Shortly after we built our house ten years ago, I bought a little peach tree and had my husband plant it in the corner of the back yard. I had heard on a radio gardening show that peaches don't fare well in the extreme winters we have in the far north of Utah, but I love peaches so much that I wanted to try anyway. Until last year the little tree never produced more than a handful of peaches (but they were always juicy and delicious). Last summer we got quite a few, but grasshoppers and wasps attacked them before we got many. But this year.....THIS year was THE year for my little tree! The branches were so overburdened with fruit that they bowed all the way to the ground. My 8 year-old son picked some peaches one Saturday, a few days later I picked more, and the tree was still covered. Since birds ate all the fruit off my pie cherry tree and neighbor kids took all the apples off my two dwarf trees I had to make the most of the peaches!
So, I canned peaches and made peach jam for the very first time. It was time consuming, but I'm proud of those lovely jars.
I still had lots of peaches, which I used to make two fresh peach pies. There are lots of fresh peach pie recipes out there that use Jello or other artificial ingredients. Those may be okay if you're using peaches that are less then perfect. But for juicy peaches that came straight off the tree that isn't good enough. I used an all natural recipe that really takes advantage of the ripe peach flavor. The only thing is, you'll want to serve this pie the day it's made. Otherwise the juicy peaches cause the filling to break down and it can get a little soggy by the next day. Don't worry, you might want to eat the whole thing by yourself.
Fresh Peach Pie
1 baked pie crust (I used a deep dish pan in order to enjoy more peaches per piece!)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups peaches, pureed (I used a potato masher. If you have a food processor you can use that)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Peeled and sliced fresh peaches - the amount depends on the size of your pie pans. For a 9 inch pie you'll need about 5 cups
2 cups whipping cream, whipped and sweetened
Combine the sugar, water, cornstarch, butter and pureed peaches in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until thick, about two minutes. Cool completely.
Add almond extract. Stir in the sliced peaches, then pour into the baked pie crust. Top with the fresh whipped cream and refrigerate just until the pie is chilled.