Peach Hand Pies with Spiced Yogurt Dipping Sauce

By Adrian J.S. Hale as featured on The Oregonian


3 cups all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water (divided) 


3 to 4 peaches (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon minute tapioca

Yogurt sauce: 

2 cardamom pods
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch salt
Pinch of saffron threads
Vanilla extract
Egg wash:1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water 

To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Place the bowl in the freezer for at least 20 minutes (or up to 24 hours). Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and refrigerate until ready to use. Beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of ice-cold water and put in the fridge until ready to use.


Attach the bowl to the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with a few marble-sized pieces of butter throughout (you can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter). Add the egg mixture and pulse a few times. If the dough seems dry, add more ice-cold water, a tablespoonful at a time, until it comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Gather into a ball, divide in half and press each into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (and up to 24 hours).

To make the filling: Peel the peaches (a serrated peeler works best) and cut them into a very small dice. Place in a medium bowl and toss with the sugar. Transfer peaches to a colander or strainer and set over a bowl to catch the juices. Let sit for at least an hour.

Transfer the drained liquid to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to a sticky syrup. Allow to cool. Transfer the peaches to a bowl. Add the cooled syrup, lemon juice, salt, almond extract and tapioca. Toss well to combine. Allow mixture to rest for about 15 minutes while the tapioca begins to absorb the liquid.

To make the sauce: Meanwhile, remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and crush them in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a cup. Place in a medium bowl, along with the yogurt, powdered sugar, salt, saffron and vanilla. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble and bake: Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator a few minutes before using. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it's 1/4 -inch thick. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut out 6 to 8 rounds of dough. Arrange on a sheet pan and refrigerate while you repeat the process with the second disk of dough.

On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each round until it's 5-inches across and  1/8 -inch thick. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of filling onto each one. Brush the edges with water and fold the dough over to create a half moon. Use a fork to press the edges together. Cut a couple of slits into each pie, and place on the lined baking sheets. Place in the freezer while the oven preheats to 375 degrees. (You can freeze the pies up to one month.)
Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden brown, turning the sheet pan from front to back halfway through. Let cool to room temperature and serve with yogurt sauce for dipping. 

Posted on January 6, 2015 and filed under DESSERTS.