Peaches and cream,summer on a plate

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 like a custard during baking in perfect contrast against the crisp almond crumb topping. Summer on a plate.
Over the years I have had some bad, frightful, scarring experiences and spent many years wondering why anyone would ever make pie from scratch.So what about the making of the pie? Is it therapeutic? Stressful? Fun? Swear word inducing? If pie crust has scared you in the past, promise me that you’ll join me in the land of functioning adulthood and start conquering that fear.I have to admit that with many pies safely under my belt I did have one stressful moment while making the pastry for this one!!! Issues or not, I’ve been wanting, needing and dreaming of a perfect fresh peach pie recipe that I could make with the abundance of peaches that are around at this time of year and here it is......

Peach and creme fraiche pie

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 5 tablespoons total
200g of ground almonds ( optional ) for the topping

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.


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