Friday, June 07, 2024


With summer being almost here, peaches are abundant and ripe, and one of the best ways to enjoy them are these lovely hand pies, with a flaky crust and sweet, tangy filling. I especially love them because they are so perfect for picnics, snacks, or even gatherings.
A beautiful combination of fresh peaches, vanilla, orange zest, and cinnamon is a wonderful addition to any pastry, if I am being honest. Cooked into almost a jam consistency, the filling is quite stable and will take baking very well, which I appreciate greatly. And I have to say, they are so much more than just a sweet treat; they are a celebration of summer and the abundance of fruit.
A few final tips for success - if your oven's bottom heating element is strong, consider placing another baking tray underneath the ones with the hand pies, so they do not burn on the bottom. And if your top heating element is strong, tent the pies with a piece of baking parchment or aluminium foil if you notice they are browning way too quickly.
When making any dough of this nature, add the cold water last, and add it in increments. Not all flours absorb the same and not all yoghurts have the same water content. And speaking of the water, you can absolutely replace it with fresh orange or lemon juice, it will be absolutely delicious.
Finally, if you like, you can top them with flaked almonds just before baking, for a gorgeous little crunch!

For the pie dough
300 grams plain flour
small pinch of baking powder
50 grams icing sugar
big pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon orange zest
200 grams vegan block butter, chilled and cubed
60 grams vegan Greek yoghurt or vegan Skyr
45 millilitres ice cold water
For the fresh peach filling
150 grams fresh peaches, stones removed
50 grams light brown sugar, granulated sugar, or maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon cold water

Start by making the filling, as it needs to be completely cool before filling the hand pies. If desired, peel the peaches, remove the stones, and chop them up nicely. Place them in a heavy saucepan and add in the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix well and place over medium-high heat.
Let it heat up slowly, and once it starts to bubble, cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until somewhat reduced and thickened. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornflour and cold water; add it to the peaches, and cook for a minute or two more, to thicken it up completely. Once ready, remove from the heat, and let it cool down entirely.
To make the pie dough, add the cold, diced butter into a large bowl, add in the icing sugar, salt, vanilla, and the orange zest, and mash everything together with a fork or a pastry cutter, until combined. It will start to resemble buttercream. Add in half of the flour and all of the baking powder, and continue mashing with a fork until mixed somewhat well. Add in the vegan Skyr alternative and mix it through. Finally, add in the rest of the flour and continue to mash together. Add in the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until you form a nice, pliable dough that does not crumble or stick to your hands. Take a large piece of cling film or baking parchment and wrap the dough tightly. Place it into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so, or up to an hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Once the dough is chilled and the filling is cool, let the oven preheat to 180°C, and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Vigorously stir the cooled filling, to make it spreadable.
Lightly flour your work surface, roll out the dough into a 20x40 cm rectangle, or to about 3-4 millimetre thickness, and cut it into six equal rectangles. Place a portion of the cooled filling on each of them, making sure the edges are clean, and fold over reach rectangle, sealing the hand pie. Press the edges together with a fork, and arrange them on the prepared baking tray.
Lightly score or slice the tops, generously mist them with cold water, and bake them in a nicely preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden and baked through. Remove from the oven and serve as soon as they are cool to your liking. Yields 6 large servings.