Peaches in the summertime! I picked up some of summer’s favorite stone fruit at the market last week and got to baking them this past weekend. I found this recipe from the ever-inspiring Smitten Kitchen, and was, well, smitten. Peaches + personal pockets + pies . . . oh yeah, and bourbon = some of my favorite things.
Peach-Bourbon-Ginger Hand Pies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 14 to 24 (depending on cutter size)
For the crust: 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c. sour cream
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. ice water
For the filling: 2 pounds of peaches (approximately 4)
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. bourbon
1 tsp. fresh ginger, zested
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Turbinado sugar, for dusting
To make the pastry:
1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the sliced butter in another bowl and put both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a food processor or pastry cutter, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and add half of this mixture to the well. Stir in the liquid with a wooden spoon until large lumps form. Once dough can be formed, form it into a ball, but do not overwork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat with the other half of dough.
To make the filling:
1. Peel and dice the peaches into small pieces. Mix them with the flour, sugar, salt, bourbon, vanilla, and ginger.
2. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just pliable. Spoon about 1-2 Tblsp. filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Brush some cold water around the edges of the dough and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a crescent moon shape. Seal the hand pie by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with egg yolk, sprinkling Turbinado sugar on top. Place pies in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until pies are golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!
Overall I was pretty pleased with this recipe, though I found the crust-to-filling ratio a little too high—meaning I need to figure out a way to get more filling in there and still be able to seal it shut. They also get a little soggy fast, so eat them right away! Shouldn’t be too hard.
I shared mine with my weekend house guests and coworkers on Monday. Everyone was happy.
p.s. There are not really hands in hand pies.
Emily Hilliard is a folklorist, writer, fiddler, and baker currently residing in Washington, D.C. She earned an MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina, where she studied the revivalism of American vernacular music, women’s domestic creativity and foodways. She writes the pie blog Nothing-in-the-House.