It’s summer, so it’s time to make pies! I saw a recipe for a Peach Custard Pie in Eating Well magazine, and decided that I really wanted to try it during the first weekend in July, especially since peaches went on sale. I don’t generally like custard, so I made it to take to a cookout.
First thing to make was the crust. This pie crust was very different from what I usually make. It took ground pecans, and both white and whole wheat flours. It also took an egg yolk, lemon juice, and a little oil. I know that there are other kinds of pastry crust around, but I’ve really only ever made a plain dough one, with flour, salt, shortening/margarine, and water. This one came together very easily, though, and was a very moist dough. The recipe said to refrigerate for an hour before rolling it out – I did it overnight (which it also said it could do).
The next morning I made the baked custard filling. It took milk and Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, a dash of salt, and both flour and cornstarch. After you whisk those together, you roll out the pie crust. This is where I wish I had listened to my intuition a little better. They said to roll this out between two 12-inch layers of plastic wrap, so I tried that. This worked, except that I didn’t get the dough quite wide enough to fit well into the pie pan. Generally you want it an inch or two wider than the top of the pie pan, but I don’t think that mine was. The instructions also said to fold the overhang underneath the dough on the rim of the pie tin, and then crimp to make it pretty. I didn’t have enough to even attempt this – I was trying to attach the overhang to places on the rim that didn’t have enough dough.
I should have taken it off and rolled it out more, but this didn’t even occur to me while I was making it. I crimped the edges the best as I could, spread the peaches on the bottom, and filled with custard. There was too much custard to fit in my pie tin, and because the edges weren’t high enough (without that extra bit of dough overhang tucked up underneath), custard flowed over the rim and onto the baking sheet I had placed beneath the pie pan. The recipe didn’t call for a deep dish pan, so I can only assume that they expected my crust to go higher.
It was a mess, but I baked it anyway. After 30 minutes, I added pecans to the top and reduced the temperature. After 40 additional minutes (minimum baking time), I checked it, and the knife inserted into the center didn’t come out clean. Same at 45 minutes, and 55, and 60 (maximum baking time). This seems to ALWAYS happen to me. I finally took it out at 65 additional minutes, I took it out of the oven anyway because parts of the top were starting to brown. This makes me wonder if I just don’t know what they mean when they say “knife comes out clean.” Do they mean the entire knife is clean? Do they mean that there’s a little goo at the end, and traces of pie, but it’s a clean cut? It’s very frustrating, and I haven’t been able to find any explanations or tutorials online in the brief amount of time since I baked the pie and I started writing about it.
I refrigerated it until we were ready to have dessert at the barbecue that I went to. Almost everyone tried a piece, and I heard lots of good things about it. I tried it too, but I didn’t have high expectations since I don’t like eggs and thought I might not like the custard. It was balanced, with the fruit and the crust keeping the sweetness of the custard in check. This was a fine pie, and people seemed to like it. If I liked custard, I would probably make it again because I thought it had a good flavor.