Update: One reader didn't have a muffin tin, so she baked these in small ovenproof bowls. The cook time increased to 30+ minutes, but it worked great. If you have large peaches, get creative and bake them in oven safe dishes.
This recipe is the so incredibly easy and delicious that I may never make a traditional pie again. There are only a few ingredients - none of them refined sugar.
Last week when we were at the Carmel Valley Ranch we had an amazing time visiting with the honeybees. Did you know that bees are responsible for pollinating most of the plants that give us fruit, squash, tomato, cucumber...? No bees = no peaches, so you can thank the bees for this recipe!
My munchkin had lots of great questions for John, the beekeeper. We found out that the queen bee lives for about 5 years, while the worker bees only live for about 5 weeks. The queen bee is genetically just an ordinary bee, but becomes the queen as a young bee by behaviors of the other bees, and by eating royal jelly. She then lays eggs, creating all the baby bees in her colony. We actually watched a baby bee crawling out of one of the cells of honeycomb - being born. The bees go out and collect nectar from flowers and store it in their bellies, where it turns into honey. The bees return to their hive and deposit the honey into the honeycomb cells. Amazing, no?
Back home, we picked up a square of honeycomb at the farmer's market. How do you eat honeycomb? Once it's pierced the honey oozes out. The entire honeycomb can be eaten and is delicious and pretty as part of a cheese plate.
We decided to fill the centers of peaches with a spoonful of honeycomb, wrap them in pastry, and bake them in muffin tins. Regular honey will work just as well - don't worry if you can't find honeycomb - but may ooze out where the peaches are cut more quickly. These individual whole peach pies are best made with very ripe peaches and served warm with freshly whipped cream on the side.
Individual Whole Peach Pies
1 store bought or homemade pie crust (I used Trader Joe's frozen pie crust)
4 small to medium very ripe peaches, halved and pit removed (if they are too large they may not fit in muffin tin)
4 heaping teaspoons honeycomb
4 teaspoons turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat 4 wells of a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Divide the pie crust dough into quarters. Roll into disks.
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of honeycomb into one side of each peach where the pit was. Place the other half on top so the peach is whole again. Place each peach on the center of each of the dough disks and wrap dough around the peaches. The dough does not have to completely enclose the peach if it does not reach the top. If peach is completely enclosed, use a paring knife to cut several slits for air to escape around the top. If peach is not completely enclosed, be sure the sides are supported by the muffin tin or oven proof bowls, as the halves will want to separate during baking. Place each pastry wrapped peach so that it just sits in the prepared muffin tin well.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg and 2 tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on pastry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes and then carefully remove from pan.