Peachy keen: fresh fruit makes juicy summer pies

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More than 5,000 tons of peaches are grown each year in Virginia, and many are at their ripest right now. It’s also picnic season, and peach pie is a welcome addition to any gathering.

Here is one version of a peach pie from family-owned Chiles Peach Orchard in Albemarle County.

Creamy Peach Pie

¾ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
9" unbaked pie shell
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Combine the sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to the peaches, and lightly toss. Turn the peaches into the pie shell. Pour the whipping cream evenly over the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until firm and golden brown on top. Chill for several hours before serving.

And here is a cool, non-baked alternative for a peach pie from the cookbook Cooking Virginia Style: With Farm Bureau Women.

Fresh Peach Pie

1 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons peach gelatin
1½ cups sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened slightly
2 graham cracker pie crusts
6 large peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 large container whipped topping

In a saucepan, boil water, cornstarch, peach gelatin and 1 cup of the sugar, stirring to dissolve gelatin and sugar. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and remaining sugar. Spread the cream cheese mixture into the pie crusts.

Place sliced peaches on top of the cream cheese mixture, and pour the saucepan mixture over the peaches. Allow pies to cool, and refrigerate until firm. Top with whipped topping before serving.

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