Friday, September 13, 2013

Peach Hand Pies

My friend and I somehow decided it was a good idea to do No Sugar September.  So here I am, putting fruit in my dessert.

But listen, we're not a pair of crazies who are cutting out with sugar.  No, no.  I'm still eating cereals and the occasional honey soaked item.  The point is to not overdo it on cookies and candy and cakes and chocolate.  It's been four days, and I'm making it!

My same no-sugar friend also gifted me with a large bag of fresh picked peaches.  Thus the peach filling!  But you can use whatever you have on hand.  We're coming up on apple season, and these pies would be kiiiiller stuffed full with cinnamon apples. Do that too!  I think I will.

So these hand pies are not completely devoid of sugar.  But there's so little of it in there that it counts in our books!  It should count in your book, too.  And by me saying there's very little sugar, do not mistake me in thinking I mean these are healthy.  Pie crust drowns in shortening. I mean, that's what makes it so beautifully flaky.  Who says indulgences ought to be sweet?

These are rustic looking!  Which is just another way to say that I am no pastry perfectionist.  Sometimes the filling leaks out.  Sometimes the sides don't get as sealed as they should.  That makes the pictures a little less than pretty, but who cares about photos when the taste is this good?  Rustic also gives you permission to make mistakes.  My kind of pastry.

Also, I put a touch of jam into the peach and sugar mix.  Partly because it's the best jam I've ever had and I want to put it into everything.  And partly because it adds a touch of sweetness without being pure sugar.  We're bending the sugar rules.  And if you're wondering, it's LuAnn's raspberry rhubarb jam that the Husband and I picked up in a tiny gorgeous town called Midway on our first anniversary.  LuAnn's jams will blow your mind.

Peach Hand Pies
Yields about 12 pies

You'll need two pie crusts.  You can purchase pie dough (if it comes frozen in tins, let the dough thaw, then flip it out of the tin to flatten and score/fill accordingly), or make it.  This is my favorite recipe, taught to me by my mom. Follow that recipe up to the point that you wrap the dough and refrigerate it.
Pie Filling:
3-4 peaches
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
1 1/2 tsp. jam, optional
1/4 tsp. salt

Rinse peaches and remove any loose skin.  Dice into small chunks, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.  Add sugar, honey, cinnamon, jam, and salt to peaches, and mix lightly to coat the peaches.  Taste and adjust any flavors accordingly.  (This is where you add extra sugar if you're not needing low sugar.)  If mixture is runny, lightly sprinkle (and I mean lightly!) with corn starch to thicken.  You can place in the fridge for a few hours, if needed

(Photo Break)

To Assemble:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Take dough out of fridge, and roll out on well-floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness or so, lifting dough occasionally to be sure it isn't sticking (add extra flour underneath, if necessary).  Score the dough into approximately 3"x 6" pieces--this doesn't need to be exact. (If you're looking at my photos above, I cut the longer pieces in half to be about equal to the piece that has fruit spooned on it already.)

Spoon the filling onto one end of the dough.  You can do about a tablespoon of filling, depending on the size of the dough you cut.  Fold the opposite end of the dough over the filling, and press to seal the dough, taking care to not let filling leak out. (If the top cracks, that's okay; just try to press it together again. But you'll need holes in the top for steam to leak out anyway, so it's not a big deal!)
Use a fork to score the sides closed and pierce the top once or twice for steam vents.  Place finished pie on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet.  Continue process for five more pies, six total.  

Brush pies with an egg wash (1 egg beaten well with 1 Tbs. water).  Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden.

While those six pies are baking, assemble your other six.  At this point in the process (post fork-scoring, pre-egg wash), you can freeze the pies for future baking if you'd like!

These are perfect for breakfast because they're not too sweet!  In fact, it's what I ate this morning.

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