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Wingin’ It: Peach hand pies as the Buffalo Bills take on the Atlanta Falcons

With a little spice of course

You like football. You like food. So do we! So much so, in fact, that we smash the two together to bring you a Buffalo Bills-inspired recipe each week. Whether it’s a take on an opponents’ fave or some real mad scientist **** coming your way, Wingin’ It is the spot to watch. This week we’re prepping for the Atlanta Falcons!

Wingin it hand pies

As someone with an avowed sweet tooth, it’s a bit of a shame that Wingin’ It so rarely gets to hit the dessert table. The Falcons to the rescue! If you were to do word association games with the word “Georgia” I bet you’d commonly get “peach” as a response. And when I was looking for Atlanta specialties the hand pie came up over and over again. Perfect! Add a little heat and we’re in business!

Spicy Peach Hand Pies

Makes: 4 hand pies
Active Time: 40 min
Total Time: 3 hours


For the pie crust (optional, you can buy premade if you want, though I discourage it)
2 cups flour
2 sticks unsalted butter (cold and in small chunks)
12 cup cold water
12 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp white sugar

For the pie filling
2 cans (15 oz) sliced peaches in juice
1 small hot pepper, sliced thin
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 tsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
12 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze
12 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 tsp whole milk
14 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Make pie crust: Add flour, chunked cold butter, cinnamon, and sugar to large mixing bowl; toss together (see below).
  2. Add water and mix until uniform consistency. Wrap and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Make pie filling: Drain juice from peaches into medium saucepan.
  4. Chop peaches into small(ish) chunks (see below) and add to saucepan.
  5. Place peaches on stove on LOW/MED; add rest of pie filling ingredients and stir. Allow to simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. See tips below on judging consistency. Once pie filling has reached desired consistency, remove from heat and cool, about 10 min.
  6. Prepare hand pies: Preheat oven to 375ºF and cut crust mixture into quarters.
  7. Roll out first piece of mixture to quarter-inch thickness.
  8. Cut out circle roughly salad plate size (I literally used a salad plate as my template) or around 8”.
  9. Spoon about one-quarter of the filling into the center of the rolled-out crust. Wet edge around crust circle, working quickly. Fold in half and crimp edges (I used the empanada technique—fork technique would work well too). Place finished hand pie on large baking sheet. Repeat three more times.
  10. Pierce two holes in the top of each hand pie using the tip of a sharp knife. Place in preheated oven and bake until top crust starts to turn golden, about 35-40 min. Remove from oven.
  11. Prepare glaze: Add sugar, milk, and vanilla to small bowl, whisk together. Brush glaze on pies while still warm.

Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery

One of the very first things I learned to cook was pies (thank you Mom). So I have a lot of tips. I apologize for the plethora of images and tips, but if you’re actually reading this to learn a bit about cooking, this is one area I think people should have faith in me and these tips are all good ones.

The first picture shows what I mean by “chunked” butter. These are about one-half Tbsp pieces or 16 per stick. Pie crust is something I pretty much never measure. So if you’re like me, picture two shows the amount of cinnamon I’d add to the crust.

One tip that’s not pictured is how “smooth” to work the crust. Because we want these pies to be more portable, work the entire mixture until smooth. You should not see any chunks of butter. For a REGULAR pie in a pie pan, this is a cardinal sin. For that type of pie, you want to see butter chunks still in the mixture. At least pea size. We’re deliberately overworking the mixture to make it less crumbly.

Picture three shows how large I cut the peach chunks. We’ll come back to this in a second, but each slice is roughly quartered. The next picture shows the size of pepper I selected. I avoided hot sauce this week as the vinegar drastically alters chemistry. That means the heat is coming from this single pepper. I would avoid going any larger than this as peppers add flavor, not just heat. Going too heavy on the pepper will make this less a peach pie than a pepper pie. You can taste the filling as you go. If you’re not satisfied with the heat, adding cayenne powder is the best way to up the heat without killing the peach flavor.

The next picture shows the mixture after it’s nearly done. The pieces of peach we cut at the beginning are too large, and will lead to a lumpy looking pie. However, the heating and stirring process will break down the peaches as you go. If you’re heating filling before adding to the pie crust, always cut the fruit a little on the large side.

How do I know when I’m done? The next two pictures show the two ways I usually test pie filling (and any sauce I’m thickening really). The first is what I call the “foil test.” Place a drop of the pie filling syrup on foil and allow to cool for 10-15 seconds. Hold the foil vertical. The top drop is barely moving and shows the filling when it’s done. The lower drop is not quite done. You can see how much more it slid off the foil. The next picture is the pan test. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan. It should be completely clean where you scraped. The filling should slowly work back toward the area you scraped. If you’re growing impatient waiting for it to fill back in, the filling is likely done. Of the two tests, the foil test is the easier and more reliable one.

One last tip/thought. The key to pie filling is NOT the fruit, it’s the syrup in between. You should know what the fruit tastes like. It’s the syrup that needs to be “right” to create a special pie filling. I highly recommend tasting as you go. It’s never too late to adjust (unless you burned it of course). Don’t waste time tasting the fruit, just dab a bit of the syrup on a spoon and see how that’s coming along.