Remember last week when I said I was ready for fall and then bribed you with fruit shrub lemonade so that you wouldn't hate me? Yeah, we're going to play that game again.
The temperature and humidity has dropped in Pittsburgh this week, giving us the most beautiful, sunny days. There's the faintest chill in the air (or maybe it just feels that way after weeks of scorching temperatures and brutal humidity), and it has me feeling so excited for boots and sweaters and apple picking!
Which brings me to these hand pies.
These little pies are full of one of my favorite summer fruits, but there's a secret ingredient that provides the most subtle hint of the coming season.
The secret ingredient? Cider syrup.* My aunt very kindly gifted me a bottle, and although I'd never heard of cider syrup before, now I can't stop dreaming up uses for it. I used it in place of sugar to sweeten the peach pie filling, and it provided just the right amount of sweetness with a very subtle apple cider flavor, making these the perfect dessert for transitioning into fall.
[recipe title="End of Summer Peach Hand Pies" servings="10 hand pies"]
1 recipe pie crust, refrigerated
2 peaches, firm but ripe
2 tsp. cider syrup*
1 T flour
Cut each peach into 16 wedges, then cut the wedges into chunks. Place the peach chunks in a bowl. Add the cider syrup to the peaches and stir to combine. Then add the flour and stir to combine. Set the bowl aside.
Roll your pie crust to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a large, circular cookie cutter or the mouth of a large glass, cut circles from your rolled out crust. My pie crust circles were about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and lay out some of your pie crust circles with about 2 inches in between. Spoon some of the peach mixtures onto each circle. Slightly stretch another pie crust circle with your hands and place it over the peaches. Press the edges of the top crust onto the bottom crust and use the tines of a fork to seal the edges. Cut three small lines in the top crust of each hand pie before baking.
Bake pies at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 350 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes, until crusts are golden brown. Allow pies to cool on cookie sheet before eating.
*You can find Carr's Cider Syrup at the brick-and-mortar and online retailers listed here, or you can make your own!
NOTE: To make a 9 inch pie instead of hand pies, use one recipe of pie crust and multiply the filling by four.