As summer winds down and school starts again, final celebrations of summer freedom are in full swing. A perfect summer treat for a picnic or gathering is a hand pie: minimal mess but a lot of summer fruit and flavor!
The layers of pastry are light and crisp, with peaches that are sweet with just the right amount of tart.
Recipe modified from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 16 pies, give or take depending on size of cutter
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ice water
1 cup peaches, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg whisked well
1/4 cup sugar, + 1 teaspoon cinnamon coating sugar
For the pastry dough, first place dry ingredients (flour, salt) in a stand mixer or food processor. Then, adding chunks of butter mix/pulse until the butter is broken down into varying sizes, while incorporated with the flour.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream (I used plain yogurt, in a 1:1 substitution), lemon juice, and ice cold water.
Making a little well in the middle of the flour mixture, pour about half of the water mixture into the well. Using your hands, mix the liquid and flour until large lumps form. If more water is needed, add the rest of your water mixture. The dough shouldn't be too moist, but have a mix of dry and moist areas so the dough just holds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Unwrap the chilled dough and using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 9" by 14". It's normal for the chunks of butter to still be visible; eventually they'll just become streaks.
For this first turn fold the dough into thirds like a letter, with the seam on the left side. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
For the second turn, orient the dough so the seam is at the bottom, and then again roll it out to the rectangle. Chill 30 minutes.
For the third turn, again orient the dough so the seam is at the bottom, and roll it out, then chill for at least 2 hours.
Make sure your work surface is well-floured. You'll find the longer you let the dough sit at room temp, the harder it is to manage because it tends to be unforgiving and sticks to the rolling pin and surface. Roll out the dough so it's only 1/8 in thick (give or take). Cut into 4 1/2 inch circles (you can use a cookie cutter or even a bowl, by flipping it over and then using a knife to carve it out).
Remaining dough scraps can be rolled together, chilled and covered, and then re-rolled to get more dough circles.
Keep dough circles chilled while you prepare the filling.
Filling: Peel the peaches (doesn't have to be perfect, actually, I prefer some skin!), and chop into small pieces. Mix with the blueberries, flour, sugar, and vanilla. (*Note: If you prefer a sweeter filling, add an extra 2 or more tablespoons) Fill circles with 1 to 2 tablespoons filling and fold into a half moon. Seal the hand pie and using a fork, press the edges of the dough together for a decorative edge.
Place hand pies into the refrigerator for at least an hour to overnight. Brush each with egg wash, and then sprinkle a sanding of the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the pies. (Unbaked pies that are well-wrapped and frozen, can last for up to one month.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line the chilled pies on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Bake until hand pies are golden brown and layers are peeking through. This should take between 25 to 35 minutes. Remove pies from the oven and then cool before serving.