Making Smitten Kitchen’s Peach Dumplings

Let’s play a little word association. When I say peaches, what comes to mind? If you said dumplings, then you must have had Smitten Kitchen’s delectable Peach Dumplings. In just one week, I’ve made them twice. Inspired by a gift of farm fresh peaches and a tip from another savvy pie making friend, I was not disappointed. I don’t think you will be either.

If you’ve got your own peach tree, or you’re planning a fun backyard BBQ, then these dumplings will make excellent use of those peaches in a tasty dessert! Even if you’re not much for doing things from scratch, this is worth the little bit of effort it takes. Let’s start from the beginning.

What you’ll need for the dough:

1 recipe of Smitten Kitchen’s All Butter Really Flaky Pie Dough 

What you’ll need for the filling:

  • 3 fresh ripe peaches (you can tell they’re ready when they’re just slightly soft)
  • 1 Tablespoon cold butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (SK calls for ¼ teaspoon, but I always like a little extra)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of nutmeg, fresh or ground
  • Pinch of salt
  • Egg wash – 1 egg, 1 teaspoon water

What you’ll need for the sauce:

  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon bourbon (I subbed whiskey, and I’m sure anyone from Kentucky is internally shaming me)
  • You can add a splash of vanilla, which deepens the flavor

Ok, now you’ve got all of your ingredients. First things first is to make your dough. Deb, from Smitten Kitchen, does an excellent job in walking you through all the details of what it takes to make delicious dough. Plus, her recipe makes enough for two batches of dumplings, which once you’ve tasted these, you’ll be oh so glad to have extra.

I’m going to start from post-dough making. Go ahead a halve your peaches. Take out that pit – I found that pulling it out by hand was pretty easy, and then I dug out a little extra space to create room for the brown sugar mixture.

Mix together the ingredients for the filling, stopping at the egg wash. That’ll be for later. Then spoon 1 Tablespoon into each of the peaches, packing it down lightly so that the flavor will really soak in while baking. Now you can set all those aside, and start on your dough.

Take the chilled dough out of the fridge, and find or clear a space that measures 12×18. I happened to have a cutting board just that size, which was really helpful in rolling out the perfectly proportioned rectangle you need for the dumplings. Flour the surface, the dough, and the rolling pin well. Don’t worry, this doesn’t ruin your dough or take away from it’s flakiness. It just prevents everything from being too sticky and not rolling out correctly.

Roll out your dough, lift and turn it slightly, then keep rolling until you start to get a rectangle. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect. As you can see, my rectangle leaves much to be desire on the shallow edges, but it worked out just fine anyway. Once you’ve rolled out the dough, cut it into 6, 6-inch squares. If the dough becomes too soft or warm at this point, you can pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it back up.

Now take out that 1 Tablespoon of cold butter, and cut it into 6 squares, placing one on top of each of your stuffed peaches. Then, place each peach half, cut side up, on its own square. This is where it can get a bit tricky, but don’t get discouraged. You’ll want to bring the four sides up to form a little pocket for the peach to sit in. 

Once you’ve pulled the dough up over the sides of the peach, pinch the edges together to form seams. I also twisted the middle for some added flair. Next, you’ll place these in a buttered 9×13 baking dish and into the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the dumplings are chilling, whisk your egg with 1 teaspoon water to form a glaze and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush the glaze on the top and sides of the dumplings and place in the oven. My cooking time varied anywhere from 40-45 minutes. I’d recommend starting with 35 minutes and seeing how they look. You want the tops to be golden and the pastries to have puffed up a bit.

As you’re baking the dumplings, mix together your sauce. Beat the room temperature butter with the confectioner’s sugar, bourbon (or whisky), and vanilla. Then, when those little babies are done, you can plop the sauce on top and watch it melt into delicious goodness before your eyes.

Serve these warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And hear your taste buds, or actual buds, sing with delight!

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