This summer has been intense. We hunkered down in our basement through some blistering heat waves, and I’ve been powering through a tough school and work schedule.
Last week, however, was my birthday, so John, Motu and I got out of the city for the weekend. We spent a couple days at a house on the Shenandoah River. Canoeing, swimming and grilling was just what my body and spirit needed to get me through my last month of school.
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to cooler nights and not being scared to turn on the oven. Until then, I’m going to eat my fill of juicy Virginia peaches and fry things instead of bake them!
I made these pies twice in one week because I gave too many of the first batch away and needed more for myself. I really enjoyed the jalapeño jelly in the filling and cayenne pepper in the coating, but feel free to leave them out if you’re trying to please children or aren’t a fan of spicy-sweet combos.
Fried Peach Pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and put in freezer until ready to use
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 large peaches (firm-ripe is best), peeled, pitted and diced into small cubes
1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons jalapeno jelly
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
peanut or canola oil, for frying
- Put flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the milk and lemon juice and pulse until dough starts to come together. Don’t over mix.
- Turn dough out onto work surface and gather it into a rectangle and flatten slightly. Wrap the dough in plastic and refridgerate until cold, about 2 hours (or up to 3 days).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut 12 4-inch circles out of the dough. If necessary, gather scraps and re-roll. Place dough circles on prepared baking sheet and refridgerate while you make the filling.
- Prepare a ice bath by filling a bowl half-way with ice and water and placing a smaller bowl on the ice water.
- In a saucepan, combine peaches with 1/3 cup of sugar, the lemon juice, and salt. Cook over medium heat until peaches have softened and released their juices.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water and add the slurry to the peaches. Continue cooking until thickened. Add hot pepper jelly, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and pinch of cayenne. Remove from heat and stir to blend. Transfer mixture to ice bath bowl and stir occasionally until cool.
- Assemble the pies by brushing the edge of each dough round with water and place a tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold the pies up like a taco and pinch the edges to seal. Place on baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours before frying.
- To fry the pies, combine the 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a shallow bowl and reserve. Fill a 10-inch cast iron skillet with 1/2 inch of oil. Heat oil to 365°F and fry pies in small batches until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. Be careful the bottoms don’t burn. Remove pies to a paper-towel-lines baking sheet and let then drain until cool enough to handle. Dredge in the cinnamon sugar. Pick one up and eat it.