This little pie is labor-intensive, and you will spend MUCH longer making it than eating it, but boy oh boy is it worth it! Peaches are in season now, so go and get yourself some ripe ones!
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 TBLSP shortening or vegan butter
2 teaspoons ice water
2 1/2 teaspoons vodka (you can use all ice water, if you prefer)
1 TBLSP granulated sugar
½ TBLSP brown sugar, packed
1 very ripe fresh peach, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
A sprinkle of ground nutmeg
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
A shake of salt (less than a pinch)
Juice of one lemon wedge
½ teaspoon vegan butter
1 teaspoon almond milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Make the Dough
- In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter or shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then add the water and vodka and mix until it holds together in a very soft dough. (Vodka is a pie-maker’s trick. If you use it the crust will be a little lighter. In such small quantities, though, you may not notice the difference. The alcohol burns off, so you don’t taste it, but, like the water, it evaporates and leaves little fluffy openings in the dough.)
- Form the dough into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Just squish it together until it holds. If it's a hot day, refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough ball into a 7- or 8-inch circle or square.
- Put the dough, still flat, in the refrigerator for an hour or two (overnight is fine). I use the same waxed paper that I roll it on (speeds clean-up), slide it onto a plate, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. You might prefer plastic wrap if you have a lot of stinky things in your fridge.
Make the Filling
- Combine the sugars in a small bowl.
- Put the peach pieces into the sugars with as much juice as you can capture, and give it a gentle stir. Cover and let it stand for a half hour. (After the half hour, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a ramekin. )
- Drain the peaches, capturing the juice in a small saucepan. Set the fruit pieces aside while you deal with the juice.
- To the small saucepan of juice, add the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring. This should thicken quickly—in about a minute.
- Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and butter.
- Gently fold in the peaches.
Your oven should be preheated to 375 degrees and your ramekin already greased. If you didn't do it before the third step in Make the Filling, do it now.
Assemble the Pie
- Cut out a section of dough large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your ramekin, with about a half-inch extra at the top for folding over. You may have to do some trimming to avoid thick places.
- With the remaining dough, make enough thin strips (cut them with a floured knife) to make a lattice top, or cut a circle to place on top of the pie. I like to assemble the lattice on my waxed paper, and then lift it onto the filling. That way, the filling spends the least amount of time making the bottom crust soggy.
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Assemble the lattice on top of the pie or place the crust. Crimp the edges to the ½ inch of extra dough from the bottom crust.
- Brush the top lattice or crust with milk. I just slopped some into a small bowl and did it with my fingers. Sprinkle the crust lightly with the sugar, just enough to make it sparkly. If you made a solid crust on top, prick it with a fork in several places.
- Put the ramekin on a baking sheet (it can get messy), and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.