Peach Pie With Oatmeal Crumble Topping

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An alternate title for this recipe could be Can't Make Up My Mind Peach Pie. Because, you see, my boys started school last week, which means the calendar is pushing September. And it's closer to the time of year Southern weather isn't so thick you can fill a water gun without turning on the hose. So while the delicious farmers-market North Carolina peaches my dad dropped off were calling my name—I wasn't all that interested in a mid-summer double-crust peach pie. I wanted a bit of crunch. I wanted cinnamon. I demanded a taste of fall (a whole month before it's scheduled to arrive). Enter this Peach Pie With Oatmeal Crumble Topping, a crumble you might typically see on an apple pie in the fall. (I seem to have had this affliction before. Life is cyclical, so they say.)

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I found the no-roll easy crust recipe on Pinterest. I admit I never saw Maw Maw make a pie crust this way. Hers were always light, flaky, and rolled by hand. But when you're short on time and you have ridiculously warm hands (the better to pat baby butts to sleep) that melt butter in a second, it's a lifesaver. It reminds me of the crust I use to make my Broccoli, Sour Cream, and Bacon Quiche, but it's easier. But I go a step further. Instead of pie weights, I prick the crust all over with a fork to keep it from bubbling, and then  I bake it to prevent sogginess once the fruit is poured in. This is a trick called blind baking, but I didn't know that until I was older. I just knew it as something Mama and Maw Maw always did when baking pies.

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This pie doesn't need to be served warm to be enjoyed. It's just as good for breakfast on Monday—at room temperature—as it is warm from the oven at Sunday dinner. And it doesn't need ice cream, but a big ol' scoop of that never hurt anybody, now did it? So serve it warm. Serve it with ice cream. And serve it with a spoon, like I always do. Because when the crust is gone and the fruit is slurped, a spoon will come in handy for scooping up every bit of that sweet, left-behind peach-pie nectar that tastes like summer—with a good dose of fall thrown in.

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Peach Pie With Oatmeal Crumble Topping
Makes 8 servings.
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For pie:
1 pie crust
6 small to medium ripe peaches
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

For crumble topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp oatmeal
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1. Heat oven to 400 F.
2. Make the pie crust. Once crust is pressed into pie plate, prick it all over with fork, and bake it for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, peel and slice peaches. Place in strainer set over a bowl. Pour 1/4 cup sugar over fruit, gently stir, and let sit 30 minutes.
4. Make crumble topping. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except butter. Add butter, and using a fork or pastry blender, combine until crumbly. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Pour peach juice out of bowl and save for another use. Then pour peaches back into bowl, and gently stir in remaining sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle 2 tbsp flour over bottom of crust. Pour fruit into crust, and top with crumble mixture.
6. Bake pie for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 30 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling. If crust or fruit tips are becoming too brown, top with piece of foil until end of baking. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes to let fruit set before serving.