Peach Hand Pies _lowres

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Peach Hand Pies

Peach Hand Pies

Serves 8. Recipe is from Sara Moulton.

Pie Dough:

1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the salt. Add the butter and, working quickly, use your fingertips or a pastry blender to mix the dough until most of mixture resembles coarse meal, with the rest in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water evenly over the mixture and use a fork to gently stir until incorporated.

2. Gently squeeze a small handful of the dough. It should hold together without crumbling apart. If it doesn’t, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring 2 or 3 times after each addition until it comes together. Be careful: If you overwork the mixture or add too much water the pastry will be tough.

3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With the heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion on the work surface to help distribute the fat. Gather the smeared dough together and form it, rotating it on the work surface, into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic, then chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Pies:

3 small or 2 medium peaches (6 ounces total)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

12 ounces prepared or purchased pie dough (recipe below), cut into 8 equal pieces and refrigerated

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons apricot jam

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)

1. Peel the peaches. One at a time, set each peeled peach on the counter, stem side up, and aiming just to the right of center, cut off one side of the peach in one piece. Repeat the procedure on the left side, then cut straight down on the other sides of the peach. Cut the peach flesh into 1/2-inch chunks.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the peach chunks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and the lemon juice. Let stand for 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Strain and save the peaches and the juices separately.

3. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time (leaving the rest in the refrigerator), roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 5 inches wide (1/8-inch thick). Spoon 1 teaspoon of the jam on one half of the round, then mound 2 tablespoons of the peach chunks over the jam.

4. Brush the edge of the pastry round with the beaten egg. Fold the other half of the dough round over the fillings to enclose them, pressing the edges together tightly. Fold over the edge to make a 1/4-inch rim, then crimp the edge with a fork. Use a knife to cut a small slit in the center of the top of the pastry, then transfer the hand pie to the refrigerator. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Once all of the hand pies are formed, refrigerate them for 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

6. Arrange the pies on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pies with additional egg, then sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake on the oven’s middle shelf for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before serving. Top each hand pie with a scoop of ice cream (if using) and a drizzle of the reserved peach juices.

Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 140 calories from fat (54 percent of total calories); 15 g fat (9 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 75 mg sodium; 28 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 4 g protein.