative border with a fork. Once the borders are crimped, chill the crust until ready

to fill.


#1 Cut the cold butter into small cubes.

#2 In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cold

butter cubes and using your fingers or a fork, press the butter into the sugar mixture,

until you have a crumbly consistency with pea-sized crumbs. (You can also pulse all

ingredients in a food processor). Keep chilled until you’re ready to top the pie.

Assemble & bake

#1 Preheat the oven to 1750C / 3500F.

#2 In a mixing bowl, add the sliced peaches, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Gently toss until the

fruit is well coated. Stir in the sour cream until combined.

#3 Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Cover the peach filling with the crumble,

squeezing a few pieces of the crumble together to create some larger chunks.

#4 Brush the pie dough edges with beaten egg (or milk) and bake for 55-60 min, or until

filling is bubbling slowly and the crust is golden brown.

#5 Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in refrigerator.

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