Autumn Queen Peach & Cardamom Hand Pies
Last week, like many of us, I watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dr. Ford, with strength and bravery, chose to recount the painful memory of her sexual assault openly and publicly for the sake of the truth and the good of the country. She testified knowing that it would impact her future and her family, but felt it was her civic duty. Her testimony was captivating and empowering. I believe her.
I sat glued to the constant breaking news alerts and the Twitter storm that followed, aching for Dr. Ford as she replayed her experiences only to face doubt, ridicule and threats. I realized I was torturing myself. I needed something to occupy me, because my usual cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor was boiling. I needed an escape. I needed to bake.
The weekend before I had bought a dozen Autumn Queen peaches from Costco. I tried my hardest to use them all up before they went bad, knowing peach hand pies photographed with a late summer color palette was the perfect distraction from the news. To add a nuanced layer of sweetness, I dug into my homemade cardamom and vanilla simple syrup, a mainstay in my fridge for fancy coffee, tea, cocktails, and compotes.
I made these with a double batch of King Arthur’s gluten-free pie crust recipe to ease any future tummy troubles which happens to be pretty dang tasty, flaky, and crispy. Because gluten-free dough doesn’t stretch, I opted for a “double crust” hand pie, which allowed for more peach pie filling. I’d say it was a win-win. The key to this crust: let it warm up for about 10-15 minutes after it is refrigerated or it will be too crumbly to roll out.
Autumn Queen Peach & Cardamom Hand Pies
Peach Hand Pie Ingredients
4 large peaches, sliced
¼ cup cardamom and vanilla bean simple syrup plus 4-6 pods from syrup
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tsp. corn starch
Juice of 1 lemon, optional
Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup green cardamom pods
1 vanilla bean, scraped
Gluten-Free Pie Crust
Double batch of King Arthur Gluten-Free Pie Crust
1 egg, scrambled with cold water, for an egg wash
¼ cup turbinado sugar for sprinkles
Peach Hand Pie Directions
Simple Syrup directions
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, cardamom pods and scraped vanilla bean and pod.
Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved to prevent burning.
Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to steep for minimum of 30 minutes.
Store with cardamom and vanilla pods for intensity.
Combine peaches, simple syrup, cardamom pods, brandy, granulated sugar, corn starch in a large saucepan. Stir to combine.
Over medium heat, bring to a bubbling simmer. Cook, stirring often for about 15 minutes. Peaches will begin to break down. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
Taste compote, if too sweet, add lemon juice to taste. Cook over low heat for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Hand Pie Directions
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Use a bowl or cup to cut out circles for each hand pie, about 4 to 5 inches across.
Brush bottom circle with egg wash along the edges to help seal the hand pies.
Load up with peach compote, about 2-3 tablespoons.
Quickly press second circle of dough to prevent leaks. Use fork tines to ensure a tight seal.
Cut or poke air holes on the top.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake 35 minutes, or until golden.
If you or someone you know are affected by sexual assault and need help, the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) is a safe, confidential and free service. You can also visit http://online.rainn.org/ for a confidential online chat.
Once you’ve eaten your feelings with these hand pies, register to vote in the 2018 midterm elections (or double check to make sure your records are up to date!). Election day is November 6, 2018 and many registration deadlines are today! Do not waste your privilege by sitting idle.
Thanks to Haley Hardin for her gracious help editing this piece.