adapted from SAVEUR
Note: Combining white-whole wheat flour with full strength whole wheat and cornmeal makes for a pastry that is hearty, not heavy. I used the leftover scraps for cut-outs. Hand pies have a bad reputation for unfolding in the oven, exposing their fruity selves. It’s always a good idea to refrigerate or freeze the unbaked pies before baking; at the very least for 30 minutes, better still overnight and baked fresh in the morning.
For the pastry-
1½ cups white-whole wheat flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
¼ cup ice cold water + 1 teaspoon orange juice (you may not use all of this)
In a large bowl, whisk together the white-whole wheat flour, the whole wheat flour, the cornmeal, brown sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a bench scraper until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in the ice water/orange juice 1 tablespoon at a time using just enough to create a shaggy dough. Gather the dough together into two equal pieces, shaping each to form a rough rectangle. Flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.
When ready to roll the pastry, lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll into a 12” x 14” rectangle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut three rectangles, measuring 4” x 6” out of each portion of dough. You will have 6 rectangles (and extra dough scraps for cut-outs.) Cut twelve 1”x 5” strips from the scraps and your choice of decorative cut-outs. Cover the pastry rectangles, the strips, and the cut-outs with plastic wrap or parchment, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
For the filling-
3 medium nectarines, rinsed, halved, pitted, cut into ¾” chunks (2 cups)
½ cup blueberries, rinsed, picked over for stems
2 teaspoons orange juice
2 tablespoons mild honey
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon cream or milk
coarse sugar for sanding
In a large bowl, combine the nectarines, blueberries, orange juice, honey, nutmeg, cornstarch, vanilla, and orange zest. Use a rubber spatula to turn the mixture making sure the cornstarch is completely incorporated.
Retrieve the pastry rectangles from the refrigerator. Working with one piece at a time, place a pastry rectangle on a parchment lined half-sheet baking sheet. Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each rectangle. Brush the outer edges of the rectangle with a little bit of egg wash. Place two 1”strips of dough across each pastry, creating an “X” then turn the long sides in, then the short sides, tucking the edges of the “X” inside each pie. Create a sturdy ½” border to hug the filling. Use your fingers to create a thick crimp around each filled pastry. Continue until all 6 rectangles are filled and edges folded. Brush the pies with egg wash, add the cut-outs and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate (or freeze) for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes; move the baking sheet to the middle rack of the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the fruit bubbles. (Oven time will depend upon how long the pies were refrigerated/frozen before baking.) Leftovers will keep covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.