Peach Pie Duet

This is a great recipe for hearty, peach pies for two.  The tangy, sweet peaches combine with spicy cinnamon and nutmeg under a veil of crunchy sugar coating to create a delicious dessert for date night or any night.

Grab a fork or a big spoon and your sweetie, or share the two pies among four friends.

The recipe can also be split into four individual portions by dividing the filling among 4 small ramekins or dishes that hold about 1/2 cup of fruit.  You may need to cut the peaches into smaller pieces if you go this route, and you might need extra pie crust, but the end result is peachy bliss, no matter which option you choose.

Peach Pie Duet
Serves 2 hungry pie-lovers.

Ingredients:
2 cups peaches, sliced (you can use fresh or frozen)
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar for the filling, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg**
1 pie crust
splash of milk
baking spray

Equipment:
2 cocottes (mine hold about 1 1/2 cups of filling if filled all the way, but I filled them about 2/3 full)
pastry brush
fork
spoon
knife or pastry cutter
half sheet pan

Method:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

If using frozen fruit, thaw the fruit in a large bowl on the counter-top for one hour, then slice, if needed.  If using fresh fruit, place the sliced fruit in a large bowl.

Add in the flour, the turbinado sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg.
**If you like, you can also add a bit of ground ginger.
Stir to coat the fruit well in the flour, sugar, and spices.  Let the filling mixture sit on the counter-top and allow the flavors to combine while you assemble the pie crusts.

Here is the peach filling all mixed together. Now it just needs to sit a bit...

Begin by cutting two circles in the pie dough a little bit larger than the overturned cocottes.  Reserve the extra pie crust scraps for the lattice tops.

Grease the cocottes with baking spray and line each cocotte with a round of pie crust, pressing the crust into the dish and up the sides about 3/4 of the way to the top.

Use the tines of a fork to dock (a.k.a. “poke holes in”) the crust.  I do this for every pie that I make that uses a dough crust.  Some folks may say that this is an unnecessary step, but I think it eliminates air bubbles and allows the bottom crust to bake up nicely.

Here are the crusts all docked and ready to be filled.

Next, stir the filling a final time.  The spices, sugar, and flour should now be combined into a brown, syrupy sauce that has coated all the fruit.

Divide the fruit filling among the two cocottes, spooning the filling into the crusts.  Each dish should be filled with a cup of fruit.  Don’t forget to scrape any remnants of the sugary spice goo from the bottom of the bowl and onto the fruit…it’s delicious, and not a drop should be wasted!

One crust filled up, one more to go.

The fruit is in, and now it's time to make the lattice tops!

Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut about 16 strips from the remaining pie crust scraps.  I usually do this rather quickly, and so my strips have a very casual look to them.  If you are going for a pristine-looking pie, you might want to use two crusts.  As a side-note, I’m a bit of a messy baker…perhaps this is why I love Nigella Lawson so much…

Arrange the strips in a lattice pattern over each pie.

You can tell I'm a messy baker when you look at these. Or I was just hungry...

Tuck in the ends to pretty up the edges of the pies.

I tuck in the strips and roll over the edges to give the pies a finished look.

Finally, brush a bit of milk on each pie crust with a pastry brush and sprinkle it generously with turbinado sugar.

Time for a creamy, crunchy coating...

Bake the pies on a half sheet pan for one hour.  An hour works perfect for me, but if you have a really hot oven or are doing a full top crust for each pie (using two pie crusts), instead of lattices, adjust the baking time to 45 minutes or so.  The crust should be firm, and golden brown in color.

Mmm. All baked and fresh from the oven!

Allow to cool, and enjoy!

I bet these peach pies won't last long!

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