This Peach Crumb Pie is the perfect marriage of gorgeous tree ripened peaches with almond and brown sugar crumb topping.
I’ve talked about my love of all things pie, and I’ve talked about my fruit obsession. Though I love all fruit and try not to play favorites, there is something very special about a tree-ripened peach.
Like tomatoes, peaches really are only worth eating when they’re in season. I eat as many as I can while the gettin’ is good. I have to indulge enough to carry me through to next summer!
I mostly prefer them as they are, in all their fuzzy, juicy glory. But hey, why not also bake them into a pie while they’re bountiful?
- Fresh peaches – I recommend making this pie with ripe seasonal peaches for the absolute best flavor and texture. When good seasonal peaches are not available, your next best option is frozen peaches.
- Corn starch – This recipe uses just enough starch to thicken the peach juice without making it pasty. You want the peaches to be juicy under the crumble topping but you also need the slice to hold together on the plate.
- Lemon Juice – A dash of lemon juice will spark the flavor of the fruit.
- Brown Sugar/Granulated Sugar – Using a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar creates a crumble topping that is soft yet crisp. Molasses in the brown sugar has a lovely flavor and softens the crumb. Granulated sugar is drier and helps the crumble stay crisp.
- Butter – Use cool but not very cold butter for best crumble texture. See the tips section below for a detailed explanation.
How to make Peach Crumb Pie
See the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and detailed instructions.
- After macerating the sliced peaches with the sugar, drain the juice.
- Cook the juice with the starch to thicken.
- Toss the thickened peach juice with the peaches and pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.
- Grab the crumb topping in big clumps and sprinkle it over the peaches.
Tips for making Peach Crumb Pie
- To prevent your peach filling from becoming mushy and runny you need to macerate the peaches. See the section below for a detailed explanation why we macerate fruit.
- For a perfect crumb topping the temperature of the butter is very important. If you use very very cold butter it will be too firm to cut evenly into the dry ingredients. If your butter is very warm and soft the crumb topping will melt and spread in the oven. You want to use butter that is cool but slightly flexible. If you find the butter or crumble topping becoming too soft, refrigerate it to firm it up a bit before topping the pie.
What is the purpose of macerating fruit?
- Macerating the fruit is an important step for two reasons; to allow pre-cooking of the starch, and to help the fruit maintain it’s shape while baking.
- The sugar will draw out excess water from the fruit so we can pre-cook it with the corn starch to ensure that the starch will be fully activated (under cooking the starch could result in a runny pie filling).
- When fruits and vegetables are heated (e.g., baked in pie) the cell walls weaken and the water contained in the plant leaks out. The fruit or vegetable looses it’s structure and becomes mushy.
- When uncooked fruit is tossed with sugar, the sugar is drawn into the fruit and reinforces the cell walls, thus allowing the fruit to maintain it’s shape while baking.
- No mushy pie filling! It’s like magic, except that it’s science.
More Peach Recipes
- Peach Dumplings
- Peach Cheesecake
- Peach Mango Pie
- Peach Shortcakes
- Peach Coffee Cake
- Peach Melba Cake
- Fried Peach Hand Pies
- Homemade Peach Ice Cream
- Peach Almond Upside Down Cake
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Peach Crumb Pie Recipe
- ½ recipe Perfect Pie Crust
- 3 pounds fresh peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced)
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 6 oz granulated sugar (¾ cup)
- 1 lemon
- 4 teaspoons corn starch
For the Crumb Topping
- 7 ½ oz all purpose flour (1 ½ cups)
- 5 oz brown sugar (⅔ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 oz unsalted butter (at cool room temp (see note))
- In a large bowl, toss 3 pounds fresh peaches (sliced) with ¼ teaspoon table salt 6 oz granulated sugar and the juice from the lemon. Allow to macerate for 1-2 hours.
- Roll the pie shell and line a deep dish pie pan, crimp the edges. Refrigerate the pie shell while the filling and topping are prepared.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Strain the peaches and collect the juice. Transfer the peaches back to the bowl. You should have about 1 cup of juice depending on how ripe the fruit is.
- Combine 4 teaspoons corn starch with 1/4 cup of the juice and whisk until smooth. Bring the remaining juice to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the boiling juices. Whisking constantly, cook the juice mixture until it returns to a boil and thickens. Fold the thickened juice with the peach slices and pour the filling into the chilled pie crust.
- In a mixer bowl combine 7 ½ oz all purpose flour 5 oz brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon table salt, and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Mix on low speed to combine. With the mixer running, add 4 oz unsalted butter a tablespoon at a time. Mix on low speed until the topping looks like wet sand.
- Grab a handful of the topping and squeeze it together to form a large clump. Break the large clump into smaller clumps over the peach filling. Continue sprinkling the clumps of crumb topping evenly over the peach filling.
- Bake about 1 ¼ hours until the juices in the middle of the pie are bubbling and the peaches in the middle are tender.
- Cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
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