Chris Lilly shares his recipe for these rustically sweet old-fashioned grilled peach pies from his book, Fire & Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets. “In the South, eyes light up at the mention of fried pies,” says Lilly. “Traditionally they’re made by filling pie dough with a sweet fruit filling and frying them in a pan with butter until they’re crispy and golden brown. But by grilling the peaches before making the filling, and then cooking the pies over hot charcoal, you can make this Southern dessert staple superior.”
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice cold water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 pounds ripe peaches (3 large or 4 medium)
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- Oil, for the grill grates
For the dough: In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the butter (using two knives slicing in opposite directions and breaking the butter up in the flour mixture) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the ice water, mixing constantly, until a ball of dough is formed. Put the dough ball in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Unwrap the dough and put it on a floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it out until it is ⅛ inch thick. Cut the dough into rounds 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Reroll any scraps to cut out a total of 8 rounds. Pick up and flip the dough rounds to make sure they don’t stick.
Build a charcoal fire for direct grilling and preheat it to 400 degrees.
For the sugar rub: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and nutmeg. Set aside.
For the filling: Peel the peaches, remove the pits, and cut each peach into 8 wedges. Toss the peach wedges with the sugar rub. Immediately put the peaches on a grill pan over direct heat and grill until they caramelize, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the peaches to a cutting board and cut them into ½ inch pieces. Transfer the peaches to a medium bowl, add the butter, and let sit until the butter melts. Add the brown sugar and flour. Stir in the orange juice.
Put 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the center of each round of dough. Lightly moisten the edges of the dough with water. Fold the dough in half to create a half-moon. Gently press the pie edges together and crimp them with a fork to seal.
Lightly brush the grill grates with oil. Grill the pies over direct heat until the dough turns a crispy golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve hot.