Unlike last year, our nectarine tree was not an overachiever this year. In fact, we didn't get a single fruit! I chalk this up to the fact that we gave it a good and long overdue pruning this winter. I have high hopes for plenty of sweet peachy goodies next year. Fortunately, our next door neighbor's tree was quite the producer this year and we received a bag of freshly picked fruit.
We enjoyed many of them fresh, but since they spoil fairly quickly, we were having a bit of hard time keeping up with the bounty. So, when it came time to make some finger food for a picnic dinner with friends this weekend, I had a light bulb moment - nectarine turnovers! They'd be easy to transport and taste good hot or cold - all key for the perfect picnic food.
I'm happy to report they held up just as well as expected and were a definite crowd pleaser.
As an aside, you may be interested to know there are what seems like a 101 names for turnovers depending on where you're from and what they contain. I started out calling them pocket pies, acquiescing to my husband that yes, I meant turnovers. Empanadas in Mexico, hand pies in the southern US, samosas in Asia - all other variations of these dough pockets filled with whatever your heart desires. Call this sweet nectarine version whatever you like - it'll taste just as great!
1 double pie crust recipe OR 2 refrigerated, packaged pie crusts (I was short on time, so I used premade this time)
1-1.25 pounds nectarines (or peaches)
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. white flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extra
1 Tbsp. water
2-3 Tbsp. sanding sugar
Remove chilled dough from fridge and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Flour a large board and roll out dough until about 1/8" thick.
Using a 4" round cookie cutter (or small bowl), cut 4 rounds out of dough. Knead scraps back together, then roll out again and cut out 2 more 4" rounds.
Repeat with remaining pie crust so you make a total of 12 4" discs of dough.
Spread discs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or stack between sheets of parchment. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Drop in nectarines and boil about 1-2 minutes just until skins start to break.
Fill a separate large bowl with 1/2 ice cube, 1/2 water.
Drain nectarines and place immediately into ice water bath. Let sit until cool, then peel off skins.
Dice nectarines into small chunks (about 1/4"). Add to a bowl with sugar, flour and vanilla.
Remove dough discs from fridge and let sit about 2-3 minutes. Line a large plate with parchment paper.
Starting with your first disc of dough, place 1 heaping tablespoon of nectarine mixture in the center of the circle.
Wet your finger with cold water, run around the edge of the dough, then fold one half over the nectarine filling to make a half-circle.
Crimp edge all the way around with fork to seal in the filling.
Place onto parchment lined plate.
Repeat with remaining 11 discs of dough, then refrigerate stuffed turnovers for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line baking sheets with parchment or greased aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 Tbsp. water.
Remove turnovers from fridge. Brush with egg and water mixture. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. (Sanding sugar is just a larger grained sugar that resist melting. It may also simply be called coarse sugar. If you can't find it - you can just use granulated sugar or omit entirely.)
Place onto prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cut 1-2 slits in the center of each pie. Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.