Fresh peaches, sweet and juicy when in season, are prime for this perfect unbaked pie. Yes, yes, it requires a baked crust (buy one if you wish), but the sweetened cream cheese layer needs no cooking and it would be a travesty to lay the heat to those luscious and lovely peaches and alter their perfect texture and bright flavor. This one is honestly the FOURTH Fresh Peaches and Cream No-bake Pie that I've made in the past two weeks and I doubled one of them in a 9x13 dish to take to a lakeside cook out with friends. The recipe is just that good.
I start by cutting and sugaring the peaches, 4 or 5 with 1/3 c sugar to let the juice accumulate, and then do the crust. Now, I know I'm always saying that a certain ready made crust in the red box is so good that I don't bother making my own anymore, but I recently came across Never Fail Pie Crust in an old cookbook of Virginia Bentley's (source of this yummy pie) and saw that it was literally a 5 minute project. Well, here I am making homemade again since I do sometime find myself in need of pie and lacking the red box in the fridge. After the directions for the pie I'm going to indulge you with the directions for this oddly made but flaky tender crust that absolutely anybody could do, even on the first try, without ruining it.
For the creamy layer of the pie use a spatula or wooden spoon to blend together an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese with 1/4 tsp almond extract and 2 tablespoons of sugar. This is easiest if you soften the cream cheese in the microwave just enough to barely get it warm, not hot. It will also be easier to smooth into the pie crust. Drop it in there in a couple of blops and press it around with the back of a big spoon or spatula, WITHOUT lifting the spoon until completely finished or you may pull up a chunk of crust. Next add the peaches, after pouring them through a mesh strainer with a small pan underneath to catch the juices. Very gently press the peaches without squishing them to extract all collected juice or just shake the strainer a bit, then add them to the pie.
|Little Baby Mini Pie|
The juice should equal around 2/3 cup, but don't worry if it's a little less.Taste now to see if it needs a little more sugar and then add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Before putting this over medium heat, whisk it well to melt the cornstarch completely. Now stir steadily over the heat and it will thicken and turn clear again within just a few minutes. Let sit until cool and then top the peaches with this mixture. It's hard to wait but the pie does improve with a good chill in the fridge.
Never Fail Pie Crust
It will look like a mess. Ignore the shaggy pieces of barely stuck together dough because the less you work it the more tender and flakey it will be, just like with biscuits - something every southern woman knows and it's time we let everybody in on that secret. Touch not thine dough, except a little bit.
Now it's ready to bake at 475 for about 10 minutes or until just turning brown, perfect, tender, and unfailingly delicious.
THE SHOPPING LIST
4-5 ripe peaches
1 lemon (for 1 Tbs juice)
8 oz cream cheese
1 TBS cornstarch
1/3 c+2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1 Pie Crust
or 2 c Flour, 1/2 c Oil, 1/4 c Milk
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