Enjoying warm, sweet peachy goodness in the cold bleak winter is not just doable, it's pretty easy -- and might be as close to time traveling as I'll ever get.
This process is the next best thing to post-season pie. But you have to prepare it now, in summer, while peaches are in season. Don't wait. The good ones won't last.
I'm relying on you to use your own favorite peach filling recipe here. If you don't have one, mine's at the bottom.
Here's the process:
Step 1. Start with fresh, ripe peaches. They shouldn't be so juicy you'd have to stand over the sink it eat them. But juicy enough to have a good ripened flavor.
Peel and slice the peaches. Place in large bowl.
Step 2. In a separate bowl, combine whatever sweeteners, spices, and thickener you normally use.
Sprinkle over sliced peaches and stir to coat. Some folks add a little lemon juice here, too.
Step 3. The peaches will look a little muddled with the sugar, etc. It's normal.
Step 4. Now comes the big difference.
Line a pie plate with two sheets of plastic wrap large enough to hang over the edges about 5-6 inches.
Step 5. Pour the prepared filling into the lined pie plate. Drizzle a little melted butter over filling.
Fold the plastic wrap over the filling so it's well sealed.
Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
You now have a frozen peach pie filling shaped exactly like your pie plate. (You can see where this is going, right?)
Step 6. Remove the pie filling - still wrapped in plastic -- from the pie plate. Put the pie plate in the dishwasher or back in the cupboard, whichever you think appropriate.
Wrap the filling in aluminum foil and return to freezer.
The pie filling will stay good in the freezer up to a year. Mine never seem to last more than 6 months because, well, peach pie in winter.
Step 7. When you're ready to bake, prepare your pie crusts as usual. (If I don't have time to make my own, or simply don't feel like it, I unabashedly use Pillsbury unroll-and-fill pie dough.)
Remove peach pie filling from freezer and unwrap it from the foil and plastic.
Place the frozen pie-plate-shaped peach filling into your pie crust. It should fit perfectly.
Step 8. I usually do a lattice top on mine just to be fancy.
Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour or so, covering edges with foil when they start to get too brown.
Jenny's Standard Peach Pie Filling
5 cups peeled, sliced fresh peaches
1.5 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 Tablespoons melted butter, depending on the juiciness of the peaches.