July 23, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo
Sometimes it seems a cruel twist of fate that berry season coincides with summer. I dream of making blueberry, peach and cherry pie all year long and when their time at the farmers’ market rolls around, the temperatures are so hot outside, turning on the oven for the hour or so they take to bake seems crazy. One such solution is hand pies.
Many recipes refer to these as fry pies, but hanging over a hot skillet is equally unappealing in the summer. Besides why add more calories and turn a lusciously delicious dessert into a heart-attack inducing treat? A few weeks ago I decided to give them a try in the oven. All it took was a 15-minute bake to produce perfect peach-filled pockets wrapped in a flaky crust. They also cool much quicker than a whole pie, which means less patience required until you can sink your teeth into some serious enjoyment. If you’re in a sharing mood, they also make for a tasty portable treat to pack in camp lunches or picnics.
Peach Hand Pies
Makes 16 to 18
Cherries or blueberries work deliciously in place of the peaches, so feel free to experiment until you find your favorite fruit filling—just be sure to keep the fruit amount at 2 cups
For the pastry crust:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
8 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
For the peach filling:
2 cups peeled, diced peaches
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten with a bit of water
coarse sugar for sprinkling, optional
- To prepare the dough, add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it forms a sandy crumb. Starting with 4 tablespoons, sprinkle the water over the flour-butter mixture and pulse until it forms a ball, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add another tablespoon or two of water if necessary. Dump onto an unfloured counter and form into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic or waxed paper and let chill until firm, but still pliable, about 1 hour (you can quick chill it in the freezer for 20 minutes too, which is what I tend to do while pitting the cherries).
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- For the filling, combine the cherries, sugar and all purpose flour, or tapioca flour if using, and salt. Stir to mix well and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 to 1/16-inch thick. Cut out 5-inch circles. It's okay to re-roll the scraps until all the dough is used up. Place cut circles on the prepared baking sheets (do not forget to place on parchment before forming pockets or they will be too delicate to transfer). Spoon 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each circle, fold over, making sure the filling is not spilling out the edges, and crimp the edges with a fork. Pierce tops with the tines of a fork to create steam vents.
- Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden. Let sit on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.