"Because life is good, home cooking is best, and there is always something to be grateful for." - Christy Jordan

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This just in: It's peach season!


I have been waiting for this to roll around for so long. I LOOOOOOOOVE peaches and anything with peaches in it, but y'all already knew that :)

Y'all should probably go ahead and prepare yourselves for a ton of peach recipes throughout the summer. I will have peaches in my kitchen all summer and I've been writing down all these yummy looking peach recipes for months, so I am ready to get cookin'! I'm talkin' peach cobbler, peach ice cream (just tried a new recipe last night!), peach tea, peach cake, peach pancakes, peach muffins, peach mojitos, maybe? I do have that mint plant in my backyard now. The possibilities are endless! However, there's a kink in my plan to inject 12 peaches into my diet everyday.... the rest of the members in my household are not as big of fans of peaches as I am. I think they'll see the light by the end of the summer. Or they're going to have to learn to like them because I am not backing down!

This past weekend mom, daddy and I went to the Rangers game, but someone (me) got the time mixed up and I thought the game started earlier than it did. We pulled up to the ballpark and there's no traffic and no one to even take our parking pass stub... we thought it was weird. I guess we should have taken it as a clue that we were early..... really early. So that meant we had time to kill. Naturally, I suggested that we go to the Farmer's Market!

Win, win right? I thought so. My big mission at the Farmer's Market was to find a big ol' barrel of peaches to take home with me. I bought two baskets :) Which was about 12-15 peaches I think? MMMM HMMMM! We also got some blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, spinach and corn. God, I love summer!

Do y'all love peaches as much as I do?  What's your favorite peach recipe? I think cobbler is the most popular and the most well-known.

Well this is a recipe for fried peach pies. I know what you're thinking..."YUM!!"

And you thought right! These are absolutely, positively delicious. Fried pies are nothing new, but they are fantastic any way you can get them. I just happen to prefer peach!

So after I just went on and on about peach season and how much I love fresh peaches...here's the deal. This recipe uses dried peaches. Which means you can make them any time of the year! Woo hoo!

 Straight out of Southern Plate! 

This recipe is from my girl Christy Jordan's cookbook Southern Plate, which is probably my most favorite cookbook. I've made so many recipes out of it and all of them are incredible. Her food is simple, southern comfort food. How can you beat that? 

This recipe is already so simple, but a shortcut can be made which will make this recipe EVEN easier. Believe it! Instead of making your own dough, you can use refrigerated pie crust and just cut out circles, or you could use refrigerated canned biscuits (like Pillsbury) and roll them out a bit to thin them out and make them bigger. I've never used the pie crust, but I have used the biscuits method and they were AWESOME. So feel free to do what you want! This is the old-fashioned way.... which is just as delicious.

Let's get to fryin' some pies!

Fried Peach Pies
Recipe adapted from Southern Plate 

6-7 oz. dried fruit (peaches, apples, apricots.... whatever you like!)
2 c. water
1 c. sugar
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. milk, plus more if needed
vegetable oil

We need to start by making the filling. That sweet, peachy, delicious filling.

Get you a bag of dried peaches (or whatever dried fruit you want). The bag should be 6-7 ounces of fruit.


Dump those beauties into a saucepan and add your sugar and water.


What we're doing here is reconstituting the fruit. The hot water will make the peaches plump back up and make them soft. Then the sugar will sweeten them (obviously) and it will come together to make this gorgeous, chunky sauce/filling. To. Die. For.

Just you wait!

This mixture is going to have to boil for a while. It takes about 15-20 minutes to plump them back up!


The water will turn a pretty orange color. You can tell they're done cooking once they look full and juicy. You'll also be able to tell by stirring them. They won't feel as hard.

Meanwhile, let's make the pie dough! Super easy.

Start with dumping the flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk those together so everything is fully incorporated.

Note: This amount of dough doesn't really match up with how much filling you're making. If you want to use all the filling, double the recipe for the dough. I had filling left over and it's still sitting in my fridge. I'm not worried. Maybe I'll just stick a spoon in it and eat it for breakfast tomorrow? Or I'll whip up more dough later this week and fry up more pies! 

You need 1/2 cup of shortening now. I love the sticks of shortening. It makes measuring shortening so easy. No one likes to scoop shortening out of a big container and mushing (technical term) it into a measuring cup. YUCK. The sticks come in 1 cup measurements and have all the measurement lines you need on the package. Love it.

Since we need 1/2 cup, just slice this in half.

Remember how we talked about cutting butter and/or shortening into flour? We've gotta do it again! 

I use my Grandma's pastry blender, but you could use two forks or two knives. The point of this is to cut the shortening or butter up into small pieces so they're distributed throughout the flour. These little pockets of butter or shortening are what makes pie dough flaky!


