Week 4, part two: cutie patootie peach hand pies

I made two different types of pie this week. Yes I am a little wacko. I figure next week at this time when I’ll be back at school there will be no chance of spending so much time in the kitchen so I might as well seize the moment and bake to my heart’s content. Also, I was a little worried about how tasty (or not) my gluten-free dairy-free baby pies were going to be, so I decided to make some peach hand pies for the birthday picnic too. Backup pies, you could say.

Who doesn’t love the idea of portable pie? I’d say that hand pies definitely fall into the category of ideal picnic food. These ones were made in record time because I’d thought that the picnic was a late afternoon picnic and it turned out to be a noon picnic which meant I churned these puppies out at high speed. I didn’t get to do all of the chilling recommended, which always makes me stress a little. They sure looked adorable all nestled together in their foil container when they were cool, and they garnered a chorus of “ooh”s when they arrived at the picnic. One of the party-goers said she imagined how heavenly they’d be with a bowl full of soft-serve to dip them in, and just a few minutes later, an ice cream truck pulled up at the park. So we almost got to experience that. Next time maybe.

Peach Hand Pies (crust from Martha, filling from Smitten Kitchen)

Crust

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 oz cream cheese at room temp
2 tbsp buttermilk (or yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling
(note – this made WAY more than you need… I suggest cutting in half)

2 lbs peaches
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
splash of bourbon
splash of vanilla extract

  1. Crust: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and zest in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy on high speed for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and beat to combine.
  4. Add cream cheese, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Add the flour and beat until it is smooth.
  6. Form the dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut using a 4 1/2 inch round cutter. You should get about 15-20 rounds. Chill the rounds on a parchment-lined sheet for about 30 minutes while you make the filling.
  8. Filling: Dice the peaches into small pieces (about 1/2 inch) and mix them with the rest of the filling ingredients.
  9. Assembly: Take out a sheet of the pastry rounds and give them a minute to become pliable. Spoon about 1 rounded tbsp of peach filling into the center of each and brush the edges of the rounds with water.
  10. Fold the rounds over and press to seal and then use a fork to make a decorative edge by pressing it into the dough. Repeat until finished and then chill the prepared hand pies for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush the pies with egg wash and cut a small slit for steam in each one. Sprinkle with demerera sugar.
  12. Bake about 20-25 minutes until golden and cool on a rack.

Things I liked: the lemony flavour of the dough, how sturdy they were for a picnic, their glorious uniformity (there’s the perfectionist in me).

Things I’d try next time: thinner rolling so that the filling stood up a bit more to the crust, perhaps a different crust recipe to see if I could end up with something less “cookie-like.”

Pie music:

These lil’ guys get a blue ribbon for being great pies for sharing.

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