Twenty dollars later, Kel and I became the proud owners of a giant box of locally grown peaches, each one picture perfect. Peaches grow everywhere in Bountiful, weighing down the gnarled trees in nearly every backyard, tempting us – begging us to relieve the poor branches of their juicy payload. Yes! we reply, but quickly remember that we would be trespassing. Peaches are summer – the beginning of the end of summer – and baking a peach pie is a sacred rite of the season.
I’ve done nothing special or innovative here. I just baked a standard peach pie; cutting way back on the amount of sweetener simply because these peaches were as sweet as candy just as they were. Why mess with a classic? So, I’m not including a recipe here. Buy yourself a mess of peaches (8-10 will do), dig up your mom’s tried-and-true crust recipe (I used the one on the back of a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour) and get to work.
This is an ode to peaches and freshly-baked pie; warm nights, Queen Anne’s lace, the chainsawing of crickets, gardens gone wild and the whiff of melancholy that accompanies the precious, honeyed days of late summer.
Your crust might not fully cooperate (as mine did not) and it may become a homely mess once placed onto a plate (as mine did), but it will taste sweet and delicious (as mine did). It will taste like summer and make you want to hang on to every last second of August even as the days get shorter. The memory of your peach pie just might carry you through the dark days of January and February. Remember, those peach trees will be out there, covered in snow, racking up the necessary cold hours, dreaming of the spring to come and the chance to overload their branches yet again with golden-red fruit.
Important Serving Note: a homemade peach pie is best served alongside a generous scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream. It’s simply a matter of respect.