Nothing says back to school time like peaches at our home, and if you’re like us, once September rolls around, you might have a surplus of them.
Here’s a fun recipe that is delicious and different, and we’ve discovered, good for a back-to-school feast.
Peach Dumplings with Bourbon Hard Sauce from The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman
Makes 6 large peach dumplings
1 recipe All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough (page 226) or your own crust recipe
3 large peaches
1/3 cup (65 grams) light or dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Few fresh gratings of nutmeg, or a pinch of ground
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 6 pieces, kept cold
1 large egg (for glaze)
Hard Sauce (Alcohol optional)
4 tablespoons (55 grams or ½ stick) butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (95 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
Roll crust to a 12-by-18-inch rectangle, and divide into six 6-inch squares. If dough gets too soft or warm while you’re rolling it, continue to the square stage, but then transfer the squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill them in the freezer for a couple minutes, until they firm up again.
Halve peaches, and cross your fingers that you’ve gotten freestone ones, because it makes life much easier. Remove pits. I like to scoop a little tiny extra out of the pit indentation with a melon baller (larger side) or knife, so that there is more room in the “belly button” to 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 if you’re short of 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 9-by-13-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 dumplings. Bake for 30 to 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 open, dollop each, (or at least the ones that will not be served to children) with a heaping spoonful of the hard sauce, and serve pastries with the sauce melting over the sides.