A sweet and salty pie made with the ripest, florally-sweet peaches, salted coconut milk caramel, a pinch or two of spice and baked into a buttery, flaky (vegan) crust. This is a dessert worthy of a special Summertime dinner with friends and family – serve with vanilla bean ice-cream and extra caramel sauce for the ultimate slice of pie.
“Conversation was irrelevant. Only pie mattered.” – Richelle Mead
Pie. I love pie. Honestly who doesn’t?! Crazy people. With all the pie making going on all over social media at the moment for American Thanksgiving, I just had to pie it up over the weekend. I know I live in Australia, and sadly we have no Thanksgiving tradition to speak of, not to mention that it’s currently hitting 33°C or so most days (a.k.a salad or nothing weather) but DAMN IT I WANTED PIE! So, I made pie. Good pie. Peach pie, with salty caramel and a super flaky crust.
I’ve had a big box of peaches hanging out in the fridge since picking them up from a little side-of-the-road farm stall on the way home from Byron. They are the best i’ve ever tasted, so sweet, and their blushing sunset colour is just dreamy, a true work of art. I almost didn’t want to slice into them. Almost – may no peach ever be left uneaten – they’re too delicious.
Where I live, the farmers tend to pick them underripe (to avoid bruising and the birds eating them I’m guessing), so they never taste the way a peach should taste. But these peaches were just perfect, juicy and florally-sweet. We ate most of them just as they were, but there were still a fair few to be eaten, so my dream of pie turned into a peach pie!
Then I spotted an old Autumnal instagram post where I had made the salted caramel apple pie (a vegan version) from the best pie book ever, The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. And then all of a sudden I wanted to pour salty caramel all over my peaches and bake them into my buttery, flaky pie crust with a pinch of clove, cinnamon, all-spice and a little crack of pepper (as the wizards at Four & Twenty Blackbirds do).
I was worried that the caramel would overpower the flavour of the peaches, but no! I only added enough to offer a hint of salty caramel to complement the sweet peaches, and they worked so well together. Of course they did. Pour salted caramel on anything and it will taste good…
So now I’ve thought of all the things that would most definitely not taste good with a drizzle of caramel and i’m feeling a little queasy. Mac and cheese with salty caramel anyone? Kale salad? Sushi? ANYWAY. Peaches & salty caramel was a good move. Salty coconut caramel, because it’s made with coconut milk rather than cream (and uses vegan butter!), so that it is wonderfully dairy-free with no one the wiser.
As i’ve mentioned in the recipe notes below, I like my caramel to be just on the edge of burning (a deep copper colour) so that it has a little smoky flavour to balance out the sweet. This works particularly well next to the sweet peaches and the earthy spices. If you’d prefer not to walk on the wild side though, you could take it off the heat just before this point (when it’s a bright coppery colour). Just be aware that if you take it off too early, it will just taste like melted sugar and coconut milk and not a complex flavoured caramel sauce.
If you do undercook it and you’ve already added the coconut milk to it before realising your error, just put it back on the heat and simmer it down again until it takes on a copper colour, then remove from the heat and add more coconut milk little by little until it has a thick caramel sauce consistency. It will be a little different but will still work out well in the pie.
When you’re making your crust, make sure to keep everything super cold. This is the key to perfect, flaky pastry! Give it time, don’t try to rush through the process or your crust will be sad. It wants to be happy and flaky, so let it chill out in all stages of the pie-making process. Also make sure you get your oven and baking stone / tray nice and hot before putting the pie in, this will avoid a soggy-bottomed pie and will help the crust to set properly and become flaky. All good things!
I’ve added a few links in the recipe card below to helpful little tutorials on pie crimping and lattice-top making if you’d like some extra instruction. The recipe is a little lengthy, but this pie is a winner! It’s perfect to share with people (no Thanksgiving tradition required), so make it as a special dessert, serve it with big scoops of vanilla ice-cream and extra caramel sauce and be ready to receive all the thanks.
If there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog let me know in the comments or send me a message through my contact page and i’ll do my best to make it happen. Also, if you make any of my recipes make sure to tag me #theflouredkitchen @theflouredkitchen so i can see your creations, or tell me in the comments how the recipe turned out, it would make my day! Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans amongst you, have a wonderful day and make sure you eat an extra slice of pie for me!
Peach + Salted Coconut Caramel Pie
Yield 1 x 23 cm / 9 inch double-crust pie
vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, gf option
A sweet and salty pie made with the ripest, florally-sweet peaches, salted coconut milk caramel, a pinch or two of spice and baked into a buttery, flaky (vegan) crust. This is a dessert worthy of a special Summertime dinner with friends and family - serve with vanilla bean ice-cream and extra caramel sauce for the ultimate slice of pie.
Adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.
- 360 g / 3 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tbsp. raw granulated sugar
- 230 g / 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 c cold water
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- 1 c ice
- 1 c granulated raw sugar
- 1/4 c water
- 114 g / 1 stick unsalted vegan butter (I make my own), cut into cubes and chilled again
- 1/2 c full fat coconut milk (canned & room temp)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 1 1/2 kg peaches, about 10 medium peaches or 5 cups once sliced, skins removed & flesh sliced into small wedges
- 1/3 c raw granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. potato starch
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. all-spice
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- little pinch ground cloves
- 1 grind black pepper
- generous 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce (save the rest for serving or for pouring over ice-cream etc.)
