Do you like peaches? Do you like peach pie? Do you like cool desserts in the summer? Because if you like all these and hate slimy under cooked pie crust you’re in for a treat. This is my riff on the fruit cream pies on offer at Strawn’s Eat Shop in Shreveport. This version has a few tweaks and a little less sugar but retains all the intense peach flavor and creamy vanilla infused custard cream base of the original. So yes, I love you Strawns, but I also love your kissing peachy cousin here so keep reading for the quick and dirty on how to make her!
Childhood trips to Shreveport were never complete without a visit to Strawns. If you sat at the end of the counter you could watch the cooks assembling the various pies, all of which were covered with mountains of whipped cream and each of which was identified by a slice of whatever was underneath all that cream. There were strawberries, peaches, and coconut along with chocolate & butterscotch. It was always hard to choose but in the summer time the choice was usually narrowed down to strawberry or peach.
My favorite was always peach so that’s what I’m featuring here but note that the strawberry follows the same recipe except for a few drops of red food coloring for the custard.
You want to start with the custard cream since it needs to cool for a couple of hours so make it first.
My recipe calls for a teaspoon of vanilla but if you have a bean by all means use it. Just scrape out the seeds, throw in the pod and let it cook with the custard not forgetting to remove it once the custard is cooked. When it’s done cover with plastic and pop in the fridge.
The crust is butter based and its crispy cookie like texture is achieved by completely cooking the crust before filling it. You can enjoy eating it all and there will never be a limp slab remaining on the plate.
For the perfect blind baked crust follow the directions below. After you’ve rolled out the crust and put it in the pie pan place it back in the fridge to cool. This allows the dough to relax and it cooks up better. Take it out of the fridge, cover with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans – whatever you usually use – and put in a 350 degree oven until light brown. This will typically take an hour and I highly recommend a glass pie pan since it removes all the guess work as to whether the bottom is done. It also helps to put the pie pan on a cookie sheet so that when you pull it out to check you won’t damage the rim of the crust. Once done to your preferred degree of browness, let cool at room temperature and get going on the filling.
Start out with fresh peaches like this:
If they are not easy to peel you need only boil a pot a water and drop them in for 30 seconds, let them cool and the skin will come right off. Slice them and squeeze a little lemon juice over them to maintain the color. A little lemon zest is a nice addition and a drop or two of almond extract is also nice.
- Pie Crust:
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 7 tablespoons butter, chilled
- ¼ cup ice water
- Custard Cream:
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean sliced open & seeds scraped out)
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- Peach Filling:
- 1.5 lbs peaches, sliced
- dusting of powdered sugar (or drizzle of honey over top)
- lemon zest to taste
- Half pint of heavy whipped cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- optional nutmeg over top
- Pie Crust:
- Place the flour & salt into a mixing bowl or food processor.
- Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or pulse in the food processor until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with pea sized pieces of butter.
- Add ice water bit by bit until the dough holds together & can be formed into a disk.
- Wrap the disk in plastic and let cool in the fridge for half an hour.
- Roll out and put in the pie pan.
- Put the pan back in the fridge & let chill for half an hour. This allows the dough to relax and the crust bakes up more tender.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place foil over the crust, cover with pie weights and bake until light brown, about 1 hour.
- Remove & let cool.
- Custard Cream:
- Beat the sugar & egg yolks together until pale. Stir in the flour until fully mixed.
- Warm the milk in a heavy pot and gradually incorporate it into the yolk mixture whisking all the time.
- Transfer back to the pot and cook over medium high heat until thickened. Pour into a bowl and if you see any lumps strain them out.
- Add vanilla & almond extracts, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
- Peach Filling:
- Slice peaches & season to taste, then spread evenly over the custard cream.
- Add sugar & extracts to cream, whip and spread over the top.