On Saturday I had the chance to judge a peach pie contest at my local farmer’s market. After testing 30 pies I quickly learned what I liked and didn’t like when it comes to peach pie. The peach pie contest served as the inspiration for today’s post and my fresh peach hand pies.
I will get to the recipe for my fresh peach hand pies in a bit, but first I want to fill you in on my day as a peach pie contest judge.
Serving as a food contest judge was a first for me. Despite having a recipe contest background I have never been on the other side as a judge. As much as I enjoy entering, judging is a lot of fun too. Think about it – I got to taste 30 different kinds of peach pies and the only pressure I had was picking which one looked the best and which one tasted the best.
I love talking to people about food. It’s honestly my favorite topic to talk about and I had so much fun talking to the fellow judges and peach pie contest contestants. Many of them had great stories to share about their peach pies and how their recipe came to be. Some contestants’ recipes were created on a whim, while some have been passed down from generation to generation. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning and my boys even got to see me in action (They thought I was so cool! Bonus Mom points). The boys were in awe of all of the pies and kept pointing to some of their favorites for me to try. They were particularly fond of the octopus pie (below) Little foodies in the making – for sure.
Check out a couple of these mouth-watering pictures from my peach-filled Saturday.
As if I didn’t get my fair share of peaches on Saturday, I continued with the peach craze several days later when I decided to make fresh peach hand pies. Peaches are in season here on the East Coast and when I tell you we have the best peaches here in New Jersey I am not lying. I can’t get enough. I toyed with the idea of making a full pie but ultimately went with hand pies because I thought the boys would enjoy them more as a portable treat and I also thought it would help me with portion control.
This recipe uses about five peaches and takes about an hour to complete from start to finish. I snapped a few photos of the process along the way as well as the recipe and final product. The result – beautifully tasty fresh peach hand pies.
- 5 peaches, peeled and sliced (approx. 3.5 cups)
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tbs vanilla
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- pinch of salt
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2 pre-made refrigerated pie crusts (rolled)
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbs water
- 1/4 cup of cinnamon and sugar mixture (equal parts) for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in large pan, add vanilla. Blend in sliced and peeled peaches and toss to coat. Add sugars, spices, salt and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat until peaches are soft and liquid is reduced. Remove from heat and strain peaches.
- Unroll premade pie crust and press with rolling pin to stretch. Using a small bowl (approx. 4 inches wide) cut out circles from the pie crusts to yield about 14 circles. Fill circles with 1 tablespoon of peach mixture in the middle, being careful not overfill. Fold circle over to create a filled semi-circle and press edges to seal and make decorative edge with the back of a fork. Continue process until all hand pies are completed.
- Place hand pies on parchment-lined baking sheet. Beat egg white with 2 tbs of water to create egg wash and lightly brush onto hand pies. Dust hand pies with cinnamon-sugar blend. Bake hand pies for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.
- Pies can be enjoyed on their own or served warm with vanilla ice cream
After a day of judging peach pies, these fresh peach hand pies were my reward. Definitely the “Blue-Ribbon Winner” in my book.