Ah, New Year’s Eve … the time to renew one’s self, make virtuous resolutions to ourselves regarding health and wealth and family, look forward to a bright shiny year with hope, promise and anticipation.
I am fortunate enough to have had the one thing I wanted to accomplish this past year come into being … but for the most part, let’s face it, all our good intentions on New Year’s Eve, while giddy with champagne, fall by the wayside before that little cherub comes along with his bow and arrow.
So, for this year, I plan to love more, live better, be kinder to those around me, and take it easier on myself. I can accomplish any goal I set my mind to, but I do need to learn to take it easier on myself when that goal doesn’t come to fruition instantly.
I learned that the hard way this past year. Moving to Maine was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I cried and screamed and fell to pieces, but with the help and support of friends I made it through the long dark tunnel to a bright future waiting on the other side.
As I sit here on New Year’s Day, freezing, looking out the window at our beautiful snow covered landscape, I realize I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for … and with love anything can be accomplished.
Perhaps that should be the resolution first and foremost on everyone’s list. LOVE. Love your friends and family, love those who may not always deserve it (they need it the most), but most importantly love yourself, take it easy on yourself, with that small word, everything is possible.
It’s cold and blustery and the snow is still here (as if a fairy were going to come along and make it 40 and melt the stuff HA!), but it’s New Year’s Eve and sinner should be special. I’m not quite sure why. It would seem that dinner on New Year’s Day, that first meal on the first day of a new year should be the special one. A special meal on the last day of the year is sort of like a man’s last meal before the gas chamber.
I get sidetracked so easily!
Steak and baked potatoes, salad … pretty simple. So dessert had to be something special.
There are still peaches in the freezer … hmmm … I saw Mini Peach Pies one day over at Dessert for Two and have had it bookmarked for quite some time. With temperatures hovering at 0 and only expected to get colder, what was better than a little bite of summer?
Happy New Year, my friends! I hope 2014 brings you happiness and health.
Makes 4 small pies in regular muffin cups, or 2 pies in Texas-sized muffin cups
For the pie crust:
- 2 1/2 T unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 T fresh lard (or solid vegetable shortening)
- 1/2 C + 2 T flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/4 t sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 2-3 T cold water
NOTE: I cheated. I just couldn’t face making pie crust. Pillsbury pie crust, you are my savior! I used a biscuit cutter a bit bigger than the cupcake mold.
For the filling:
- 1 medium ripe peach
- 1/4 t apple pie spice
- 2 t sugar
- 1 t cornstarch
- milk for brushing on top
- coarse sugar for dusting on top (optional)
NOTE: And this is where my having prepped a bunch of our peaches for the freezer comes in handy! I took a handful of slices (I figured about 10 for a medium peach) out of the freezer, let them thaw, and carried on with this recipe.
First, make the crust: place the butter and fresh lard onto a plate, dice it into small pieces, then place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together all remaining pie crust ingredients (except the water). Once 10 minutes has elapsed, add the slightly frozen butter and lard to the flour mixture and cut it in until it is the size of grains of rice. Use a pastry cutter or two butter knives.
Next, add 2 tablespoons of the water and press it into the dough with a spatula, turning and smashing it in to the dough. Add extra water if it’s not coming together or appears too crumbly. Dump the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a disc, then store it in the fridge for 20 minutes to let it rest.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 375° and peel and dice the peach. In a small bowl, stir together the peach with the apple pie spice, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
After the dough has rested, flour a clean counter and roll it out to 1/4″ thickness.
If you’re using a standard muffin pan: use a 3″ round biscuit cutter to cut out 4 circles of dough, placing each one in the bottom of 4 muffin cups. Divide the peach mixture between all 4 cups. Then, use a 2″ round biscuit cutter to cut out 4 more circles of dough and place them on top of the peaches. Pinch together the bottom and top pieces of dough, then cut a slit in the top of each pie before brushing with milk and sprinkling with coarse sugar.
If you’re using Texas-sized muffin cups: use a 4″ round biscuit cutter for the bottom crusts and a 3″ cutter for the top crusts.
Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until the peach filling is bubbling and the bottom crust is golden brown (use the tip of a knife to peak). Let cool slightly before serving.