peach raspberry handpies

Posted on September 8, 2011. Filed under: Dessert | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

So one of my coworkers and I recently had a lunch meeting with one of the partners from our company.  When our waitress offered the dessert menu, the typical game of making eye contact, then looking away was played as everyone secretly thought “YES!” but no one wanted to be the eager over-eater.  After agreeing to “just take a look”, my coworker suggested that I select a choice for the table to share.  That request lead to a discussion of sharing desserts with coworkers (our partner seemed mystified that we ladies would ever do such a thing) and the logic behind being able to try multiple things while not feeling like a glutton because you are sharing.  I ended up ordering the peach raspberry pie which was apparently so popular that they were out of it.  Peach raspberry is such a fantastic combination and it always reminds me of summer so I was incredibly disappointed that my craving would not be satisfied.  Clearly something had to be done and I’d been searching for my next blog so an idea was born.  Instead of just a regular pie, I thought individual “handpies” would be a fun way to experiment.

As per usual with my full disclosure, this recipe was not ideal.  I somewhat developed my own recipe but based it off of a Martha Stewart recipe for fruit handpies.  The raspberry added extra tartness so boosting the sugar in the filling would have been a good idea but certainly not a deal breaker.  The real issue was with the dough.  When I made chicken pot pie, it was the first time I made my own crust.  This recipe was slightly different and I used 2/3 butter and 1/3 shortening as an experiment.  I have done this with cookies in the past and I’ve found that the shortening helps make a tender cookie while the butter adds good flavor.  I decided to see what would happen with pie crust.  I’m not sure if the shortening was the issue or if I did not add enough water to the dough before chilling it (or both!), but the crust was crumbly which led to me adding moisture before rolling it and feeling like I had to work the dough way too much  in order to get it rolled out to the size I needed it to be.  But, in the end, these pies did taste great.  The dough was almost like a flakey shortbread cookie and the filling was a mix of sweet peaches, tart raspberries and a hit of citrus from the orange zest.

My recommendation?  If you want to try this recipe, be careful with the dough and maybe use another recipe for that portion but roll and cut it in the way I described .  And if you like your desserts more sweet, add another tablespoon of sugar to the filling.

Pate Brisee dough:
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup shortening, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup ice water, plus more if needed (or half water/half vodka)

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Add the diced cold butter and shortening (or all butter if you prefer) and cut into the dough with a pastry blender.  If you are using a food processor, pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces – about 10 seconds.

Next, slowly pour a little ice water into the bowl and continue cutting the dough with the pastry blender.  Continue adding water a few tablespoons at a time and cutting the dough with the pastry cutter until the dough just holds together without being too wet or sticky.  Make sure the dough is not too crumbly, which was my mistake I believe.  I added the entire half cup but did not add extra and probably should have.

Once the dough is mixed, dump out onto a clean surface.  Divide the dough in half and place each piece on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Shape into a flattened rectangle and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate dough for at least one hour or overnight.

Peach Raspberry Handpies:
2 cups fresh peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (probably more like 2)
Zest of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 orange
Pinch of coarse salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pate Brisee dough (from above)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sanding sugar (I used turbinado sugar aka sugar in the raw)

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone pads and set aside.  Seriously do this – it will make things substantially easier to deal with.  Also do not use foil like I did for one pan since I was out of parchment and only have one silicone pad.  Foil = sticking.

In a large bowl, combine diced peaches and raspberries with granulated sugar, zest, juice, salt and cornstarch.  Mix until well combined.  Set fruit mixture aside.

Now comes the tricky part!  Remove one rectangle of dough from the fridge and and roll out on a lightly floured surface.  In a perfect world, you are looking for one piece of dough that is about a 16-by-11-inch rectangle.  You will  then trim that rectangle to be 15-by-10-inches.  At that point, cut the dough into six 5-inch squares.  I had a substantial amount of trouble with the rectangle because my dough was not the right texture.  I managed to save it enough and was able to get 6 squares from each half of the dough but there was some definite cursing and frustration happening in the handmixed kitchen.

Once you have your squares, take your first one and gently dust off any excess flour with a pastry brush or your fingers.  Working one square at a time, place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough.  I recommend avoiding scooping up the juice that will accumulate in the bowl because that will just make a mess for you when you are folding. Brush the two connecting edges with the beaten egg and fold on the diagonal over the filling, pressing the edges firmly to seal it.  Repeat the process with the remaining 5 squares.

Guess what is next!  You get to repeat that ENTIRE process again with the second rectangle of dough!  Get excited folks.  Once all 12 pies are complete, place the handpies on the baking sheets (6 per sheet) and brush the pies with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle generously with the sanding sugar.  Finally, grab a pair of clean kitchen scissors (or a knife if needed but scissors work really well) and snip the center of one side of each of the pies to allow steam to escape.

Bake the pies for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.  Cool slightly on a wire rack and then dive in!  They are best when served warm and fresh but try not to burn your mouth on this hot pocket of goodness!!

As you can see above, some turned out better than others but they all tasted great.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream would not be a bad accompaniment to a warm pie for a great summer dessert.


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2 Responses to “peach raspberry handpies”

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YUM! We need to live closer to you!!!! 🙂

The colors are so beautiful in this pastry! I never share my dessert unless the portion size is big enough!

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