makes ten 3½” hand pies
For the Cornmeal Crust-
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup ice cold water combined with 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (you will not use all of this liquid) and ½ cup ice
Place the ice cold water and cider vinegar in a Pyrex measuring cup with a handful of ice (about ½ cup) and refrigerate.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Add the butter pieces, using your fingertips to coat the butter with the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture, until you have mostly pea-sized pieces of butter with a few larger pieces.
Retrieve the water/vinegar/ice from the refrigerator. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, tossing it with a fork to incorporate. Add 2 more tablespoons of the water mixture, tossing again, and then additional tablespoons (no more than 12 tablespoons total) until the dough begins to come together. (12 tablespoons of liquid seems to consistently be the correct amount. Depending on the weather, you may need a little more or less.) Gather the dough together, divide it in two discs, flatten them slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out. When ready to roll, retrieve one round of dough from the refrigerator, and let it soften just enough to facilitate rolling. Roll the dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, to a thickness of about ⅛ inch, approximately 13” in diameter. Use a 3¼” cutter to cut out 5 squares of dough; you can reroll scraps once, if needed. Slide the parchment sheet with the dough squares to a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Repeat with the second round of dough, then begin the filling.
For the filling-
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (so you don’t forget.)
2 cups total, diced peaches and nectarines (I don’t peel the nectarines, just the peaches)
1-2 tablespoons cooled honeyed bourbon caramel (depending on sweetness of the fruit)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ginger
2 teaspoons fresh lemon or fresh orange juice
dash of orange bitters (optional)
egg wash from 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water or milk or cream
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
In a medium bowl, toss the diced fruit with the caramel, cornstarch, spices, juice, and bitters. Retrieve the dough squares from the fridge. Brush the edge of half of the squares with a thin border of egg wash. (The other squares will serve as the top of the hand pies.)
Spoon one tablespoon of fruit (leaving most of the liquid behind) into the center of half of the squares. Cover each fruit-filled square with one solid square, pinching the edges to seal using a fork. Brush the top of the hand pies with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Place the pies on a parchment lined baking sheet, allowing a little breathing room between them, about 3/4 of an inch. Use a fork to prick a few holes in the top of each pie, so steam can escape as they bake.
Return the hand pies to the refrigerator, or preferably to the freezer (if space allows) and let them get good and cold, at least 10 minutes in the freezer, at least 20 minutes in the fridge. This helps the pies hold their shape in the oven.
Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until golden and the fruit softens. Serve with Honeyed Bourbon Caramel.
Note about lattice tops:
You can certainly top the pies with a lattice made from half of the dough squares. If you decide to do this, you have to cut the dough into ½ inch strips and chill them before assembling the pies. If you try to do this once you’ve placed the fruit on top of the bottom layer, the lattice will get soft and the fruit will seep into the bottom of the pie and you’ll be kicking yourself. It’s a little more fiddle, but the end results are pretty great.
For the Honeyed Bourbon Caramel- makes approximately 1½ cups
⅓ cup honey
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
generous pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons bourbon (depends on the day)
In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, combine the honey and sugar over medium heat, whisking only to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer, carefully swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble, (first big bubbles, then smaller bubbles) and turns from light brown to deeper amber. Tilt the pan if you see the mixture getting darker on one side. Remove the pan from the heat, carefully add the cream (mixture will spatter!) whisking to combine. Return to low heat briefly, allowing the sauce to thicken a bit. Remove from heat, add butter, salt, and vanilla, stirring until combined. Add bourbon. Let caramel cool in a heat-proof bowl, then refrigerate.
adapted from Claire Ptak
(see note about freezing unbaked scones)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups white/whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
7 oz. (1 stick plus 6 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup crystallized ginger, (4 ounces) finely chopped
¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
¼ cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
¾ cup (total) fresh cherries and plums, rinsed, pitted, diced
egg wash made from 1 large egg, lightly beaten
turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, ground ginger, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Add the butter, using your fingers to rub it into the dry ingredients until it forms pea-size crumbs. Add the crystallized ginger, using a fork to mix.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, molasses, honey, orange zest, and turbinado sugar. Add the molasses mixture to the flour/butter mixture, using a rubber spatula to gently combine the ingredients, just until the dough comes together. Fold in the diced fruit. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a 12” by 4” rectangle. Divide the dough into 4 equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle into 2 triangles. Place the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush generously with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake the scones in the preheated 400 degree F oven until golden and slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with butter, honey, and jam. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight tin for 2 days.
Note: Unbaked scones can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen, -don’t defrost!- allowing a little additional baking time.
(adapted from the Gold Medal Flour Cookbook and Matt Jennings)
makes 13 fritters
First prepare the Spicy Sugar-
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
generous pinch cayenne
generous pinch kosher salt
In a medium bowl, combine the sugars and spices. Whisk well to combine. Set aside while you prepare the fritters.
For the fritters- (I use a 3/4 oz. ice cream scoop to drop the batter in the oil)
½ cup cake flour
¼ cup Wondra instant flour
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup buttermilk (I use Five Acre Farms)
1½ teaspoons olive oil
1½ cups diced fresh peaches, drained in a fine mesh strainer then placed on paper towel to absorb excess moisture
3 cups canola oil, for frying
In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, Wondra, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and olive oil until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a rubber scraper to combine. Fold in the diced peaches.
Place a candy or deep-fry thermometer within reach. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and a thickness of paper towels. Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot, making sure the oil registers 350 degrees F before you begin frying the fritters. Using a 3/4 oz. ice cream scoop, carefully add spoonfuls of batter to the hot oil. Fry just until golden, turning the fritters once or twice so they fry evenly, about 5-6 minutes total. Make sure the oil returns to 350 degrees F before you add the next batch of fritters. Toss the warm fritters in the Spicy Sugar and serve at once.
from Yotam Ottolenghi
Use plain or vanilla Arab-style sesame halvah for this rich cake. To serve as a dessert, have thick whipped cream alongside. Makes one 9” x 5” loaf.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan with a little butter, and line the base and sides with parchment paper.
For the topping-
¼ cup unsalted butter
scant 1¼ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
scant 3 tablespoons dark brown or muscovado sugar
6 oz. plain or vanilla Arab-style sesame halvah, broken into 1¼” pieces
Put the butter in a small saucepan and place over low to medium heat. Melt, then let it sizzle for about 3 minutes until it's light brown and smells slightly nutty. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, mix the butter, walnuts and cinnamon together. Divide the mixture in half and stir the brown or muscovado sugar into one of the portions; you may need to use your hands to break up the sugar and spread it evenly throughout the nuts. Prepare the cake batter.
For the cake batter-
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (plus extra for greasing the pan)
½ cup superfine sugar
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy, then add the eggs a little at a time until incorporated. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Add this to the batter alternating with the sour cream, in a couple of additions; be sure not to over mix.
Spread half the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan and evenly scatter the sugarless nut mixture over the batter. Dot the halva on top, then use a small cookie or ice cream scoop to drop the remaining batter over this. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the batter – the halva may drag a bit into the batter, but don't worry about that. Finally, sprinkle the sugary nuts on top. Bake in the pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then gently remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Remove the parchment paper and leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. (Best to use a serrated knife.) Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap or aluminum foil- they will keep for a day or two.