Think you can’t make a flaky pastry filled with fresh, flavorful fruit? Well, think AGAIN. Whip up a batch of these individual peach pies and you’ll feel like a princess making dessert for seven tiny men in a cottage. P.S. If an old lady offers you an apple, don’t eat it.
Yes, September is poking its head around the corner, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy peaches for a little while longer. Besides, it’ll be about 100 degrees here in Georgia until November, anyway! Let’s hang on to the little bits of summer that we still have!
These pies, made with the ripest peaches and the easiest homemade pie crust, are an absolute delight. You’ll love both their taste and their simplicity. The dough and filling both come together very easily. Plus, these individual peach pies are ideal for those of you who don’t have a super-strong sweet tooth. Just lightly sweetened peaches inside a tender crust.
How to make pie crust completely from scratch
There’s one thing I want you to keep in mind whenever you make pie dough: keep everything cold. I’m talking COLD butter, COLD water, and even COLD flour. Very cold fat is what creates flakiness in our pie crust.
If you’ve never made pie dough from scratch before, it’s not as intimidating as you think it is. Especially since we are making hand pies and not double-crusted or lattice pies. This dough recipe is very similar to the one used in my Ricotta Galette with Fresh Oregano:
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Make sure you properly measure your flour by using a kitchen scale or the scoop and level method.
- Add cold, cubed butter to the flour. I like to freeze the cubes for about 1-2 hours before use. Use a pastry cutter (and you will need one) to gently mash the butter into the flour until it’s the size of small peas. The mixture should look like coarse meal.
- Once that’s finished, add ice cold water little by little, about a tablespoon at a time. Gently fold and knead the dough. Once it comes together without crumbling and feels moist to the touch, stop adding water. The dough should be slightly sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball. Use the heel of your hand to press it into a disc shape. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap; refrigerate for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of two days.
Making the filling
Choose peaches that are firm to the touch but give/bruise slightly when you apply pressure with your thumb. These peaches tend to be sweet without being overripe. If the peach is too soft, it will be difficult to peel and cut.
Prepare the peaches while your dough is chilling in the refrigerator:
- Peel the peaches and dice them into small pieces. Add the diced fruit to a mixing bowl.
- Add salt, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix together with the peaches. Taste. The mixture should be sweet enough already but, if not, add half a teaspoon of sugar at a time until you are satisfied. Set aside until ready to use.
Rolling out the dough
Get ready to do some serious bonding with your freezer, because it will become your best friend during the assembly process.
Before you remove the dough from the fridge, cool your kitchen down. Turn on the A/C, use a fan, or open your window. Then, let the dough sit on the counter for about 15 minutes before rolling it out. The easiest way to roll out dough is between two sheets of parchment paper! It’s less messy and makes for easy transferring of the dough from the freezer to the baking tray. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out. You can also do this with a wine bottle!
Start from the center of the dough and slowly and gently roll outwards, turning the dough as you go. Take your time here, until the dough has been rolled out into a 12-inch circle. When you remove the top sheet of parchment paper, a small amount of the dough may stick or come off. That’s okay! Just toss a little flour on those sections, lightly flour your fingers, and piece it back together. There you go!
Shaping the pie crusts
Transfer the parchment paper with the dough to the freezer to chill for 15 minutes, uncovered. We do this because the dough often becomes warm after being rolled out. Depending on the power of your freezer, you can chill it for a little less than 15 minutes.
Once chilled, cut 6 circles into the dough with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. When you separate the circles, there will be scraps of dough remaining. Piece them back together with your hands and set aside. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the circles on the sheet. Guess what? We’re putting them right back in the freezer while we work on the dough scraps! Speaking of scraps, piece them together and roll them out between two sheets of parchment paper. Just like the first dough, we’ll chill it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Once chilled, cut out six more circles, transfer them to the baking sheet, and freeze for about 10 minutes.
