Coconut Streusel Peach Pie
I know, I know. It’s almost September, and school has started (and I’m still in denial). Peaches might seem so last month. But here in the Pacific Northwest, we have the luxury of stretching summer into September and squeezing out every last delicious drop. Late varieties of local peaches are still available.
In fact, my kitchen counter tops were lined with jars of just-canned golden peaches last week, and my husband polished off a huge piece of this Peaches & Cream chilled dessert just last night. September is a sweet swirl of summer and fall. Crisp mornings and nights, with warm days and fresh produce. The leaves are just starting to turn, but we’re still running around in shorts. Eating peaches, baking pies. What a happy combination.
This is my absolute favorite peach pie recipe. It comes from Cooking Light magazine so it involves less sugar than a typical pie filling, allowing the fresh fruit flavor to really shine. The single crust keeps it light, and the buttery, crunchy coconut topping is the perfect companion to the sweet, juicy peaches. A match made in late-summer (September) heaven.
The only unusual step involved in this recipe is pre-baking the crust before pouring in the peach filling. When you pre-bake that single bottom crust, you need to use something called pie weights (Amazon). This will hold down the crust so it doesn’t bake into a bubbly, slumpy dough disaster.
You can achieve the same results by using dried beans (or something similar that won’t scorch when baked). Just roll and shape your bottom crust into the pie plate and line it with foil or parchment paper. I prefer parchment because it doesn’t poke into the fragile dough like foil. Cut the parchment paper into a large circle that will come up the sides of the crust. That way the sides stay perfectly in place instead of sliding toward the bottom as it bakes. Pour in about a cup of beans and bake as directed. Just like the name implies, this will weigh the crust down, giving you a perfectly baked pie shell. Lift out the parchment paper and toss the beans into a separate bag to use again.
To save time, start with a store bought pie crust. There is no shame, and your secret is safe with me! When a friend introduced me to Trader Joe’s pie crusts ($3.99 for a double crust), a whole new world opened before me. (I didn’t grow up on convenience food, so this is like stepping into the Jetson’s home. A robot maid! Who knew?) I have two boxes in my freezer this very minute. They aren’t the easiest things to work with (mine always crumble when I thaw & unroll them. What am I doing wrong? Help!), but it is a great time saver and the results taste like a homemade crust.
So let your friends post pictures of pumpkin muffins, Chai lattes, and cable knit sweaters! Fall will settle in soon enough. For now, just savor the last sweet peaches of summer.
Brown Sugar Peach Pie with Coconut Streusel
A Cooking Light recipe
Makes one 9″ pie
1 single pie crust (purchased or simple homemade pie crust)
1/3 c. brown sugar or coconut sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
8 c. sliced, peeled peaches (about 3 1/2 pounds)
1/3 c. brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c. flaked sweetened coconut
1 1/2 T. butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Fit the single crust into a 9″ pie plate. Fold edges under; flute. Line dough with a piece of foil or parchment paper, and place pie weights or dried beans on top. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and remove pie weights and foil. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Cool crust on a wire rack.
- For the pie filling, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle over the peaches. Toss gently to evenly coat the peaches. Spoon into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
- For the pie topping, combine sugar, oats, coconut, and butter; sprinkle over peach mixture. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
If you don’t want to mess with dried beans, this set of Ceramic Pie Weights (Amazon) sells for less than $6. It would also make a unique gift for the baker (or Trader Joe’s crust maker) in your life.
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