All, Food, The Challenges

First Prize Pie

Jewels:We have a German saying that goes something like this: “Believe it or not: We spend 99% of our life with repetition – the rest is a hard learned lesson”. I learned a lesson this week: if you don’t save your peach pie photos from the camera onto the computer, they will be gone. Or at least really hard to find, especially since I don’t remember which card they were on, if I maybe did copy them somewhere, but where?? Oh well. Luckily Peach Pie tastes good even if it was frozen and then unfrozen for a second photo shoot. I had to reshoot my pie after most of it was already in my belly and only three slices were left. As much as I liked the peach pie I was kinda glad I didn’t have to make it twice in one week. If you decide to make the dough yourself it takes more than just a few minutes and turns your kitchen into quite a messy area. At least that’s what happened to me…


We used the recipe from a great book called First Prize Pies

Makes enough for one double-crust 9-inch (23-cm) pie

1 cup unsalted butter

½ cup whole milk

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

12 ounces unbleached all purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes (a bench scraper is perfect for this, but a sharp knife works well too). Return to the fridge or freezer to cool. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and vinegar. Refrigerate the mixture until ready to use. 

On a clean flat surface or in a large shallow bowl, toss the flower, cornstarch, sugar, and salt together lightly to blend. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and, using the tool of your choice cut the fat into the flour with speed and patience, until the fat has been reduced to small pea-sized chunks. Try to use a straight up-and-down motion, avoiding twisting your arm as the more you press on the flower the more tough gluten will develop in the dough. Avoid using your fingers, as the heat from your hands will melt the fat and further encourage gluten development. Unlike with pasta or bread gluten is the enemy of pie dough, so be gentle and be quick!

Once your fat has been cut down to size, spread your mixture out gently to expose as much surface area as possible. Gently drizzle about half of your milk mixture over the flour trying to cover as wide an area as you can. Using bench scrapers or a large spoon, toss the flour over the liquid, spread everything out again, and repeat the process with the 2nd half of the liquid.

You should now have a dough that will just hold together when pressed against the bowl, with visible little chunks of butter. If you need to add more liquid to bind it, do so with more cold milk, adding a tablespoon at a time until you reach the right texture. Once you’ve reached your goal, cover the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least one hour.


 Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).  On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into an 11”(28cm) circle about 1/8 to ¼ inch (3 to 6mm) thick.  Line a 9”(23cm) pie plate with the dough and trim the overhang to about 1 inch (2.5cm).  Refrigerate the crust until ready to bake.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the peaches and both kinds of ginger.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and sale. Just before adding the filling to the pie plate, toss the fruit in the dry ingredients.  Rush the rim of the bottom crust with egg wash or milk.

Roll out the second half of the dough into and 11” (28cm) circle and lay it over the filled pie.  Trim the edges and tuck the top crust over the rim of the bottom crust to form a tight seal.  Crimp the edge into whatever pattern you like.  Brush the top crust with egg wash or milk, sprinkle it with raw sugar, and cut a few slits to allow steam to escape.

Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake it for 20 minutes, turning the pie once hallway through. Lower the temperature to 350F(175C) and bake the pie for 30 to 40 minutes more, until the crust is golden and fully baked and the juices have thickened.  Remove it to a rack to cool completely at least 1 hour.