You guys, Summer is almost over. When did this happen? I’m sorry to bring this up and put a big damper on your mood but one must face reality. As a result, the final few weeks I am simply gorging myself on as many summer peaches I can get my hands on and the things I can make with them. And, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve never been all that into peach pie. Peach crumbles, peach cake, peach bars I will bake and consume with the best of them. But, peach pie has just never really been my jam. That is, until I made these. Consider them peach pie’s miniaturized, crust covered better-looking cousin. Less messy, a way better fruit-to-crust ratio and my new go-to peach dessert.
These kind of look like a bigger version of some dumplings you can get at your local Chinese spot. But, I promise you they are about 1000000X better. Flaky pie crust heaping spoonfuls of bourbon hard sauce atop still warm peaches really makes this dessert sing, but in a classically simple way.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen cookbook
A few notes:
The 6-inch squares suggested for each dumpling are based on an estimate that your peach half will be 3 inches in diameter, which is a fairly big peach. If it’s smaller, feel free to reduce the size of the square accordingly.
If you don’t want to use the bourbon in the sauce, a few dashes of vanilla extract + filling the rest of the tablespoon with water would work just fine.
3 large peaches
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Few fresh gratings nutmeg, or a pinch of ground
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 6 pieces, kept cold
1 large egg, for glaze
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
Roll crust to a 12-by-18-inch rectangle, and divide into 6-inch squares. Transfer squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
Halve peaches and remove pits. Scoop a tiny extra out of the pit indentation with a melon baller (larger side) or knife, so that there is more room too pack the filling.
Mix brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a little dish. Spoon 1 lightly packed tablespoon on top of each peach, smooshing as much of the sugar mixture as you can into the center. Dot the top of each with a piece of the cold butter. Center a peach half, cut side up, in your first pastry square. Bring corners up to meet each other over the center — if it feels tight, or as you’re short on dough, make sure that the dough underneath is flush with the peach curve; it tends to get slack — and seal the seams together, pinching with your fingertips.
Arrange peach dumplings in a buttered 9X13-inch baking dish, and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk egg together with 1 teaspoon water to form a glaze. Brush glaze over the tops and exposed sides of the dumplings. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until pastries are puffed and bronzed on top.
While baking, make the hard sauce. Beat softened butter, confectioners sugar and bourbon until smooth. Scrape into a serving dish. When pastries come out of the oven, dollop each with a heaping spoonful of the hard sauce, and serve pastries with the sauce melting over the side.