Nectarine Hand Pies

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I made these little pies  a few months ago in book club. Since nectarines are the star, I wanted to make sure I shared the recipe before they went out of season.

A key component to these hand pies is of course the crust.  I have been using this pie crust recipe for at least 5 years and it has never failed me.  It uses a blend of butter and shortening, which makes the crust flakey.

Let’s make hand pies!

First we’ll make the crust.  I think making pie crust intimidates some people, but I hope this recipe makes you want to try it.  The key thing to remember about making pie crust is to keep the ingredients cold.  That will ensure it ends up flakey.

Start by mixing the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.  Now cut in the chunks of butter into the dry ingredients (remember you want start with really cold butter). You have several options for how you do this.  Some people use a food processor, but you can also use your hands, just rubbing the butter into the flour.   My preferred option is to use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour.  Whichever method you prefer, mix the dough until the butter is in pieces no bigger than peas.  Now we’ll add the ice water.  It’s important not to over-mix the dough (that will make it tough) so add just enough water for the dough to come together. Knead it a few times and form it into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill in the fridge for an hour (This dough also freezes well.  I’ve been known to make extra and throw it in the freezer for pie at a later date- who doesn’t love impromptu pie!).

While the dough is chilling we can make the filling.  We’ll want it to sit a few minutes to allow the sugar to draw the juices out of the nectarines.  Mix together the nectarine pieces, salt, vanilla, light brown sugar, lemon juice and flour in a bowl and set it aside.

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Now let’s put it all together!  Preheat the oven and take the pie dough out of the fridge.  Put it on a floured board or silicon mat.  Make sure to have a pile of flour off the to side.  You’ll need more flour as you roll out the dough.  Having a pile at the ready will ensure you don’t have to stick your dough-covered fingers into a canister or flour bag (been there, done that!).

The dough will be hard at first because it is chilled but it will soften as you roll it out.  Start rolling the dough with a rolling pin.  Put more flour underneath the dough if it begins to stick to your board.  You will also need to cover your rolling pin in flour if the dough starts to stick to it.  Roll the dough until it is 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

 

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Looks about right!

Cut 8 5-inch circles out of the dough. I actually used a bowl for this (see picture). You may have to re-roll the dough once or twice to get them all.  If the dough starts to get warm or really soft at any point, stick it in the fridge a few minutes to chill again.  As I mentioned warm ingredients are the enemies of a flakey crust!

Put 4 of the circles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Now spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the nectarine filling onto the circles.  Make sure to leave some of the liquid behind in the bowl (we’ll need those tasty juices later).

Gently place the other 4 circles of dough over the filled circles. Make sure the nectarine filling doesn’t squish out the sides. Gently pinch the top piece down right around the pile of nectarine filling.  Then press down the edges with a fork.  We want to ensure there is a good seal so the nectarine juices don’t leak out.

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Brush some of the remaining juices from the bowl onto each of the hand pies and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake about 18 minutes, or until the crust is cooked and golden.

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Yum!

Let them cool as long as you can stand and serve.  The best part is that everyone gets their own pie and can eat it with their hands!

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Nectarine Hand Pies
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Ingredients

    Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 8-12 tablespoon ice water
  • Filling
  • 4 small nectarines cut into 1/4 inch pieces, about 1 1/2 cups
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 light brown sugar
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • extra sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Make the crust by mixing the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the chunks of butter into the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix the dough until the butter is in pieces no bigger than peas.
  4. Add just enough ice water for the dough to come together. Knead it a few times and form it into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Mix together the pieces of nectarine, salt, vanilla, light brown sugar, lemon juice and flour in a bowl and set it aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  7. Take the pie dough out of the fridge and put it on a floured board or silicon mat.
  8. Start rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Put more flour underneath the dough if it begins to stick to your board. You will also need to cover your rolling pin in flour if the dough starts to stick to it.
  9. Roll the dough until it is 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
  10. Cut out 8 5-inch circles out of the dough.
  11. Now spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the nectarine filling onto 4 of the circles. Make sure to leave some of the liquid behind in the bowl.
  12. Gently place the other 4 circles of dough over the filled circles.
  13. Gently pinch the top piece down right around the pile of nectarine filling.
  14. Press down the edges with a fork to ensure there is a seal.
  15. Brush some of the remaining juices from the bowl onto each of the hand pies and sprinkle with sugar.
  16. Bake about 18 minutes, or until the crust is cooked and golden.
7.6.5
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http://www.rachelpounds.com/2016/07/27/nectarine-hand-pies/

3 Comments

  1. I love nectarines and they are finally sweet. I have to try your crust recipe!
  2. Pingback: By the Pounds Chocolate and Chestnut Pie

  3. Pingback: Cherry and Gruyere mini tartlets - By the Pounds

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