An Introduction and a Peach Pie

I love pie.

All kinds of pie…apple, cherry, peach, black raspberry, strawberry-rhubarb, banana cream, raisin cream, coconut cream, chocolate, lemon meringue, pumpkin, pecan. The list goes on and on.

But I should clarify.

I love pie. Good pie.                        

I’m not talking about the kind where the filling comes from a can or a box of pudding mix. Or a crust that is so tough you have to cut it with a knife, or so underdone that you wonder if someone forgot to bake it first. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been on a road trip and ordered a slice of pie at a restaurant, hoping for a light, flaky crust with a filling that oozes a fresh fruit flavor so intense you swear you can taste summer, only to be disappointed with a blob of artificial after-taste. I actually expect that to happen some places (and refrain from ordering any pie at all), but I’m especially disappointed when it occurs at small-town cafes, where they often boast of their homemade pies (rightfully so at times).

I’m talking about all-around good, down-home pie, made with a flaky homemade crust, a delicious filling of fresh fruit or creamy made-from-scratch pudding, and freshly whipped cream. The kind of pie I grew up with.

In her book, Humble Pie: Musings on What Lies Beneath the Crust, author Anne Dimock recalls of her own upbringing, “A dearth of good pie was a hardship I never encountered, never knew must be borne up by most folk.” While I could have enjoyed more pie while growing up (who couldn’t?), I certainly was not one of the folks who experienced a “dearth” of good pie. I was surrounded by good pie bakers and had the joy of benefiting from their labors.

Now as a wife and mother myself, I am on a mission to ensure that my own family does not suffer a pie famine. When my children are grown, I want them to look back on their upbringing with happy memories of a life lived in pie. (Well, you know what I mean.) And when they are on their own and no one is around to bring them good pie, I want them to be able to create their own delicious filling between two flaky layers. (A metaphor for life, perhaps.)

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing a blog about this instead of making pie right now. Well, I did make a fresh pie just yesterday, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Let me take you back to the time when I was on my own (also known as college), and there was no one bringing me good pie. Just as I hope my own children will do when faced with such adversity, I rolled up my sleeves and learned to make myself a pie.

Remember me saying I like good pie? Well, many of my early pies were not good. In fact, some of them were pretty bad, in my opinion (think tough crust, runny filling, and very weepy meringue). But with some guidance and a lot of practice (it’s been well over 15 years now), I can finally say that I can bake pie with the best of them. At least my family thinks so, and while I’ve been entering for 13 years, on occasion the judges at the Iowa State Fair think so, too. I’ll share more of that with you in future posts, but for now, let me say that I learned to make good pie because I wanted to eat good pie.

I’m a former-yet-will-probably-go-back-after-a-long-hiatus-to-stay-home-and-raise-my-family teacher, and a lifelong learner. To me, that involves a continual quest for improvement. And that includes pie. I’m always trying to improve my pie baking skills, and a few years ago, I had the idea that if I created a blog about making pie, it would force me to make pie a lot more often so that I could write about it and share the recipe, while continuing to make even tastier pies. This idea came to me shortly after watching the movie “Julie & Julia”. You know, when everyone and their grandma started writing a food blog? I never said my idea was original, but if I bake a pie for my family to enjoy every Sunday, just as my grandma did while raising her family, then at least some good will come out of it (pie!), and I’ll certainly prevent my own family from enduring the hardship of a life lived without pie.

This is a blog about pie, and pie alone. Each week when I make a pie (for Sunday), I’ll share with you the recipe and the story behind it. I hope by doing so that you’ll be inspired to make pie more often, too, and that you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying some good pie on Sunday!

Yours in pie,


This week I made a classic fresh peach pie. I chose peach this week because I found some beautiful Colorado peaches at the store (we’re nearing the end of the season), and they were a bargain at only 99 a pound. I have made peach pie several different ways (I’m always trying something a little different), but this simple version gives just the right “ooze” of filling while allowing the fresh peach flavor to shine through. Not much added flavoring, just a perfectly plump and pleasantly peach pie!

Fresh Peach Pie

*Pastry for a two-crust 9" pie

4-5 c. peeled and sliced fresh peaches (I used 4 ½ c. which was 4 ½ medium-sized peaches)

2/3 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

3 T. all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

2 T. butter


Sparkling sugar

Combine sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt in a small bowl. Pour over peaches in a bowl and combine gently. Set aside while you roll out the pie crust and place in pie plate. Spoon filling onto bottom crust and dot the top of the filling with small pieces of the butter. Roll out and lay the top crust on the filling. Trim and crimp edges. Cut slits in top of pie to allow steam to escape. Brush top crust with a small amount of milk and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Cover the edge of the crust with foil. Bake on the middle rack in the oven at 350° for 60-75 minutes, removing foil the last 15-20 minutes of baking. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into pie. 

*I’ll share more about making pie crust in my next post.