this pie was inspired by my recent trip to croatia.
first, the peaches. i don’t think there is actually anything special about croatian peaches, except that i kept buying them at all the open-air fruit and vegetable markets and i seriously had some of the best peaches of my life. the kind where the juice drips all over your face and covers you in sticky, sweet, peachy goodness. they were really memorable, so i made a mental note to bake something when i got home in honor of them.
then there’s the almonds, which represent my trip for two reasons: first, because there are just tons of almond-flavored traditional croatian desserts. i saw all kinds of cookies and cakes everywhere that were almond based. second, because croatian people are really into candied almonds. another thing i saw at every fruit and vegetable market were little bags of homemade candied almonds, that people buy to snack on throughout the day. so basically, almonds are a big deal there.
finally, the rosemary. everywhere i went, i was surrounded by rosemary. it grows in people’s backyards. it grows wild in fields. it grows on farms. pretty much every time i was walking around, i would at some point be overwhelmed by the strong, woodsy smell of rosemary growing, and i knew it was somewhere close by. it was definitely one of the defining features of my trip.
so i decided to bring those three flavors together in a pie, and the result was outstanding. the filling is pretty much a traditional peach pie – simple, sweet, and summery. there aren’t many ingredients, so the peaches really shine in their unadulterated state. but then the crumble topping really makes this pie special. the slivers of almond and bits of rosemary add complex layers of flavor that perfectly compliment the simplicity of the peaches. the almonds add a wonderful nuttiness, and the rosemary adds a deep woodsy flavor that balances nicely with all the sweetness. and everything comes together in a beautifully rustic-looking pie that provides the perfect ending to any summer meal.
a sweet, summery peach pie with a rosemary almond crumble topping.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons cold water
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 6 tablespoons earth balance (or butter), cold and cut into cubes
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- 3 pounds yellow peaches, pitted and sliced
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- in a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in the shortening until it is in chunks the size of peas. add the water, mixing the dough with a fork until it just comes together.
- form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a well floured surface until it is in a large, imperfect circle. transfer the dough into a pie plate, rolling the excess dough under the edges and crimping the edges as desired. put the crust in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling and topping.
- in a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and rosemary. work in the earth balance with your fingers until it is evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly. stir in the almonds.
- preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- in a large bowl, combine the peaches, brown sugar, and flour. pour this mixture into the prepared pie crust.
- break the crumble into small pieces and spread them over the top of the pie.
- bake the pie in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the crust and topping are golden and the juices are bubbling.
- let the pie cool completely at room temperature before serving.