This peach and creme fraiche pie is pretty much summer on a plate. Fresh peaches and luscious crème fraîche are heaped in a pastry crust and baked until juicy, soft, and oh so sweet.
Whether you seek convention or innovation, you’ll find it in this haute yet humble peach pie, which draws on tradition yet still wields some surprises. Rather than douse peaches with cream, it bathes them with crème fraîche, which possesses a slight tartness that beautifully complements the sweet stone fruits and the thick creaminess of it sets up like a custard during baking in perfect contrast against the crisp crumb topping. Summer on a plate.–Editors of Martha Stewart Living
How To Pick Ripe Peaches
What makes a difference–a doozy of a difference–in this pie is the relative ripeness of the stone fruits you select. You can assess their readiness by giving them a simple once over. Pass over any peaches with a trace of green and cast aside any stone fruits that bear noticeable bruises. Grasp the fruit gently, ever so gently, and take a sniff. You ought to catch a whiff of the sweet perfume. And if you really feel you must, fine, go ahead and give the fruit an ever so slight squeeze, but do so by gently cupping it in your hands rather than prodding it with your fingertips. It ought to give just a little. Peachy keen.
Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie
For the crumb topping
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
For the pie crust and filling
- 1/2 recipe Pâte Sucrée
- 1 1/2 pounds (4 to 5) ripe peaches peeled, if desired, and quartered
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Make the crumb topping
- In a bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the pie crust and filling
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the Pate Sucrée dough 1/8 inch thick. Fit it into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Trim any excess dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the edge of the pie plate and crimp as desired. Pierce the dough on the bottom of the pie plate all over with a fork. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line the pastry with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment and bake until pale golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack to cool slightly. Reduce the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a bowl, sprinkle the peaches with the granulated sugar and the remaining pinch of salt and gently toss. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Spread 2 tablespoons crème fraîche over the bottom of the cooled pie crust and sprinkle with 1/3 of the crumb mixture. Arrange the peaches on the crumbs and spread or dollop the remaining 3 tablespoons crème fraîche on top. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb topping.
- Bake until the crème fraîche is bubbling and the crumb topping is golden brown, about 50 minutes. If the edge of the crust begins to brown a little too quickly, fashion a long strip of aluminum foil into a c-shape and slip it around the crust so it hooks onto the edge of the pie plate and covers the crust. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Sweet peaches, crème fraîche, and pâte sucrée rich with butter and egg—a LOVELY pie. And the sturdy pâte sucrée held all the juices from the peaches without becoming soggy. It was a nice brown crust that cut clean. A very pleasant discovery was that the crème fraîche really did set like a custard.
Don’t have a 10-inch pie plate? Not to worry, everything fit just fine in my 9-inch pie pan. I’d probably peel the peaches next time.
What makes this pie shine is its simplicity. The peaches cook down until they’re almost jammy and the creaminess of the crème fraiche and the sweetness from the crumble combine to make a delicious pie.
I made my favorite pie dough instead of using the pâte sucrée. I also used a 9-inch pie plate and the peaches snugly fit in the crust. I recommend that everyone make this pie while it’s still peach season.
This was a very nice summer pie. I was skeptical about leaving the skins on the peaches, but the resulting look of the pie was very country and Americana. The skins did not hamper the texture for any of my pie eaters, and it also made it easy to assemble this pie with my young son. The juices of the peaches bubbled over in between the crust and pie dish—this is always is my favorite part of fruit pie. It’s a little sticky and crispy with great fruit flavor. A true bite of summer.
It wasn’t fussy with thinly sliced peeled peaches; just quarter them and lay them on the crème fraîche and crumb mixture.
This was a delicious pie. The crust was incredibly simple and was probably the best one I’ve ever made.
I made two mistakes with the filling, but the pie barely suffered. I accidentally used white peaches instead of yellow, and I can safely say that they serve as an equally delicious substitute. My other mistake was adding the juices from macerating the peaches into the pie. The pie set fairly well after cooling, but was probably a bit looser than it should have been.
I would add a bit more sugar to the peaches, just 1 to 2 tablespoons, depending on the peaches’ inherent sweetness.
This is a great summer pie. It’s nice to have a peach pie with a slightly different twist, i.e., the crème fraîche. The baking time was perfect.
I did need to put foil around the edges of the crust to prevent it from getting too dark.
My only concern is that the crumb topping, although I refrigerated it, didn’t look like a crumb topping after baking. It more or less “cooked down” into the pie and only a little remained on top. This didn’t affect the flavor or appearance in any way. I think this was a result of the pie being baked at such a high temperature. The pie cooled on a rack for 20 minutes, but it really needed at least an hour before it could be served.
Originally published August 14, 2018