Hubby came across a recipe for peach pie that uses a natural sweetener (maple syrup) instead of the usual refined sugar.  I have to admit that I was skeptical but there was nothing at all missing from this recipe… it was plenty sweet.  In fact, the final product was sweeter than a more traditional recipe I had made a few days earlier.  

The source for the filling is here, although I’ve paired it with a sour cream pastry instead of the nut crust (which would make it even more down to earth!). 

INGREDIENTS

Filling:

6 or 7 ripe peaches – pitted and sliced (you can peel if you like but I decided not to)

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pinch sea salt

 

Pastry:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup cold butter – cubed

1/2 cup cold lard

1/4 cup ice water (approx)

3 Tbsp. sour cream

 

DIRECTIONS

I use a food processor to make the crust because it’s faster and easier.  In the processor, whisk flour with salt.  Add cubed butter and lard and process until it is in fine crumbs and a few larger pieces. 

Whisk water with sour cream; while pulsing, drizzle over dry ingredients to form a ragged dough.  Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, if too dry. 

Divide pastry in half; press into discs.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes (up to 3 days). 

In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add the peaches, lemon juice, butter, maple syrup, and spices.  Cook, stirring frequently, unti lthe butter is melted and peaches are fragrant and softened.  (I found this took 20-25 minutes.  If using frozen peaches, you might add a little flour to thicken up the liquid that cooks out of the peaches). 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pastry discs to fit a 9-inch pie plate; trim to rim.  Spoon filling into the crust. 

Roll out second pastry disc.  Brush rim with water.  Place pastry over filling.  Trim to 3/4-inch overhang and then fold overhang under pastry rim; flute to seal.  Cut steam vents on top. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until bubbling.