These simple blueberry peach hand pies solve a not-too-serious (first world) problem I’ve had for years. I love the concept of fruit pies, especially when they contain summer fruit. However, I often find that the high ration of fruit to pie leaves me wishing for a less fruit-filled pie.
A galette or French-style pie without a pie-pan appeals to me. Peach galette, raspberry blueberry galette, or one with several different fruits mixed together solves my problem. Except that when celebrating a uniquely American holiday such as Labor Day, a French dessert hardly seems appropriate.
Enter hand pies. Call them American galettes or call galettes (at least small ones) the French version of hand pies. Either way, hand pies are the perfect American-style treat. Filled with summer fruit such as peaches and blueberries, they are my idea of Labor Day dessert heaven.
The ingredients are similar to a pie: pie dough, fruit, a bit of flour and a few other ingredients for the filling and topping.
However, hand pies take much less time to bake. Plus, they are much more fun to eat – no plate or fork required.
The inspiration for my simple blueberry peach hand pies was a stroll through Lori’s Culinary Creations. Lori is my Secret Recipe Club partner this month. Her tag line is “kitchen adventures for empty nesters”, though Lori’s blog is filled with recipes that anyone would enjoy. I loved the flavor profile of peach mango salsa with corn and avocado and I was smitten with the idea of making muffins with fresh pineapple. Still, it was her hand pies that won my heart.
Tips for Making Blueberry Peach Hand Pies
- Dough – Use any pie dough you please, homemade or store-bought. Just keep in mind that the better the dough, the yummier the hand pie. I try to keep the bottom side of the hand pie a bit thicker than the top, because otherwise, the hand pies tend to fall apart in your hand.
- Fruit – Again, the hand pie will only taste as good as its components. If you use frozen fruit, make sure that it’s good quality. If you can get wonderful blueberries and peaches at a farmers market or store now, you can freeze them for using in colder months.
- What size to make the hand pies? You should be able to hold (and eat) these in your hand. Like slices of pizza. That’s why they are called “hand pies!” Duh. (Do you hear me, beloved brother-in-law, who ate one of these hand pies on a plate with a fork. Goodness! I appreciated his compliments but question his food-eating judgment.) Between 3 and 4 inches per side is about the maximum that you can make them without running the risk of hand pie collapse.
Blueberry Peach Hand Pies
- 2 pie crusts either homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 medium-large peaches, cut into 1/2-inch pieces about 1 1/2 cups chopped
- 1/4 cup flour all purpose or almond
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Amaretto or other liqueur
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 tablespoons raw or turbinado sugar can substitute sanding sugar or even regular, granulated white sugar
If using homemade pie dough, prepare the dough and leave it refrigerated while you make the fruit filling. If using store-bought dough that is frozen, defrost it and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to the temperature required for your pie dough according to the instructions for that particular dough. If you are uncertain what temperature to use, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put parchment paper or silicone mats on two half-sheet cookie sheets.
Mix together the peaches and blueberries in a medium-large bowl. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur to the fruit. Gently toss the ingredients.
Roll out one of the 2 pieces of pie dough into roughly a 12-inch square. Cut into equal pieces, or use a cookie cutter to make tops and bottoms for 4 - 5 hand pies. For half the pieces, roll them just slightly larger than the other half. the larger ones go on top, and need extra area for cover the fruit" bump."
Tipping the spoon to eliminate most of the juices, or using a slotted spoon, place about 1/10-1/8th of the mixture in the middle of the smaller set of pie dough pieces. (Use less, i.e. 1/10th, if you've made tops and bottoms for 5 hand pies. Use more, i.e. 1/8th of the mixture, if you've made enough for 4 hand pies.
Gently place the slightly larger pieces of dough on top of the smaller ones that have the fruit mounded in the middle. Close the hand pie by pressing the back side of a fork around the sides. Poke 1-2 holes into the top to let the steam out.
Repeat with the second batch of dough.
Mix the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water and brush the mixture over the tops of the hand pies. Sprinkle them with the sugar. If any of the edges are particularly ragged, you can cut cut them straighter with a knife before baking.
Bake the hand pies for about 20 - 25 minutes, turning the cookie sheets halfway through, until the corners are browning and the tops look golden. Cool on the cookie sheet until you can handle them, then remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Sweet Tart Dough. Although the dough was a bit difficult to roll out, it's worth the effort. The final result is flaky and sweet, with a lovely, buttery taste.
Lori suggests that you can use either fresh or frozen fruit. If you use frozen, defrost and gently press a paper towel on them to soak up any excess water before mixing with the other ingredients.
Skinning the peaches is optional. I have a serrated edge peeler that makes it easy to do. If you want to peel and don't have that gadget, you can put the peaches in boiling water for about 1 minute, then cut into the skin and peel it off. The technique is the same as for peeling tomatoes.