This recipe is for pies, tiny adorable pies in single-serving size. It needs no introduction, explanation, or justification, except to say that the fruit you use is completely up to you. Go crazy (go local!). Just go make these now.
If you are of the hallowed school that feels pie needs ice cream to make a complete food group, consider the recipe I included below for sweet corn (also in season) ice cream sweetened with honey.
Mini Peach "Cup Pies"
makes 2 pies; takes about 1+ hour (includes chilling time for dough)
For the crust:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp water (OR! 1 Tbsp vodka + 1 Tbsp water)*
For the filling:
1 large or 2 medium peaches
2 Tbsp brown sugar
dash lemon juice
- First, make the crust by stirring together flour, sugar, and salt. Work the butter into the flour mixture using a food processor or, as I did, just your hands, grabbing and squeezing until all the flour is coated in fat (yeah, that's what it is) and you've got pea-ish sized clumps. Stir in the water (or vodka + water) a little bit at a time, mixing well after each addition until you can just form a cohesive dough. Divide into three sections, one slightly larger than the other two, wrap in plastic and stash in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the peach(es) into large chunks--no need to peel--and toss with the brown sugar and lemon juice. Let sit while you work on everything else.
- Take out dough and, working with the small guys first, roll into circles at least 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Gently lower and press down into 2 well-greased muffing cups. Divide fruit between two cups, lifting peaches out of the liquid they have now created and mounding into dough. Roll final dough into a large oval and cut out two rounds of dough about 3 inches in diameter. Lay over the top of each cup and press down with the tines of of a fork, smooshing the top dough to the bottom dough. Trim off excess dough around sides and cut four slits in the top with a sharp knife.
- If you want, brush with egg or milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 425º oven for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 375º and cook 15 minutes more. Top should be browning and bubbly.
- After cooling for about 10 minutes, pies should lift right out of their cups. Cool rest of the way on a cooling rack.
*About the vodka: Once upon a time, the geniuses at Cook's Illustrated discovered that, by using vodka as part of the liquid in a pie dough, you get the desired effect of 60% liquid evaporation (that would be the alcohol) during baking. This means that you can have a nice, squishy dough to roll out, but one that doesn't suffer the pastry-toughening effects water usually has on pie dough.
Post Script: Honey - Sweet Corn Ice Cream
makes plenty, ready in 4ish hours; shamelessly stolen from Not Eating Out in New York
3 cups light cream or half-and-half
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
kernels from 1 ear fresh corn
- Throw cream and corn kernels in a small saucepan and heat over medium until just about to boil, stirring occasionally, then turn off heat. While you're waiting, beat yolks and sugar until lemon colored and fluffy.
- Using just a little at a time, add some of hot cream to egg yolk mixture, stirring stirring stirring all the while. This is called tempering. Once you've gotten the egg mixture nice and warm without cooking the eggs, return to the saucepan and whisk it all together. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but don't boil.
- Off heat, stir in honey, transfer to a container, and refrigerate until cold. At this point, either throw it in your ice cream maker or transfer container to the freezer, taking ice cream out every 30 minutes or so and stirring real good.