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Sweet and Spicy Fried Peach Pies

Alexandra Grablewski

Yield: Yields twelve.

Fried hand pies are a southern tradition; this one makes the most of summer peaches, with hot pepper jelly and a hint of cayenne for a spicy kick.


For the dough

  • 11-1/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4-1/2 oz. (9 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the filling

  • 1 lb. 2 oz. firm-ripe peaches (2 large), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2-1/2 cups)
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. hot pepper jelly
  • 1-1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch plus 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • Peanut or canola oil, for frying

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 270
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 75
  • Sodium (mg): 20
  • Carbohydrates (g): 47
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 3


Make the dough

  • Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 pulses. Add the milk and lemon juice and pulse until the dough just starts to come together, 8 to 10 pulses more. Do not overprocess. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, gather it into a rectangle, and flatten slightly. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough with a 4-inch round cookie cutter into 12 circles. (If necessary, gather the scraps and reroll once.) Shingle the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate.

Make the filling

  • Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl in the water.
  • In a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan, combine the peaches with 1/3 cup of the sugar, the lemon juice, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the peaches have softened and released some of their juices, about 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1 Tbs. cold water. Add the slurry to the peach mixture and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the hot pepper jelly, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne. Remove from the heat and stir to blend. Transfer the mixture to the bowl in the ice bath and cool.

Assemble the pies

  • Brush the perimeter of each dough round with water. Put a rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of each round. Fold the dough in half to form a half-moon shape and pinch the edges together to seal. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours before frying.

Fry the pies

  • Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a shallow bowl and reserve.
  • Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Fill a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) with 1/2 inch of oil. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom. Heat the oil to 365°F and fry the pies in two batches until golden-brown, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side. With a slotted spoon, remove the pies from the pan, drain on the paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and then dredge in the cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. These pies are best the day they’re made.


The lemon juice in the pastry helps produce a flaky, tender crust. Gluten, responsible for tough pastry, develops when flour is combined with liquids. The addition of an acid inhibits this process.


Rate or Review

Reviews (11 reviews)

  • user-4765749 | 07/17/2017

    Made this with canned croissants -pillsbury-sprinkled a little sugar on the dough before adding filling---delicious! I have zero talent in the kitchen and would never try to make homemade dough!

  • Franfrisbee | 09/15/2014

    I've made these several times and everyone loves them! They are a little time consuming but SO delicious!

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