Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sum-sum-summertime

There are few things more summery, if we are talking enjoyment, than a picnic. I'm not really a summer lover, far preferring fall's vivid hues and cooler days, but summer does have a wonderful variety of fruits and vegetables to play with. Picnics can be thrown together with some string cheese or other cheeses, crackers and baguette slices, carrots and red pepper slices and celery sticks and zucchini sticks for veggies, plus bunches of ripe grapes, succulent sweet strawberries, blueberries to eat by the handful and cool, crunch slices of juicy watermelon...seed spitting is optional.

This is also the season of one of my favorite fruits, peaches.

This week my local market had ripe white peaches for a reasonable price...irresistible. For a backyard picnic at a relative's (Happy 5th Anniversary A&J!) my contribution was a basket of these cute four inch individual peach pies. They went fast!

The dough is easy and handles well. It is one I found on Peabody's new blog, Northwest Noshings. Do visit it if you haven't already. She gives a delicious glimpse of some of the iconic foods of the Northwest area of the U.S. and places to eat them. She used this dough for the crust of a yummy Salmon Pie. Go there to get the pie dough recipe.

Now this dough isn't low calorie, but it is flaky and delicate and very tasty. Fresh, ripe, juicy white peaches are a real treat but the pastry was just as much of a treat to eat. Together they were magical! I even added a sprinkle of crystal sugar to the finished little pies for sparkle and crunch. You could also make these little pies with yellow peaches, plums, cherries, blueberries, blackberries...you get the idea.

It was fairly warm in the kitchen as I worked, so I returned the dough to the 'fridge often to keep it cool enough to roll and cut and handle. The crimping of the edges after they were sealed was done with a regular dinner fork.

If you make these, be prepared for them to be the favorite dessert at your picnic...they even aced out the brownies I made (which I'll blog about later) and they went well with watermelon wedges, too. Make the dough at least an hour before you bake the pies to give it a change to chill thoroughly.

Individual White Peach Pies with Peabody's Crust

1 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough from Northwest Noshings (see above for link), chilled

4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated (if possible) nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)

2 teaspoons half and half or cream
About 2 tablespoons crystal sugar

On lightly flour surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out half of the pie dough. The dough might be sticky, so flip it over about half way through rolling and sprinkle on a little more flour if needed. Using a 4 inch cutter or small plate, cut 12 discs of dough. Place them, with at least an inch of space between the discs, on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.


Mix the peaches, flour, nutmeg, and sugar together to blend, mixing gently so as not to bruise the peaches. Place about a tablespoon of the mixture int he middle of each dough disc, mounding it a bit int he center. (See photo below for approximate amount.) Run a moistened finger around the edge of the dough disc up to the mound of peaches. Chill while rolling out the rest of the dough.

Roll out the remainder of the dough and cut 12 more discs, re-rolling the scraps as necessary.
Place a disc on top of the mound of peaches and seal edges of dough disc to bottom dough disc. Flute with dinner knife tines to seal. Repeat until all twelve mini pies have been made and sealed.

Brush top of each pie lightly with half and half or cream and sprinkle lightly with crystal sugar (optional).





Bake in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for about 20 minutes, reversing pans top to bottom and front to back about half way through baking. Pies should be golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.



Peabody's Cream Cheese Pie Crust 2 cups all-purpose flour 8 ounce cream cheese, softened but still cool 2 sticks(8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
In a mixer, combine all ingredients and mix on medium-low until it forms a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Serving size - one per person.

8 comments:

KJ said...

Perfectly ripe white peaches have to be one of the most divine things on this earth. Turn them into a pie and, oh my! I can believe that they disappeared fast.

Peabody said...

Those turned out so cute! I love peach fried pies but have never tried them your way. Stone fruits here I come!

TadMack said...

Oh, those look tasty! White peaches are always so alarmingly ...pale! It doesn't look like peach at all, but apple. How tasty that must be, though. I love the flavor of peaches with, surprisingly, Earl Grey -- the oil from the bergamot orange, which flavors the tea, pairs really well with peaches. Mmm...

Deborah said...

Everything seems better when it's mini, and these sound so delicious! I can see why they were a hit!

giz said...

I think this recipe is ideal - it's fruity, it's flaky and it appeals to people who don't want something crazy sweet and cakey. I'm doing an "event" for my sister - this is officially on the menu.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

White peaches are really wonderful here right now. In your mini pies, they'd be really grand. Gosh, I like these.

Molly Loves Paris said...

Those little pies are so cute and so yummy looking! I think they would be so good for a baby shower or tea.

Elle said...

KJ, White peaches are a favorite of many & peach pie is my favorite kind...you can be sure I ate my share.

Peabody, Frying is not something I do much anymore. These work because of your magnificent dough.

Tadmack, I LOVE Earl Gray tea...must try that with white peaches while they are in season. Thanks for the tip.

Deborah, Yeah, minis sure are fun and popular.

Giz, They are a bit rich due to the dough, but hope they are just right for your sister.

Tanna, Hope you get a chance to try these while white peaches are in season.

Molly, I don't think they are small enough the way I made them to qualify as petit fours, but you could make them smaller...and they would really be great for tea or a shower.