By making mint-sugar—lightly-green sugar that's been food processed with mint—you can give a pie a subtle herby flavor while steering clear from anything strange or grassy.
Peaches and cherries can be especially juicy when they're ripe, so you'll want collect the sugary run-off and boil it down. When you fold that reduction back into the prepared fruit, you'll sidestep the risk of a runny filling while adding intense flavor to your pie. —Sarah Jampel
- Serves 8 to 10
batch of your favorite pie dough (enough for a double-crust pie)
5 to 6
small/medium ripe peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
fresh mint (you'll need a generous handful of leaves)
1 fat pinches
cream beaten with 1 egg
Turbinado sugar and flaky salt, for sprinkling
- Roll out half of your pie dough, use it line the pie plate, then cover lightly with plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. Keep the other half of pie dough in the refrigerator to roll out later.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Set up an ice bath near by. Slash a small "x" in the bottom of every peach, then add them to the boil water and leave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the peaches to the ice bath—their skin should start to split around the cuts you made. Peel the peaches, then slice into 1/3-inch-thick slices and add to a large bowl along with the pitted cherries.
- In a food processor, blend the sugar with the mint until no large mint pieces remain and the sugar is a light shade of green. Add to the bowl of fruit along with the cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, and kosher salt. Stir gently to combine, then let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425° F.
- The fruit should be very juicy now. (But if your peaches were not ripe and the fruit is not juicy, you may be able to skip this next step!) Transfer it to a large strainer over a pot and collect all the accumulated juices. Keep the fruit in the strainer but place it over a bowl. Put the pot over low heat and bring the fruit juices to a simmer, allowing to cook and reduce until thick and syrupy. This will make for a less runny pie later on! As more juice drips from the strainer into the bowl, add those to the pot, too. You'll likely end up with between 2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup of reduced juice. Set aside to cool (you can transfer it to an ice bath—maybe the one leftover from the peaches!—if you're in a rush), then gently mix it back into the prepped fruit.
- Roll out your second disc of pie dough and, if making a lattice, cut it into strips. Transfer the fruit to the lined pie dish and arrange the second disc of pie dough over top (if you're not making a lattice, be sure to cut a vent) and crimp as you see fit. Brush with cream-egg mixture and sprinkle turbinado sugar and flaky salt over top.
- Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 375° F and continue to make until the juices are bubbling and the crust is a deep, deep golden-brown, 70 to 90 minutes total.
- Take the pie of the oven and let it cool completely—we're talking 4 or 5 hours!! (I know, it's hard)—before slicing. If you store your leftover pie in the refrigerator, the filling be plenty firm the next day.