Serves: Yields approximately 16 mini-pocket pies or 5 double-crust individual pies
- ½ pound firm-ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon amaretto or other almond liqueur
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Flaky Pie Dough
- 1-¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ to ⅓ cup ice water
Procedures:Peaches have a glorious, sweet season in the summer, and these delightful pocket pies celebrate their arrival by pairing them with a classic accompaniment, amaretto. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, replace the amaretto with a teaspoon of pure almond extract. These pocket pies can be baked but we’ve fried them and dredged them in cinnamon sugar for a little Southern crunch.
To prepare filling, place peaches in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times to roughly chop. Sprinkle brown sugar, cornstarch, amaretto, and salt over peaches. Pulse several times to form a slightly chunky filling.
To assemble pocket pies, remove pie dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling. Generously flour a work surface and place chilled dough disk on the flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper to prevent sticking, until the circle measures 16 inches wide and less than 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 16 circles of dough, rerolling once as needed. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and water for egg wash. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for coating.
Place 2 teaspoons of peach filling in the center of each dough circle. Using a fingertip or small brush, coat the dough edge halfway around with egg wash. Fold uncoated dough edge over to create a half-circle shape and press to seal and remove any air bubbles. Place assembled pocket pies on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Continue with remaining dough circles and chill assembled pies for 15 minutes before baking. .
Fill a large heavy saucepan with vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat until oil registers 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet next to the saucepan. Working in batches, fry pocket pies until deep golden, about 5 to 6 minutes, flipping as needed. Using a slotted spoon or spider, drain and immediately transfer pies to the wire rack and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm or room temperature.
Flaky Pie Dough
To make the dough, place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Stir and fluff the flour mixture with a fork until shaggy clumps form. Pick up the large clumps and squeeze to test for moisture. If clumps hold together, transfer them to a work surface and continue adding tablespoons of ice water and stirring.
Gather the clumps of dough together on a work surface. If the butter feels soft, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before proceeding. If the butter still feels cold, knead the dough gently 4 or 5 times. If dough falls apart, return it to the mixing bowl and sprinkle teaspoons of ice water and mix with a fork until dough holds together when squeezed.
Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.