- 1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt plus extra to sprinkle on the crust
- a little coconut milk mixed with a little maple syrup to glaze
- demerera sugar
- Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the chilled butter cubes and cut them into the flour mix using a pastry blender or your fingers. Work quickly and cut the butter into the flour until mostly pea sized pieces of butter remain (don't overblend - you want a few bigger chunks of butter left intact). If the butter starts to get a little melty just put the whole bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill it out (you want everything to stay super cold for flaky pastry!).
- Combine the water, vinegar and ice in a bowl. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of the ice water mix over the butter-flour mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until combined. Continue to sprinkle over 1-2 tbsp. of the ice water and cut it in until the dough starts to clump together in shaggy bits. You want the bits of dough to be able to just hold together when pressed together between your fingers. Some dry bits at the bottom of the bowl are fine, if there a lot though, just keep adding 1-2 tbsp. of the water until there are less dry bits. Gently press the shaggy bits of dough together with your fingertips and shape into a ball, try not to overwork the dough or warm it up too much. Cut the ball in half, re-shape each piece into a round, flat disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 1 - 2 hours to chill (if it still isn't super chilled before rolling out, let it have some time in the freezer for about 15 mins).
- Remove one pastry disc from the fridge, this first disc will be your base. Roll it out on a floured surface until it's about 7cm / 3 inches larger than the pan you're using and about 3 mm / 1/8 inch thick. Fold the rolled out dough in half and lay it across one side of a buttered pie dish, positioning the fold in the center. Unfold the dough and gently fit it into the pan, pushing it carefully into the edges so that there are no gaps between the pastry and the pan. Do not pull or stretch the dough. Cover the crust with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour or more, and tightly wrapped up to 3 days before using.
- Remove the other pastry disc from the fridge, this is for your lattice. Repeat the rolling out of the dough as per the first piece of pastry, however this time after rolling, trim the left and right side of the dough a little to create straight edges, then cut the dough (from top to bottom) into 8-10 strips, depending on how thick you want your lattice pastry strips to be. Place the strips on a parchment lined, floured baking tray and rest, covered in plastic, alongside the pastry lined pie dish.
- In a medium saucepan combine the 1 cup of sugar and the 1/4 cup water, cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, whisking occasionally. Add the vegan butter and bring to a simmer, cook over medium heat at a steady boil until the mix turns copper coloured. Swirl the pot around occasionally as it cooks to make sure it cooks evenly, and watch it like a hawk as it starts to turn dark brown as it will go from brown - copper coloured & perfect - burnt very quickly.
- Once the sugar mix is copper coloured, remove it from the heat and add the coconut milk slowly, stirring as you go. The mix will bubble and steam so be careful! Whisk in the vanilla bean seeds and make sure that everything is well incorporated. Set aside to cool at room temperature while you make the filling (it's important that the caramel is completely cool before adding it to the pie, as otherwise it will melt the butter in the dough).
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven with a baking stone or baking tray sitting on top (this will help achieve a crisp bottom crust).
- Gently mix all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl, making sure everything is well incorporated. Pile the peach filling into the prepared and chilled pie shell, mounding the peaches slightly higher in the center of the crust and leaving behind any excess peach liquid in the mixing bowl. Pour a generous 1/2 cup of the coconut caramel sauce over the peach filling then sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt.
- Assemble the lattice on top of the pie (see notes for a tutorial link), then trim the lattice pastry overhang and the overhang from the pastry shell at the same time, allowing about 4 cm / 1 1/2 inches of excess, measuring from the inner rim of the pan. Wrap and tuck the pastry overhang underneath itself, allowing the pastry edge to sit neatly on top of the edge of the pie dish, ready for crimping. Crimp the edges (see notes for a tutorial link), making sure that the edges are sealed well so that they do not come apart in the oven.
- Chill the pie in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set the pastry. Remove from the freezer and brush the crust with the coconut milk / maple mix, then sprinkle with your desired amount of demerera sugar and flaky salt. Place in the preheated oven on the baking stone / tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temp to 190 C / 375 F and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the caramel is bubbling up through the lattice top, about 30 - 35 minutes longer. Make sure to turn the pie around in the oven as it cooks for even browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack until completely cool (or just a little warm) before cutting, about 2-3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temp with vanilla bean ice-cream or whipped vanilla coconut cream.
- The pie will keep in the fridge for 3 days or or at room temp for 2 days, however it is best served on the day of baking.
* Feel free to use your favourite pie crust recipe here, just make enough for a double crust and make sure that it's a sturdy enough crust recipe to be able to handle the juiciness of the peaches and caramel without becoming soggy. For those of you looking for a GF version, this gluten free pie crust from the Bojon Gourmet is wonderful, I make it regularly for my Coeliac Dad and no one ever knows it's gf, just sub in vegan butter.
* I like my caramel to be just on the edge of burning (a deep copper colour) so that it has a little smoky flavour to balance out the sweet. If you'd prefer not to walk on the wild side you could take it off the heat just before this point (when it's a bright coppery colour).