This is a pie from my childhood. It is actually more like a cake than a pie, but it is baked in a pie plate so I think that’s where the name comes from. As soon as peaches came into season I started buying them in big bunches. For awhile I was happy to just eat them out of hand and let their juices drip down my arm, like I mentioned in my post about peaches. But then I remembered the peach pie my mom used to make, and like all good ideas, I couldn’t get it out of my head. The problem was that we were in the midst of a heat wave and I couldn’t justify turning on the oven, even if it was to relive a delicious childhood memory.
The funny thing about this recipe is that my mom always made it in the middle of winter, so turning on the oven was never a problem. She used to can peaches at the height of their season and then enjoy them in this pie on a cold and dreary winter day. But I was craving a little instant gratification, and wanted this pie now. I was also curious how using a fresh peach over a canned one would change the final result.
The fresh peaches added a bit of a floral quality that is lost when you use canned peaches, but they also added a lot more juice. As a result I had to increase the baking time and add a baking sheet to catch the overflowing juices. I also decided to swap out some of the all-purpose flour for some cornmeal. I love the hearty texture that cornmeal adds to a baked good. I think it was a good addition. The final result has such a wonderful contrast in textures and flavors: there is the sweet and creamy layer on top (almost like a cheesecake), the fresh and tender peaches, and finally the cake-like crust that isn’t too soft thanks to the cornmeal.
Peaches ‘n’ Cream Pie (adapted from my mom’s recipe)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (3 1/2 ounce) package cook & serve vanilla pudding dry mix (NOT instant)
- 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk (plus 2 Tablespoons for cream cheese layer)
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar (plus 2 teaspoons for topping)
- 2 large white peaches (or 3 medium yellow peaches)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Cover a baking sheet with foil and put in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate.
- Pour flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pudding mix, butter, egg, and milk into a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pie plate.
- Over a medium bowl, peel the peaches with a paring knife (let the juices fall into the bowl but discard the peels). Slice the peaches (over the bowl to catch the juice) and arrange the slices on top of the crust mixture.
- Add the cream cheese, sugar, and 2 Tablespoons milk to the peach juices in the medium bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon mixture over peaches. Use a rubber spatula to spread mixture into a smooth layer (leave 1 inch around the edge free from cream cheese mixture).
- In a small bowl mix together 2 teaspoons sugar and the cinnamon. Use a spoon to sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture.
- Put the pie in the oven on the preheated baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. (Filling will still appear soft when done.) Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
Time: 1 hour
Notes: The baking sheet is there to catch all the juices that come out of the pie while baking. You don’t have to use foil if you don’t want to, but it makes cleanup a lot easier.