7.29.13 Quite a Handful
You know I don't do much baking, and when I do it's gluten-free, so I'm always a bit nervous about my skills with pastry dough. But I really have to hand it to Lena Kwak, who was the R&D chef at the French Laundry when she came up with the winning formula for the Thomas Keller-produced C4C gluten-free flour mix. It can be subbed directly into recipes for baked goods and makes a tender, credible crumb. Whether or not you are gluten-free, and even if you have a fear of dough, these hand pies are for you. Let me lead you into temptation...
After plopping a bit of fruit on the square of dough, you fold it over and seal the edges with an egg wash, then brush the tops with more egg wash and add a final sprinkling of coarse sugar. I baked mine longer than what most recipes require because I like a dark, crisp crust. Don't you?
Blackberry-Peach Hand Pies (gluten-free)
- — 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (for gluten-free, I recommend C4C)
- — 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- — 2 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- — 12 ounces unsalted butter (3 sticks)
- — 1/2 cup ice water, or more as needed
- — 1 1/2 cups blackberries
- — 1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4" chunks
- — 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
- — zest of 1 lemon
- — 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- — 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- — 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- — 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- — pinch sea salt
- — 1 egg, lightly beaten
- — coarse sugar for sprinkling (organic cane sugar, turbinado or sanding sugar)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt, then pulse briefly to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
With the machine running, add ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together, no longer than 30 seconds. Pinch a little dough together; if it's still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten each half into a rectangle, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Meanwhile, mix together fruit, sugar, zest, juice, cornstarch, spices and salt until well combined. Set aside.
When you are ready to roll out the dough, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to a 16"-by-11" rectangle. Trim to 15"-by-10". Cut into six 5" squares. Working with one square at a time, place 2 generous tablespoons of fruit mixture in the center. Brush two connecting edges with beaten egg and fold on the diagonal over the filling, pressing to seal. Repeat process with remaining squares.
Then repeat entire process with remaining dough.
Place hand pies on prepared baking sheets, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut a small X into the center of each hand pie so steam can escape.
Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake until crusts are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 30-40 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.