Two years ago today, I was getting my hair styled. Curled, bangs pinned back, with a pearl encrusted barrette I bought from the enthusiastic kiosk owners at the mall. After I was all set with hairspray (possibly the last hairspray that will touch my head again), a professional slathered makeup all over my face to hide the dark circles under my sleep-deprived eyes, while a woman with a camera snapped shots of me looking demure, excited, nervous.
My sisters and closest friends bustled about in the upper rooms of my parents’ house, painting their nails, zipping each others dresses, curling their hair. My older sister was pregnant and had to ditch her bra to avoid suffocation in the dress that had been purchased several months prior. A plate of food went untouched on the dresser while the makeup artist applied gloss to my lips, ensuring nary a crumb would pass through them. An hour later, I tiptoed around the corner of a pillar to surprise a man in linen, whose back was to me.
Surprise! It’s me, the person you’ve known and loved for over seven years. The one who makes grotesque faces just to make you laugh, who annoys you with her incessant singing, who you’ve seen with zero cosmetics and zits and ratty pajamas and greasy hair from days passed without showers.
But there I was in a big poofy white dress with all the hair and the makeup and the corset that was potentially crushing all the life out of me, and you were supposed to look at me in a special way, and you complied. We told each other about our hectic mornings as we hugged and kissed and held hands and posed, posed, posed.
We got married and stood on the porch steps of an old house and read quotes to each other in front of a lot of people. We had a great party and cut a cake and danced and listened to our friends and family say nice things about us under twinkling lights. We collapsed on a bed in a cabin in the woods, the curls in my hair washed out, the makeup wiped off, the dress in a heap on the ground. And I looked at the same person I had known and loved for seven years, who does little jigs to make me laugh, who annoys me with his incessant bizarre noises, who I’ve seen with braces and bad haircuts and hideous clothes.
“Thanks for loving me for two years,” you said, last night. “I’ve loved you for longer than that,” I replied. Straight-faced, you quipped, “Hmm. I’ve only loved you for two years.” And that’s why I married you, two years ago today.
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1¼ cups (282 grams) unsalted butter, thinly sliced and chilled
- 6 tablespoons ice water
- about 3½ pounds ripe peaches (6-8 peaches, depending on their sizes)
- 1½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice (one lemon should suffice)
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ⅓ cup (72 grams) light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh grated or ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Combine 2 cups (240 grams) of flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Lay butter slices evenly over the surface of the flour mixture and pulse until fully incorporated and the dough starts to clump up, about 25 pulses. Redistribute dough evenly in the food processor bowl and sprinkle remaining 1 cup (120 grams) of flour over the surface. Pulse another 5 times, then pour out into a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle cold water over the dough. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Divide evenly and form two disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl half-full with cold water and adding a few handful of ice cubes. Place bowl in the refrigerator to keep the water cold. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a small "X" into the bottom of each peach, then carefully slip them into the boiling water. Boil the peaches for two minutes, then immediately transfer to the ice bath using a slotted spoon. Let the peaches soak in the ice bath for 1-2 minutes, until they no longer feel warm.
- Transfer peaches to a cutting board and peel off their skins. The blanching process should help the skin come off relatively easily, but you can cut off any stubborn skin bits with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Once all the skin is removed, cut each peach in half, remove the pits, and cut into ½-inch slices. Place in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
- In a small bowl, whisk together both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cornstarch. Pour over peaches and toss to coat. Set aside while you prepare your dough.
- Roll dough disks out into two 13-inch rounds. Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 1½-inch circles from one dough round. Transfer dough circles to a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to keep cold. Lay the second dough round into the bottom of a 9½-inch pie pan and flute the edges. Drain off about half of the liquid from the peaches and pour filling into the crust. Layer small dough circles over the top of the pie in concentric circles, slightly overlapping each circle. Brush the top and edges of the pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven with a baking sheet on the rack underneath it to catch any drips. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and sputtering and the crust is golden brown. Don't remove the pie before the crust is brown or it will be soggy! Cool on a wire rack for at least 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, make your maple whipped cream. Pour heavy cream, maple syrup, and vanilla (if using) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed at least until soft peaks form. Beat slightly longer if you like a stiffer whipped cream. When you're ready to eat, plop some on top of your pie slice!