Now pour in the milk and stir until it soaks up the flour and the dough gets sticky and comes together.

Now dump it out onto a floured surface and knead it together a few times. This just helps the dough come together and helps with the consistency.  Since we're not rolling this out yet, it doesn't have to be any particular shape.

Break the dough into 10 balls that are about the same size. Now you have your pie dough ready!

Note: Like I said earlier, you don't have to make this dough from scratch. You could just buy refrigerated pie crusts or a can of refrigerated biscuits (not the flaky ones). If you use the refrigerated pie crusts, you could use a small bowl as your "cookie cutter" and if you use the biscuits, just roll them out so their thinner and flat... or until they're about 5 inches in diameter.

This recipe is definitely old-fashioned...which, to be honest, is why I like it. I love recipes that you know have been in people's families for years. These recipes have stuck around for so long for a reason... because they're good! Of course, there's something to be said for using shortcuts and I'm all for it, but I wanted to try it the old-fashioned way!

The peaches should be good and soft now. Get out your potato masher and mash away! We need to break them up a little bit.

Once those are all broken up, add your cinnamon and margarine (or butter). The cinnamon will make it even more delicious! It gives that spiced, peach cobbler type taste to it. The margarine will make the mixture rich. You also need to add the lemon juice, which will brighten the filling up and give it a tangy bite.

Stir those in until the margarine is melted and everything is combined.

 YUM. Does anyone have a spoon?

The filling is finally ready! Bust out your rolling pin, folks! Flour a surface and plop one ball of dough down. Roll it out so it's about 5 inches in diameter. These are little bitty hand pies!

Oh! While you're assembling the pies, get out a medium skillet and set it over medium heat. Pour in about 1/4-1/2 inch of oil. Let that heat up while you're getting the pies ready.

Once the dough ball is rolled out, spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center.

It's important to not fill these too much. The filling will just pour out and it will be a mess. You'll get the hang of it after the first one.

Okay, back to the pies.  Once your filling is on the dough, dip your finger in some water and run it around the edges. This acts like a glue so the dough will stick together. Now fold over one side so you make a half moon shape. Don't worry if the circle isn't perfect and doesn't match up perfectly.

Use a fork to press the edges together and make a pretty crimp pattern.

Perfect! Keep repeating until you've assembled all the pies. The oil should be hot now. Place two pies in and let them fry away! They will cook for about one minute on each side.

You will know the oil is ready when it bubbles around the pies once you put them in. It will also get kind of loud!

I only did two pies at a time, because if you put too many in, it's not only harder to flip them, but it brings the temperature of the oil down. The process will take a little longer, but you'll be making it easier on yourself, I promise!

Use tongs to flip the pies over. They should be golden brown and look crispy and flaky!

Once they're done, remove them from the oil and place them on a plate with a paper towel on it. This will help absorb the excess oil. Keep repeating until all the pies have been fried. 

When they're all finished cooking you could sprinkle them with powdered sugar or even cinnamon sugar would be good! Or you could shovel them all in your mouth at once. Your choice.

Feel free to scoop some vanilla ice cream on top. Just a suggestion :)

I put mine on a plate and topped it with some whipped cream. DEEEEEEELISH.

I hope y'all enjoy! This is a great recipe to make when you need to feed a crowd. I think everyone will like them because they've got that comfort food factor. They're good warm or at room temperature. They were eaten for breakfast the day after I made them. Don't worry, no one left one for me. They're were all gobbled up!

Now I'm already thinking about what other kind of fruit I could use. Wouldn't it be cool to make a couple different flavors and mix the pies up so no one knows which flavor they're getting?!?! Blueberry, peach, apple... cherry, apricot... okay. That's too much work.

Let me know if you make these and what you think! I know you'll love them as much as I do! 

Before I go!! Check out my flag cake I made for Memorial Day...

I just used a boxed white cake mix and baked it in a sheet pan, but I fancied it up by using milk instead of water and adding some vanilla bean paste. Then for the frosting I beat a block of cream cheese into a container of Cool Whip. I sweetened it a tad with 1/4 c. of powdered sugar (by the way, this mixture is ridiculously good. I could eat it by itself with a spoon. A big spoon.) Then I just cut strawberries in half for the stripes and placed some blueberries on there. 

Cute right? I got the idea from my roomie Val :) She makes it every year and it just sounded so good that I had to make one myself! I'm going to use this frosting recipe on other things. I got the idea because it's the filling in that strawberry pretzel salad we all know and love (You haven't had it? Where have you been? Call me immediately and I'll make one. You need some strawberry pretzel salad in your life.) and I thought it would be good. I was right! It's so light and delicious!

1 comment:

  1. Ok these look delicious! Fried pies are one of my favorite memories as a little girl living in ole' Alvin, TX. Have you ever found a recipe that uses fresh peaches??