Peach pie with bourbon-maple caramel drizzle
This week’s Sugar High! column
is a celebration of pie. And for good reason: Today is when the calendar aligns with the first three digits of one of the world’s most enchanting numbers: pi. Actually, if you round up 3.14159 you get 3.1416 or 3/14/16, making today's date very special indeed.
Vermont has many, many wonderful pie makers. I've sampled a few, but I decided to make my own pie this time. On this 3/14, I will be eating a slice of peach pie with a mound of Vermont-made Wilcox vanilla ice cream, drizzled with a bourbon-maple caramel sauce.
The creation was inspired by a beautiful bag of frozen peaches I picked up from City Market
a few weeks ago. It’s a basic peach pie, with a butter and shortening crust. I favor combining the two fats instead of picking one. The result is a totally flaky, light, buttery crust.
Instead of cutting slits, you can cut shapes like hearts.
What makes this pie special is the sauce. If you’ve previously failed at making caramel, like I have a bazillion times
, don’t run away. This caramel is simple and, as long as you’re watching the pot, it’s hard to mess up. The trick is to let the sugar mixture cool slightly before adding the cream.
I used a bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup from Smugglers' Notch Distillery
. Any real maple syrup will do. You may be tempted to salt the sauce, but let me ask you this: Would you salt your bourbon? Hmm?
That’s what I thought. I generously salted my first batch and ruined it. Let the whiskey shine — it doesn’t need salt.
If I made this again, my only change would be to add a dash of cinnamon to the fruit mixture.
Enjoy, and happy Pi[e] Day!
Peach Pie With Bourbon-Maple Caramel Sauce
For the filling:
For the crust:
- 4 cups peaches
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
For the sauce:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup butter
- 5 tablespoons shortening
- 1/4 cup ice-cold water, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1/8 cup each maple syrup and bourbon*
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine peaches, sugar and flour. Mixture should coat peaches well. Set aside.
- Measure flour into medium-size mixing bowl. Cut butter into 8 to 10 slices and add to bowl. Add shortening. Use a pastry cutter to combine until shortening is cut into pea-sized pieces and fat is equally mixed into the flour. Form a ball. Place in refrigerator 10-20 minutes.
- Roll out half of the dough with a rolling pin. Place the dough in a pie pan. Put a smaller pan or parchment paper on top of the dough and fill with beans. Bake 10-15 minutes.
- Pour peach mixture into bottom crust. Roll out remaining dough and place over the top of the peaches. Use a knife to cut three or four 1-inch slits in top dough. Brush with milk. Cover edges of crust with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 20-30 minutes more. When fruit is bubbling and crust is slightly golden, remove from oven and cool.
While the pie is baking, make the sauce. Whisk together sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil gently 5-7 minutes until the liquid becomes lightly golden, like the color of maple syrup. Do not stir while boiling. Remove from heat. Let rest 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in cream. Return to low heat while adding cream, until well mixed and not lumpy. Remove from heat. Add syrup and alcohol. Cool.
* If you don't have a 1/8 cup measuring cup, fill 1/4 cup equally with syrup and bourbon.
Note: Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within a week.
Sugar High! is a weekly exploration into the Vermont dessert scene. It features everything from chefs to recipe tips to the best sweets on Vermont menus. Got an idea for something you'd like to see in Sugar High? Email email@example.com.