I’ll admit, I am something of a fair weather fan. I like peaches only when they are perfect. I like school when it is easy…I like the Vikings when they win.
This past winter, I watched the last game Favre ever played. I witnessed the death of a diva. I lamented that AP was “too cold” to play. And all from the comfort of the TCF Bank Stadium. This marvelous twist of fate was brought about by the Metrodome cave-in (long time coming, eh?)
It was so freezing cold that night. And it had snowed a million inches that day. It was an adventure day, and a super fun time. Because it was kind of a spur of the moment decision to go (and technically, a spur of the moment decision for the Vikes to play at the U), I hadn’t eaten a ton that day and I knew I was going to be hungry at the game. Luckily, I made these over winter break and froze them.
Peach hand pies. Such a finnicky recipe. So glad I had them on hand.
Before I suited up under four layers of clothing and ventured outside into the wind, I defrosted these and wrapped them up. They doubled as hand warmers and a liquor-less pre-game for these fine fellows (I left out the bourbon mostly because I didn’t have any on hand, and I’m impatient). Score.
I actually do like football a lot, and the Vikings. But I know I like them better when they win. I like eating peaches only when they are absolutely perfect–no bruises and very ripe. If you’re like me, you could make these and use up the peaches that miss the mark.
Just another off-season post,
Bourbon Peach Hand Pies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 14 to 24 (depending on cutter size)
For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ice water
For the filling:
2 pounds of peaches
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Coarse sanding sugar, for decoration
To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place 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 pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored at this point for up to one month in the freezer.
Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter (or a random cup), cut seven 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 the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining half of dough.
Make the filling: Peel and chop the peaches into small bits (approx. 1/2-inch dice), much smaller than you’d use for a regular-sized pie. Mix them with the flour, sugar and pinch of salt, and add the bourbon and vanilla, if you wish.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling (use the smaller amount for a 4-inch circle) onto one half of each circle of dough. Quickly brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle sanding sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, about 20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.