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Summer sweetie

THE BALTIMORE SUN

If apple is the quintessential American pie, then peach is surely our summertime favorite, and all the more if it's served a la mode.

To make a peach pie worthy of the name, use fully ripe fruit -- white, yellow or red peaches; cling or freestone type -- and a pastry crust that's rich and tender but still sturdy enough to contain its sweet, juicy burden without collapsing.

Peach Pie With Almond-Pecan Streusel

Makes 8 servings

pastry for 1 (9-inch) single- crust pie

5 cups peeled, sliced peaches (5 to 6 large peaches)

1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch

dash ground nutmeg

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup chopped nuts (mixture of almonds and pecans)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. In a large bowl, combine sliced peaches, granulated sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Allow to stand 15 minutes.

Lightly brush uncooked pie shell with a thin layer of egg white to moisture-proof pie crust. Stir lemon juice and almond extract into peach mixture; spoon into pie shell.

Mix brown sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle mixture over peaches.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 400 degrees and bake 35 minutes more. To prevent over-browning of rim of crust, cover edges with strips of foil.

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