It's finally, FINALLY bbq season! Not that there will be much of it happening at our house - our building drew us in with an 'awesome outdoor space and amazing communal rooftop' when we were moving in, only to pull the roof off and close the outdoor space within a few months of us moving in, rendering this 'amazing space' essentially just a place to put everyone's crap from the roof. Luckily we have a few friends with nice back yards and bbqs, who are yet to be opposed to us showing up to their house with food.
BBQ season means stonefruit, and stonefruit means epic pies! Peaches are hands down my favourite things to put into pie. I made a whole load of mini pies to take to a friends birthday bbq on the weekend, and they were a total hit. The fun with mini pies is that you can play around with lattice combinations, so they all end up looking a little different. They are easy to eat, and everyone loves the idea of having their own individual dessert. Next on my list of mini pies is definitely something savoury - meat pies are everywhere in New Zealand. For some reason America hasn't caught on yet, which I am always surprised seeing how terrible they are for you!
These pies are super simple, but super delicious. I went with my favourite dough recipe, then kept the filling easy - beautiful ripe peaches, just a touch of sugar, some cornflour to help the filling set up, and some vanilla bean paste. Easy as that. The pastry bakes up to be amazingly flaky, providing the perfect base for the peaches to shine through, enhanced by the teeniest bit of sweetness and fragrance of vanilla. Because I over commit to almost everything I do, I spent a fair amount of time coming up with individual lattice designs for each one, but you could easily just do a simple lattice top on all of them, or even just a plain circle lid on each one with a few vents cut in to let out the steam. I went with a mixture of lattices, cut-out tops and shapes cut out with stamps.
This recipe is part of a fun blogger collaboration organised by the lovely Annie, Ruth and Rebecca! Check out their pages for the full list of bloggers participating, or the hashtag #summerlovespeaches on Instagram!
A few wee tips:
I used these mini pie dishes to make these - they are the perfect size for individual pies. I also made two in little rectangular pans, but you can use whatever size dish you have on hand!
I also used one of these to cut my lattice - highly highly recommend. It's super satisfying and you get lovely even strips.
I didn't peel my peaches, but if you are the sort of person who doesn't like peach skin, by all means go for it.
I lined all of the pie dishes first with pastry, and kept them in the fridge until I was ready to use each one. I filled them individually with the fruit mixture as I went, and did the lattices one at a time so that the others could stay cold in the fridge. This worked quite well, but if you are going with a quick lattice on the top you could definitely fill then lattice them all at once - just transfer them to the fridge as soon as they are done so that the pastry doesn't get too soft.
Because I was filling them individually as I went, I made up half of the filling, then once it was used up, made up the second half and kept going. The reason that I did this is because as the filling sits, the fruit releases some of it's moisture, which means that it gets a little juicy in the bowl. If you wanted to cut up all the fruit at once, transfer half to a bowl, squeeze a little lemon over to stop it going brown, and store in the fridge until you are ready to go.
I tripled my usual pie dough recipe, making it in 3 batches, and there was a little leftover once I was done. I like to end up with a little bit of dough left rather than not having enough - I roll out the bottom crust, then use the rest of the fresh unrolled dough for lattice, then go back and use the extras for stamps. Just make sure that you put the extra dough in the fridge, tightly wrapped, to have a chance to firm up before you use it again.
This recipe is easily scaleable to suit your numbers! If you were wanting to make just a single regular sized pie, use the one batch quantities for the dough, and use approximately 2-3 pounds of fruit.
Mini peach pies
- Makes 10 mini pies -
Pie crust recipe from four and twenty blackbirds
Pie dough (1 batch)
2 1/2 cups (310g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp (8g) sugar
2 sticks (226g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
Pie dough (3 batches)
7 1/2 cups (930g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
6 tsp (24g) sugar
2 sticks (226g) cold butter, cut into cubes
2 cups (480ml) cold water
2 cups ice
1/2 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
3kg (approx 6 pounds) peaches, pitted and cut into cubes or slices
3/4 cup (150g) raw sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Extra raw sugar for sprinkling
- PROCESS -
Make each batch of dough separately. Using one batch quantities: Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap.
Repeat the process three times until you have six discs of dough.
Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
Toss the peaches, sugar, cornflour and vanilla paste together in a large bowl. If you are planning on decorating the pies individually, prepare half the filling, then prepare the second half once you are ready to minimize the amount of moisture the fruit releases.
Roll out 2 of the discs of dough until approximately 1/4 inch in thickness (6mm). Line each mini pie dish with dough, leaving a small amount of overhang. Place the lined pie dishes on a large baking sheet, and transfer to the fridge until ready to use.
Working with one pie at a time, Spoon enough fruit filling into the pie dish to just reach the top edge. Roll out about half a disc of dough to 1/4 inch. Decorate as desired - I did a range of lattices, braids, stamps etc. Either use leftover dough on the next pie, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge until ready to use again. Place the pie in the fridge.
Repeat with the remaining pies, returning to the fridge. When you are finished decorating, rest all the pies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the pastry to fully set.
While the pies are resting, preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Position two oven racks in the oven. Brush each pie with the egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Place the pies on two baking sheets, and bake for 40-45 minutes, swapping the trays half way through baking, or until the pastry is deeply golden and the fruit is bubbling.
Allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.