Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hello, Hand Pies

Oh, the hand pie. Swoon. I have found a new dessert love. It is everything that is great about pie, but (dare I say) better. More crust, the perfect filling to crust ratio, portable, and you don't have to share. That's a win-win-win-win.

These little pockets of deliciousness are filled with roza peaches we picked just the day before from a local orchard.

While I still have some work to do on making a perfect looking hand pie, these passed all the flavor tests with flying colors. Let me warn you though, these little pies are dangerous. While I think they are best still warm from the oven, they are nearly just as good the next day and are maybe a little too easy to "grab and go". I literally had to stop myself from grabbing one on my way out the door today for a snack.

As a person who turns all food into "hand" food, Owen is also appreciating their portability.

For the crust I used the Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust Recipe, which is my absolute favorite ever and go-to pie crust recipe. It's ridiculously easy, it's quick, and it comes out great every time. Even when I'm sure I've over-handled the dough, or done something wrong I still get a beautiful crust; great flavor and perfectly flaky. I don't feel right republishing the recipe here without their consent, but a quick search will turn up the recipe from several sites.

Peach Hand Pies

Makes 10-20 depending on cutter size. I used a 5.5" circle and made ten pies.

For the dough:
Double recipe of Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust

For the filling:
1 to 1.5 pounds of peaches, peeled, chopped and cut into small pieces (about 1/2-inch)
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash
Raw sugar or sanding sugar

1. Prepare dough as instructed in the recipe. After it has chilled roll dough to somewhere between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cutter, or in my case one of the kids' plastic bowls, cut circles out of the rolled dough and transfer to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the circles another 30 minutes.

2. To make the filling: combine the peaches, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto each circle. Moisten the edge of the dough with cold water and fold the dough over the filling and press together to seal the pie. Make a decorative edge by pressing around the outside edge with the back of a fork. With the hand pie on the baking sheet, return it to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes (or if you are impatient like me about 15).

4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the hand pies from the refrigerator and cut a small slit in the top of each. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle (generously) with sugar. Place pies in the oven to bake until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven and let cool slightly. Enjoy!

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