My husband’s family used to have a peach orchard, which is every bit as wonderful as it sounds. The year would roll by, and suddenly in March, it was a peach avalanche. Again, which is every bit as wonderful as it sounds.
The harvesting window for peaches is very narrow, about 3-5 days. I am more accustomed to citrus, which can be picked over the course of 90 days, or pecans, which is about 30 days. We think of slow, Southern attitudes, and lazy hot afternoons when we think of peaches, but the harvesting is quite the opposite. It is a mad dash to get those blushing beauties off the tree, washed, de-fuzzed, sorted, graded, and chilled down before they go soft. Peaches are extremely delicate.
Good Peaches are Worth Their Weight in Gold
Now that we no longer have barrels of fresh, home grown peaches anymore (a hard freeze destroyed the orchard) I still dream about all of the syrupy cobblers and tangy jams we used to make. It is not so easy to find good peaches in the grocery store, but when that especially aromatic peach selection in the fruit aisle seduces you while you are way over in the potato and onion bins, then you know those are the ones to buy.
I especially adore crumble toppings, as they are a crunchy cookie on top of a hot, sweet fruit filling. I have learned a few tricks with crumble toppings:
- Old fashioned oats give the topping an hearty texture and amazingly nutty flavor
- Chilling the crumble topping before sprinkling on the pie makes for more crunch
- No need to dot butter on your pie filling as when using a regular top pie crust.
The nutmeg laced crème anglaise that I added to this recipe becomes absorbed with the pebbly textured top of the peach pie, making it even more delicious. I miss our old peach orchard, but every now and then I find the right harvest of peaches that takes me back down memory lane.Print
Peach Crumble Pie with Salted Pecans and Nutmeg Creme Anglaise
- Prep Time: 45 min
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 Servings
- Category: Baked Goods
- Cuisine: USA
1 stick butter (4 oz or 115 gr), slightly softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar (100 gr)
1/2 cup flour (62 gr)
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (45 gr)
1/4 cup salted pecans, chopped (50 gr)
A single pie crust for 9″ (23cm) pie plate
2 1/2 lbs. peaches (1.13kg), peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar (100 gr)
1/3 cup flour (40 gr)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (2 gr)
Nutmeg Creme Anglaise
1 cup whole milk (240 ml)
1 cup heavy cream (240 ml)
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar (100 gr)
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (1 gr)
For the Crumble Topping:
Using a pastry cutter or a food processor, cut together the butter, sugar and flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with crumbles the size of peas. Stir in the oats and salted pecans, combining until evenly distributed. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a 9″ pie plate by lining with the prepared pie crust, fluting the edges.
For the Pie:
Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C) Place the peaches, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, and combine well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Spoon the chilled crumbled topping over the pie filling, making sure to spoon the topping into every gap. Place the pie in the oven (I always recommend using a pie shield and a pie drip catcher for fruit pies) cover lightly with a sheet of foil. Bake for 20 minutes, and then remove the foil, allowing to bake for another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool while you prepare the Nutmeg Creme Anglaise
For the Nutmeg Creme Anglaise:
Whisk together the milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean and half of the sugar in a heavy medium sized saucepan until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.
In a separate large bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar. Beat until smooth. Add a large spoonful of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking well. Continue adding spoonfuls of hot milk and whisking, about 4 in total. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot milk pan, and return to a low heat, whisking continuously. The mixture should thicken into a thin custard.
Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any small curdles and the vanilla bean. Serve warm over your pie.