Six years ago last month, I knew we had landed at the perfect church home for us. Why? Not because of a large number of members. Not because of beautiful facilities. Not because it had a ton of programs that would serve me. I knew it was the right place, because shortly after we began visiting, we walked into their annual October Family Day to a group of long-time members laboring over the counter making homemade hand pies by the dozens. Sound silly? Not to me.
It is a blessing to watch the grandmothers and great-grandmothers of this life laboring for others, isn't it? You can just see the joy radiating from them, as they work quickly and efficiently doing for others. That's what I saw that day. A group who had made the treat no less than hundreds of times in their life, I'd suspect, chatting happily and working tirelessly as if it were their first. I want to be like that when I grow up.
A while back, I posted a peach filling recipe and promised a recipe using it to come. Well, here it is. Of course, you could use any kind of filling you wish, but this is wonderful. With just a smear of softened cream cheese, a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon, topped with a dollop of filling, these pies are heavenly served warm. Creamy... slightly tart... You'll make these again and again.
Peaches and Cream Hand Pies
makes approx. 6 pies (depending on size preferred)
- 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup ice water, plus more if needed
~ In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Add
butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces
remaining (if you don't have a processor, mix dry ingredients and cut in butter with
pastry blender or two knives).
~ With machine running, add water through feed tube in a slow steady stream, just until
dough holds together and is not wet or sticky (about 30 seconds). Do not over-process.
Test by squeezing some of the dough together. If still too crumbly, add a little more
water, one tablespoon at a time.
~ Turn out dough onto clean work surface. Divide in half and place one half on piece of
plastic wrap. Shape into flattened rectangles. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate one hour
- Pie filling of choice
- Cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes for easier spreading
- Sugar Cinnamon mixture
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
~ Heat oven to 375 degrees.
~ On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using desired size
circle (I used a six-inch round bowl to cut mine), cut out circles, working quickly, and
reincorporating scraps and re-rolling/cutting until all dough is used. Try not to over
work to keep dough tender.
~ Working with one circle at a time, spread desired cream cheese on circle, leaving a
quarter-inch edge. Sprinkle liberally with sugar/cinnamon mixture followed by
2 tablespoons of filling.
~ Lightly brush connecting edges with egg, fold over, and use tines of fork to seal.
~ Using tip of knife, cut slits to allow for steam. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with
~ Repeat using the rest of the dough.
~ Place pies on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crusts
are golden brown and filling is bubbling.
Pate Brisee recipe from Martha Stewart.
Filling from The Lazy Daisy Kitchen.