This is, more or less, Rose’s peach pie, which is amazing, despite my little “newbie” problems. The balance of flavors, and the lack of spice that allows the peaches to shine, make this the quintessential filling.
As you can see, there are bottom crust problems and filling firmness problems—both my fault. The crust deformed a little, too, for whatever reason (not that I care about that).
Filling Firmness Problems - My peaches were very ripe, so I was afraid to bake them, and I decided to go open faced (blind baked crust coated with white chocolate, cooked filling added). I followed the peach instructions (mascerating, reducing, etc.). I was going to thicken and then add the peaches to the final thickened “binder,” but the juices were so caramelized, I added the peaches and then their additional juice they let off while I was reducing the other juices—about another 1/2 cup!—mixed with the corn starch. I forgot that you’re supposed to “stir constantly” at this point (while waiting for and during the corn starch thickening phase), so a lot of my thickener was still on the bottom of the pan when I added the peaches to the crust. Thus, it flowed a bit.
Bottom Crust Problems (soggy) - Obviously, the above contributed greatly. Plus, I tried the cheesecloth method between my rice and crust, but the cheesecloth stuck to the crust and pulled it up in parts, particularly center bottom, so my crust was quite thin in parts.
Rolling the Crust - I thought I’d try rolling on my lightly Wondra-ed counter with plastic wrap only on top of the lightly Wondra-ed dough, but it was still too fussy. I went for the simple formica counter + rolling pin method, and the thing rolled out perfectly in less than a minute. I gave a quarter turn after each roll, and used my offset spatula to lift it when it stuck a little. This was all hubby’s idea, and it worked perfectly. “That’s how my mother did it, anyway,” he said.
Blind Baking the Crust - Hubby said his mother just forked it and popped it in the oven with nothing in it. I cast a jaundiced eye at this, but then, after being unhappy with both coffee filter and cheesecloth, I asked around. I asked an accomplished baker here at work, my sister and my mother, “What do you put between your rice or beans and your crust when you blind-bake,” and they said they don’t put anything between them because they don’t put anything in it. So, that’s my plan for the next pie, which will be in the fall.