Assembling individual peach pies
Did I ramble a bit in that section about rolling out the dough? Don’t worry, I’ll talk much less about assembling the pies:
- Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in the center of a dough circle, leaving the edges bare. This is our bottom crust.
- Take another circle, and use a sharp knife to slit an X into the center. This is our top crust. Place the top crust over the bottom crust. Seal the edges by pressing with your fingers. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Some filling juice may leak out.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat an egg yolk. Brush the tops and edges of the pies with the egg wash. Don’t worry, your pies won’t taste eggy. This egg yolk-wash will ensure that they bake to an intense golden-yellow color. Lastly, sprinkle some coarse sugar over the tops, and they’re ready to go in the oven!
Storing leftovers (if you even have any!)
Individual peach pies can be left overnight at room temperature. For long-term storage, wrap each pie in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. They’ll keep for about two months in there, if you don’t manage to gobble them all up in one day!
You can also make these pies a day or two ahead of time.
Individual Peach Pies
- Rolling Pin
- Pastry cutter
- 3-inch biscuit/cookie cutter
For the crusts
- 1 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour if using White Lily brand all-purpose flour, measure out 165g, or 1 1/2 cups
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter cubed
- 2-4 tablespoons ice water plus more as needed
- 1 egg yolk for egg wash
For the filling
- 2 cups diced peaches about 2-3 medium-sized peaches
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the crusts
- Whisk flour and salt together in large bowl. Then, add the cold cubes of butter. For best results, freeze butter for 1-2 hours before use. Use a pastry cutter to mash the cubes into the flour until they are the size of small peas. The mixture should resemble coarse meal.
- Add ice to a bowl, and fill it with cold water. Add two tablespoons of the ice water to the flour-butter mixture. Work the dough by gently kneading and folding it with your hands. Add more water little by little, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together smoothly and without crumbling. It should be moist (not wet) and a little sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a ball, then press down on it with the heel of your hand to make it into a disc shape. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or a maximum of 2 days.
For the filling
- Make the filling while the dough chills in the refrigerator. Mix small diced peaches, salt, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice together with a spoon or fork in a medium-sized bowl. Taste, and adjust sugar to your liking. Set aside
Rolling out the dough & assembling the pies
- Place chilled dough on the counter for about 15 minutes to let it soften. Unwrap, and place on a large sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top. Lightly flour a rolling pin (or wine bottle), and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Start from the center, rolling slowly and gently, turning the dough with your hands as you roll. Remove the top sheet of paper. If a small amount of the dough has torn or stuck to the top sheet of paper, very lightly flour those areas and gently piece them together with your fingers. Transfer the parchment paper with the rolled-out dough to the freezer, uncovered, to chill for about 15 minutes.
- Grease a 9×13 or 18×13 sheet pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Remove the sheet with the chilled dough from the freezer. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut 6 circles into the dough. Transfer circles to prepared sheet pan and return to freeaer, uncovered. Piece together the remaining scraps of dough and roll out between two sheets of parchment paper. Like the first dough, place this in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Now, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the parchment paper with the chilled dough from the freezer, Cut out six more circles with the biscuit cutter, and transfer to sheet pan with the other six dough circles. There should be 12 circles that will be used to make 6 hand pies. Let these chill, uncovered, for about 10 more minutes.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat an egg yolk, set aside. Remove the sheet pan from the freezer and begin to assemble the pies. Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peach filling in the center of one circle, leaving the edges bare. This is the bottom crust. Take another circle and use a sharp knife to slit an X into the center of it. This is the top crust; place the top crust over the bottom crust and press the edges with your fingers to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat until you have assembled all six hand pies. Brush the tops and edges of the pies lightly with the egg yolk-wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-28 minutes, rotating the sheet pan half way through baking. When the pies are a golden brown color on the tops and edges, they are finished. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 6-8 minutes. Serve warm. Wrap leftover pies in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Avoid using anything smaller than a 3-inch biscuit cutter for these hand pies, as they will not hold enough filling.
- If the assembled pies feel warm after afterwards, just pop them back in the freezer for about 10 minutes.