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June 21, 2010

A Pocketful of Peaches

Minipeachpie

Like many a baker, gadgets are my Achilles heel. And I've noticed that all the cooking stores are getting better and better at pumping out cute little tools and machines that illuminate previously-unknown voids in your kitchen inventory. My saving graces are that I don't have a kitchen the size of Martha Stewart's, nor do I have her budget either.

Still, it's always fun to browse my neighborhood stores, if only to get baking inspiration. While I might not purchase the newest giant Oreo-shaped cake pan, I might go home with a hankering to make whoopie pies or cream-filled sandwich cookies. Sometimes, though, they pitch to the perfect sweet spot, and you find yourself walking home with another spatula in your absolute favorite shade of pink, or some Star Wars-shaped cookie cutters, or perhaps this mini lattice pie mold from Williams-Sonoma.

The little mold is fairly clever in design: The outside of the mold works like a cookie cutter so you can cut out the shapes for your pies; then you place one of the pieces of cut-out dough on the inside of the mold, spoon in some filling, place another piece of dough on top, and close the mold to crimp the edges together. Obviously, this is not a true lattice top per se, but it's a pretty replication. And the fact that there are peaches everywhere right now, and I was struck with an intense desire to make some peach pie right away.

If you don't mind accumulating baking gadgets (despite all attempts at a thorough cleaning-out when I moved, my baking collection remain an eclectic, ever-morphing warren of the long-coveted, the impulse-purchased, and accidentally-acquired), this little guy is less than $10 and does its job fairly well. I wouldn't say it renders pie-making hassle free: you still need to make the pie dough and filling, and then assemble the pies. For those pie purists who've honed their pie strategies within an inch of their carefully-floured counter, this might seem a little silly. But I rather enjoyed making little individual pies, flaky-crisp pockets of rosy peaches dotted with cinnamon and nutmeg. The way these pocket-pies are shaped too, almost remind me of muffin tops in form and function: there's almost a constant perfect crust-to-filling ratio, with no soggy parts.

The pie crust recipe below is adapted from the box the cutter came in, although your favorite pie crust recipe will do just fine. I threw some ginger in the recipe to give a prickle of heat that played nicely with the gloriously sweet, juicy peach filling. (P.S., if you aren't in the market for a cutter, you can always cut out shapes with your favorite cookie cutters - remember it should be big enough to contain a generous dollop of filling - and crimp the edges together with a fork.)

P.P.S. I am slowly getting around to thank-you notes and replies to everyone who sent wedding well-wishes. I'm trying to get to everyone as soon as I can - thanks for your patience!

Peachpiemold 

Mini Lattice Peach Pies

Makes about four 5" round pies

Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1 tablespoon sugar

1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

about 3-4 tablespoons ice water

1 egg, beaten with a a teaspoon water, for egg wash

Sugar for sprinkling

Combine flour, salt, ginger, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times until combined.

Add butter and pulse just a few times until pea-sized crumbs form. It should still be crumbly.

Add water a tablespoon at a time and pulse just a couple times. Dough should hold together when you squeeze it but should not be sticky. Add more water if necessary, a teaspoon at a time.

Turn out dough onto plastic wrap, form into a disk, and wrap tightly. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Peach Filling

3 ripe peaches, peeled

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons minute tapioca

Halve and pit the peaches. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Toss peach pieces in a medium bowl with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and tapioca.

To make the pies: Take out dough and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8" thick on a floured surface. Use cutter to cut out shapes for tops and bottoms.

Place a bottom disk of dough on the cutter mold. Brush the edges with a little egg wash.

Spoon in a few tablespoons of the filling. Top with another disk of dough.

Press mold down to crimp edges together, or use a fork to press the edges together.

Transfer the pie to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Repeat with remaining disks of dough.

Freeze pies for 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the tops of the pies with some egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Cool baking sheet with pies on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

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Heeee.....I saw these today at Williams Sonoma and almost bought one myself! I bought the one in the fall they did of an apple and kind of loved it. They turned out really sweet!

Gorgeous as always. One thing I do love about summer is the abundance of lovely fruit.

What delicious looking mini pies!

Cheers,

Rosa

This looks absolutely delicious. As I also don't have the budget to fulfill all my baking tool desires, I might just make it with a regular cookie cutter. Great idea!

so cute!

When I saw the first photo, I was thinking hard on how you possibly did that! It's so cute and for sure yummy to those peach lovers.

I admire you to be able to make so many good food. I like delicious food.

That is a clever little mold. They came out perfect!

true-it is another gadget. but what a perfect little picnic-doodle kind of thing. Maybe good with cabbage and wild mushrooms in the winter to?

They look adorable, Anita! I have yet to try peach tarts, yum!

I'm such a sucker for kitchen gadgetry...

How adorable! I have quite the obsession with small desserts! :)

The pies are so cute!! I absolutely adore peaches too. I only wish they were in season here.

Like you, I love kitchen gadgets. In fact I spent a bucketload at an online kitchen store yesterday and am desperately waiting on the delivery of my new goodies. Is it sad that I get excited about kitchen equipment deliveries?

I almost bought one of those...and now I want one!

Awesome Anitha!! Just can't get enough of these gadgets,very true:-))

I can always go for another kitchen gadget --even if my kitchen is as big as a shoebox. These look so tasty!

ooo mini! peach pies are perfect for summer, and these are gorgeous.

These are too cute! I can't wait to try them. I swear the peaches we've been getting this year are extra delicious! I don't know what it is but I'm definitely not complaining.

That mini peach pie looks fantastic! Almost too perfect to eat!

DELISH! I am loving the peaches right now. I just baked some Peaches and Cream cookies, but I am dying to make these...

Thank you for your helpful info on pastry school! I am considering the idea in the future and really appreciated your frank insight.

I have finally started blogging my cookie baking adventures. Come visit if you have a sec!

Your blog is amazing! All of your desserts look delicious and the pictures are perfect. Keep up the great work!

Your blog is super. So are your photographies. They make me hungry. I have spent a nice moment when seeing them. Thanks a lot.

I've eyed that cute little pie-maker so many times in Williams-Sonoma... And then I go home and make turnovers :) Peach pie though - I've never made it, so now I think I need to. Yours looks amazing!

oh wow. this looks so good. I can't wait until the farmer's market this weekend to get some fresh local peaches.

hi,i am a Cninese,a very occassional chance ,i read your blog ,very beautiful cake ,i like baking very much ,although i have been baked forjust one year,but i find i have passion on it . it's a very fantastic prosess.

Great website!! I love it, it's already in my favorite. I did some shopping in William Sonoma last Saturday, yes this pie mold, I didn't have the chance to try it yet, but I can see from your post that it will be very fun tool to use!
Ilaria

Thanks all! I try to shake the kitchen-gadget habit but it's a tough one! Especially as they get cuter all the time!

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