This summery Peach Pie has zero added sweeteners. It’s sweetened naturally just with the peaches themselves. It’s the perfect summer comfort food, and it’s better once it has firmed up, so it’s definitely a great make-ahead dessert to take along to a barbecue or picnic.
Confession upfront: I have never loved pies as much as I have loved cakes and cookies and bread-y treats (like scones!).
Having grown up in the South, this might qualify as outright heresy. But the truth is that pies are usually too sweet and too gooey for me, which I know is strange to hear from a former sugar addict.
But now I have realized that you don’t need to add sugar to pies, because the fruit is naturally sweet! Obvious, right?
Hold your horses, though. While the sugar is there for its sweet flavor, the most important role of sugar in a pie is to caramelize the fruit and bring out the fruit’s natural sweet flavors. Sugar is also hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. So all of those yummy juices that come out of fruit during baking get absorbed and held by the sugar making all that yummy, sweet gooeyness.
So the problem with pie without sugar is… how to caramelize the fruit?
What I’ve done here is to add one extra step before baking – saute the peach slices in Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks on the stove first. This helps to soften and caramelize the peaches. It also provides the pie a liquid (the Earth Balance) which can hold the thickening agent (in this case, cornstarch) and make the pie hold together and also be moist and juicy.
Without the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, the peaches just get dry in the oven, and the pie lacks flavor.
Now, let’s talk about that pie topping. There are a lot of options for pie crust toppings – a full cover with slits or shapes cut out for vent holes, a lattice top (so pretty!), a crumble, or something else entirely.
I tried a crumble, and it was actually too many different textures for my taste. It distracted from the peaches rather than complementing them, and the peaches are the star of the show. We want them to shine.
A full cover pie top with a Gluten Free Pie Crust is possible but very tricky. Without gluten, the Pie Crust breaks and crumbles. It’s a very delicate business that is likely to end up in more frustration than it’s worth.
Ditto for the lattice top.
What to do?
Enter the artistically placed pie crust wedges! I totally stole this idea from Cook’s Illustrated, but when I saw it, I thought, “That’s the perfect solution for a Gluten Free Pie Crust!”
It’s a fantastic solution for Gluten Free Pie Crust that also looks modern and unique. This kind of topping serves another purpose, too – the fruit releases a lot of juice and creates steam. The steam needs to be able to escape in order not to have a super soggy pie. Hence, the openings in the pie crust topping.
The wedges are terrific, because they can be any length and any width. You can arrange them however you like, just don’t layer more than two wedges on top of each other or it will start to look thick.
The result of all this effort? A beautiful and delicious peach pie where you can actually see each peach slice. Definitely serve this with sugar free vanilla ice cream or Coconut Whipped Cream. It’s so good.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Completely Sugar Free
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Ingredients for Peach Pie:
- Best Gluten Free Pie Crust
- vanilla extract
- ground cloves
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
Notes on Ingredients:
Best Gluten Free Pie Crust – Please follow the instructions for my Best Gluten Free Pie Crust here.
Peaches – I prefer using yellow peaches over white peaches, because the yellow color looks prettier. But white peaches will work just fine, too. Don’t use peaches that are super ripe. You want them to be a little firm still so that it’s easier to peel them, and so that when you slice them, they don’t turn into mush. Don’t worry – they will get perfectly soft after being sauteed and then baked in the oven.
Lemon – For keeping the peaches fresh and complementing their sweetness.
Cornstarch – The cornstarch is used the thicken the pie filling.
Vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves – For flavor. Adding the three warming spices does not make this a “spicy” pie. You can barely taste them, but the spices bring out the flavor of the peaches beautifully.
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks – Sauteeing the peaches in shortening first helps to caramelize them. The shortening also provides a liquid for the peaches to cook in during baking, and the shortening provides a liquid for the cornstarch to thicken, resulting in a pie filling that holds together once it has cooled.
Egg – For doing an egg wash on the pie crust and pie topping wedges.
How to Make Peach Pie From Scratch
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Follow the instructions to make one Best Gluten Free Pie Crust. When the pie crust is chilling in the refrigerator, roll out the remaining dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a rectangle, then put it in the refrigerator.
Put the pie crust on a baking sheet to bake it. This will help later after you fill the pie to catch any juicy drippings (instead of making a mess on the floor of your oven).
While the pie crust is baking in the oven, make the pie filling. When the pie crust has finished baking, remove the pie crust from the oven.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the peaches. I know it’s a pain, but it really does matter to peel the peaches. If you leave the peels on the peach slices, then the peels get leathery and tough when baked, and it’s not a pleasant texture.
Next, slice the peaches thinly.
In a large bowl, gently toss the sliced peaches with the lemon zest and lemon juice first. Then, add the cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Toss gently until there is no more cornstarch visible.
In a large pan over high heat, melt the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks. Add the peaches, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Spoon the peach filling into the pie crust.
Take the second part of pie dough out of the refrigerator. Use a ruler to cut long wedges. Use a flat plastic spatula to lift the wedges off of the parchment paper. Arrange the wedges in a decorate design over the filling with the base of each triangle extending a little beyond the edge of the pie so that you can pinch the ends of the wedges onto the pie crust edge. Make sure that no more than 2 wedges overlap each other.
Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the pie dough on top and the edge with the egg wash.
Bake for 60 minutes.
Cool before serving, at least 3 hours. Honest disclaimer here: If you eat the Peach Pie straight out of the oven while it is still warm, it is DIVINE. But it will ooze all over the place. If you want to be able to actually cut neat slices of pie for serving, then you have to allow it to cool completely first.
What I do then is after I have cut each pie slice and plated it, I put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it up. Then I put a small scoop of sugar free vanilla ice cream on top. So delicious. Eat it however you like, but definitely enjoy it!
More Sugar Free Pie Recipes:
- Apple Caramel Pecan Pie
- Paleo Strawberry Panna Cotta Pie
- Best Gluten Free Pie Crust
- Paleo Pie Crust - Low Cholesterol
Peach Pie – Sugar Free Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Follow the instructions to make one Best Gluten Free Pie Crust. When the pie crust is chilling in the refrigerator, roll out the remaining dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a rectangle, then put it in the refrigerator.
- Place the pie crust on a baking sheet. While the pie crust is baking in the oven, make the pie filling.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the peaches. Then, slice them thinly.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the sliced peaches with the lemon zest and lemon juice first. Then, add the cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- When the pie crust has finished baking, remove the pie crust from the oven.
- In a large pan over high heat, melt the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.
- Add the peaches, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Spoon the peach filling into the pie crust.
- Take the second part of pie dough out of the refrigerator. Use a ruler to cut long wedges. Use a flat plastic spatula to lift the wedges off of the parchment paper. Arrange the wedges in a decorative design over the filling with the base of each triangle extending a little beyond the edge of the pie so that you can pinch the ends of the wedges onto the pie crust edge. Make sure that no more than 2 wedges overlap each other.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the pie dough on top and the edge with the egg wash.
- Bake for 60 minutes.
- Cool before serving, at least 3 hours.