So it's been a pretty busy summer. Birthdays, weddings and a trip to Chicago has booked up practically every weekend in July and August. Not to say that it hasn't been enjoyable, but I haven't been cooking as much as I'd like. And I'm sorry to say that I haven't baked a single cobbler, pie or cake with my favourite summer fruit: peaches!
I went to the market this past weekend and had a little panic attack that I was missing peach AND corn season (though I believe both are actually in season for another month...I get a little anxious!). That led to me buying a dozen ears of corn (which aren't as light as you'd think), shelling the ears and freezing both the kernels and cobs (for soups). I bought some peaches too. Yum! I still don't have much time for the next few weeks to bake so we'll probably just be enjoying them fresh, but they did remind me of some delicious hand pies that I made last summer when I was baking up a storm while spending a few weeks in Ancaster with my mom.
These may seem a bit intimidating, and are admittedly a bit more work than a traditional pie. But they're so cute, how could you resist? Plus it's pretty much impossible to take pie in to work or social settings without easy access to plates and serving utensils. But hand pies? Hand pies are perfect for the office! Or parties! Or stuffing a plateful into your mouth while telling yourself "they're so small, one more can't possibly make a difference...". Whatever. Make them. Love them.
Peach Hand Pies
adapted from SmittenKitchen
Makes 14 to 24 (depending on cutter size)
1 batch of Pie Dough
1 1/2 lbs peaches, preferably freestone
1/2 lb blueberries
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
1. Make pie dough; you don't need to divide into discs here but I would divide into two balls for easier handling later. Make sure it's been refrigerated for at least an hour
2. On a lightly floured counter, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter (or a knife if you don't have a biscuit cutter...seriously, I make biscuits enough that I should probably get some of those), cut circles out of the rolled dough until you can't anymore. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator for about a half hour. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
3. Blanch the peaches: bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop the peaches in and let them boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from water and dunk in ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, peel and chop the peaches into small pieces, (remember they need to be small enough to fit into small pies!)
4. Make the filling: mix peach bits with bluberries, flour, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla, plus a pinch of salt. Set aside.
5. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for just a few minutes until they're pliable. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls of filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Brush a little cold water around the edge and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling. Seal the pie, and press down on the edge with a fork. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the hand pies back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the fridge to chill for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit, 190 degrees Celsius
6. Remove the chilled hand pies from the fridge, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle some sugar over the pies, and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown and just starting to crack. Remove from oven, and try to let them cool slightly before you taste them.