Everybody knows Georgia is the peach state, but South Carolinians grow the best peaches around, I think. Since they are one of our best summer crops, we celebrate them with a who-makes-the-best-peach-pie showdown. Not to brag, but I do. This recipe is a Blue Ribbon and Best of Show winner that I made for the Easley, South Carolina, Summer Pie Bake-off.
MAKES ONE 9-INCH PIE (SERVES 6 TO 8)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
½ cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup butter-flavored Crisco, well chilled
¼ cup ice water
4 cups sliced peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1½ cups pecan pieces
1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pecans, and Crisco and use a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips to mix until crumbly. Add the ice water and stir until the mixture forms a dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan; trim and crimp the edges. Reserve the dough scraps.
4. Make the filling: In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, lemon juice, granulated sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon until all the peach slices are well coated.
5. Make the praline: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until crumbly. Add the pecan pieces and toss until coated.
6. Spread half of the praline mixture in the bottom of the pie shell and scoop the peach filling on top. Sprinkle the remaining praline mix on top. Use the scraps of crust to make cutouts of your choice to decorate the sides of the dish (peach shapes are nice!).
7. Bake until golden grown and the juices are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.