Helen Nugent’s climbing roses peach pie tutorial and recipe is one we are simply bursting to try here at Cake Geek!
It’s from her newly published book, Pie Style and is just one of a myriad of eye-poppingly beautiful sweet and savoury pies the Pie-Eyed Girl shows us how to create.
The recipes and techniques presented in the book give any home baker the tools they need to create breathtaking works of art to make your family and friends swoon
Helen tells us about her Climbing Roses Peach Pie: “I may be a wildflower girl at heart, but I always have time for roses. Specifically, big, beautiful bouquets of flaky, delicious pie dough and peach roses. Team these beauties with an embossed lattice and gingery peach pie filling and you’ve got a stunning pie that’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.”
Climbing Roses Peach Slab Pie: Ingredients
Makes one double- crust, 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30-cm) slab pie
- 4 discs, Everyday All-Butter Pie Dough (see recipe here), chilled
- 41⁄2 lb (2 kg) fresh, ripe peaches (10 to 12 medium peaches)
- 2⁄3 cup (145 g) packed brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup (32 g) cornstarch or tapioca flour
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp (4 g) fresh, minced ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp milk
- 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) jelly roll pan, about 1 inch (3 cm) deep
- Impression mat or embossed rolling pin
- Pastry crimping wheel
- 11⁄2-inch (4-cm) circle cutter
- 1- or 11⁄2-inch (3- or 4-cm) leaf cutter
Climbing Roses Peach Pie: Instructions
To Make the Pie Shell:
Cut a piece of parchment paper at least 14 inches (36 cm) long. Flip the jelly roll pan over and mark the outline of a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) rectangle on the parchment paper. Set aside. You will use this later to build your lattice top.
Remove two discs of the Everyday All-Butter Pie Dough from the refrigerator. Cut one of the discs in half and return one half to the refrigerator (you will use it later in the recipe). Leave the other half-disc and the second disc on the counter to soften for about 10 minutes.
Place the half-disc under the whole disc, and roll out the dough to a 12 x 16–inch (30 x 41–cm) rectangle, approximately 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Softening the dough helps the two pieces come together, but if they aren’t quite combining, leave them for a few minutes longer to soften more.
Line the jelly roll pan with the dough, trimming the overhang to about 1⁄2 inch (13 mm). Transfer the pie shell to the refrigerator.
To Make the Lattice:
Remove the third disc of Everyday All-Butter Pie Dough from the refrigerator and add any leftover dough scraps from the pie shell to it. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out to an 11 x 16–inch (28 x 41–cm) rectangle. Using an impression mat or embossed roller, emboss the dough, being sure to press evenly and firmly on the mat or roller to ensure a consistent design.
Using a sharp knife and ruler or a lattice cutter, cut ten 1 x 16–inch (3 x 41–cm) strips. Trim the strips to the following lengths: two 1 x 16–inch (3 x 41–cm) strips, four 1 x 10–inch (3 x 25–cm) strips and four 1 x 5–inch (3 x 13–cm) strips. Slide the lattice pieces with the parchment paper under them onto a baking sheet and set aside. Re-roll the scraps of dough into a 4 x 14–inch (10 x 36–cm) rectangle.
Using a pastry crimping wheel, cut eight 1⁄2 x 14–inch (13-mm x 36-cm) dough strips and trim to four 1 x 8–inch (3 x 20–cm) strips and four 1⁄2 x 12–inch (13-mm x 30-cm) strips. Add the crimped strips to your baking sheet of lattice strips. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator to chill.
Make the Pie Dough Roses and Leaves:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove the fourth disc of Everyday All-Butter Pie Dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll the disc out to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle, approximately 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick.
Using a 11⁄2-inch (4-cm) circle cookie cutter, cut as many rounds as possible from the rolled-out pie dough. Gather and reroll the scraps and cut out more rounds. You will need approximately 60 rounds. Set aside the leftover scraps of dough.
Lay five cut rounds in a row, each one overlapping the next slightly.
Starting at the short end of the row, roll up the rounds into a tube shape. Place the tube on its side and cut it in half to create two roses.
To make the roses look more natural, use your fingertips to separate the petals.
Set the roses on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rounds of dough. You will need about 24 pie dough roses.
