A friend wanted a pie. Isn’t that how all pie stories begin?
The plot of this one is simple–last day of work for a coworker and he wanted a peach pie. It’s the sequence of events that get a bit blurry in my medi-fuzzed mind. Since I can’t seem to write down recipes as I go, and I have some preternatural aversion to measuring, the particulars of this one may be a bit sketchy. In spite of all that, here we go.
Bourbon Peach Pie with a Bacon Lattice Maple Syrup-Drizzled Topping
When I think of peach pie, I tend to think of bourbon. When I think of bourbon, I think of bacon. Now, we’re not going to get into an argument about whether Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey or a bourbon or a bourbon whiskey. For my purposes, it mixes with the flavors of peaches, bacon, and honey just riiight.
With ingredients like that, the only way to screw up is to use a store-bought pie dough. Just say no, people. Making your own is pretty damn simple. It may take six or three times to master it, but it’s worth it every single time. So get to learning if you don’t know how already.
Yep. There’s mine in all its near perfection glory. And yes, I’m bragging, but in all seriousness, there’s something about melding together the basics of flour, butter, salt, and water with your hands until it becomes not just the carrier of all the other flavors, but often becomes the star of the show.
*I have to admit that somehow my crust shrunk a little too much during the par bake this time around. Gah! and shhhhh.
While the par-baked pie crust cooled, it was time to skin, slice, and season the peaches. I ended up using a mix of regular and white peaches because I wanted ripe ones. After a lot of feeling up of a lot of peaches, I found five firm, juicy big ‘uns. Tossed with the JD, lemon juice, honey, brown sugar, nutmeg, salt and flour, they were ready to set aside while soaking up all those flavors.
For the bacon lattice top, I chose a thick cut, lower sodium bacon. Personally, I have to
watch my sodium intake for health reasons, but the more I’ve learned about it through necessity to keep myself healthy, I’ve realized most people need to cut back. PSA aside, when it’s floating on a delicious peach mixture and drizzled with maple syrup, nobody is going to notice if it has a little less sodium. I cooked the bacon on the stove-top just long enough so it wasn’t completely done, but not totally flimsy either. Browned, but not crunchy. Mmmmm, bacon.
Once the peach filling was poured into the homemade pie crust and the latticed top drizzled with maple syrup, it was time to pop that sweet lovin’ baby in the oven and sit back with glass of JD. The perfume of the mapled meat and honeyed peaches mingled with the warmth of the liquor sliding along, soothing away the tough moments of the week, month, year, so far. Pie baking is my therapy.
And then it was done. And then it was brought to the party. And then it was gone.
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 stick of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup ice water
Sift the flour, toss in the salt, and work the butter in until the butter pieces are about the size of a walnut. Make a well in the center and slowly pour in the ice water a tablespoon at a time kneading it until the dough just comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least thirty minutes before rolling out. Put back in the fridge after setting in pie plate before par-baking it.
2-3 pounds peaches (about 5-6 large)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar (I used dark brown)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey (I used 4 tablespoons. heh)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
5-6 tablespoons of flour
8-10 slices of bacon (I used thick cut, lower sodium)
Maple syrup, enough to drizzle all over
425 degree oven for 15 minutes and then drop the temp to 375 for 25-30 minutes.
I had to cover it with aluminum for a few so the bacon didn’t overcook. Just keep an eye on it and let it go to your liking.