Gather up the leftover pie dough scraps and reroll them to an 1⁄8-inch (3-mm) thickness. Using a 1- or 11⁄2-inch (3- or 4-cm) leaf cutter, cut ten to twelve leaves. Place the leaves on the baking sheet with the roses and transfer to the refrigerator.
To Make the Peach Filling:
Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. Set aside. Fill a 4-quart (3.8-L) saucepan to the halfway point with water and place it on the stovetop. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, use a sharp knife to lightly score an X on the bottom of each peach. When the water is boiling, use a pair of tongs or slotted spoon to carefully slide four or five peaches into the boiling water. Leave them there for 30 to 40 seconds, or until the peach skin at the X mark starts to pull away from the flesh of the peach.
Remove the peaches from the boiling water with tongs or a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into the prepared ice bath to stop the cooking process. After 15 seconds, remove the peaches from the ice water and place on a clean towel. Starting at the X on each peach, use a paring knife to peel the skin from each peach. The skins should come off easily. If they are being stubborn, use a vegetable peeler or knife to peel away the skin. Repeat the boiling and cooling process for the remaining peaches.
Set aside two peaches for the peach rose decorations you will make later. Halve and pit the remainder of the peaches, then cut them into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) wedges. Place them in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, cornstarch or tapioca flour, lemon juice, minced ginger and cinnamon. Stir gently to thoroughly combine and set the bowl aside.
To Make the Peach Roses:
Remove the remaining half-disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out to a 6 x 12–inch (15 x 30–cm) rectangle, approximately 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick.
Cut the dough into six 2 x 6–inch (5 x 15–cm) strips. Lay the strips horizontally in front of you.
Cut the two reserved peaches in half and discard the stone. On a cutting board, thinly slice each peach in half, crosswise, into ten to twelve slices (thinner slices will bend more easily).
Lay six to eight peach slices in an overlapping row across the top half of each strip of pie dough, ensuring that the dome side of each peach slice is facing up and extends slightly over the dough.
Fold the bottom half of the dough strip up and over the top half to enclose the sliced peaches and press firmly on the strip to seal it.
Starting at one end, gently roll up the peach slices and dough strip to create a single peach rose.
Add the finished peach roses to the baking sheet of pie dough roses in the refrigerator.
To Build the Lattice Top:
Place the parchment paper with the outline of the jelly roll pan you made earlier on a flat surface, marked side down but ensuring that you can still see the outline through it.
Remove the tray of lattice strips from the refrigerator. Lay a 16-inch (41-cm) embossed strip of dough diagonally across the pan outline, running from the top right-hand corner to the bottom left-hand corner. Lay four more dough strips on either side of this strip, spacing evenly, alternating embossed and crimped strips, and using progressively shorter strips as you go. Weave in the remaining nine strips, at right angles to the first set (see Helen’s tutorial on How to Lattice a Pie here for detailed instructions), using the same alternating pattern of embossed and crimped strips. Slide the parchment paper, with the lattice on it, onto a baking sheet and transfer it to the freezer for 15 minutes
To Assemble the Pie:
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk to make the egg wash. Set aside.
Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and fill it with the peach mixture. Brush the pie edges with egg wash.
Remove the lattice top from the freezer. Slide a pizza lifter or large spatula under the lattice and gently move it onto the prepared pie shell. Center the design on the pie top. The lattice top will be quite stiff, making it easy to adjust. When you are happy with the alignment, and the lattice strips have softened a bit, fold the ends of the strips under the rim of the pie pan and press firmly to secure. Trim the excess dough.
Place the roses decoratively on a diagonal across the lattice, alternating peach and pie dough roses. Tuck the pie dough leaves under the roses, bending and shaping them as you go. Place the decorated pie in the freezer for 30 minutes.
To Bake the Pie:
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and place a baking sheet on it. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Remove the pie from the freezer and brush the lattice and pie dough roses gently with the egg wash. Place the pie in the oven on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for another 50 to 55 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling between the roses. Remove the pie from the oven.
Allow the pie to set by cooling for at least 3 hours before serving.
To Make Ahead or Store:
The pie can be baked 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature, loosely covered.
Leftover pie can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
The unbaked pie may be frozen, egg washed and double wrapped, for up to 3 months. It must be baked from frozen. You may need to add an additional 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time for frozen pies.
Reprinted with permission from Pie Style by Helen Nugent, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: James Brand.