Being a perfectionist is a lot of work. I’ve made these strawberry hand pies twice now. Why? Not because they are mad delicious (which of course they are) and I want to make them for everyone I know (which I do because they get amazing reviews). Instead it was because I wasn’t happy with the photographs. I seriously need to take a chill pill! The one good thing out of this whole ordeal is that my husband and I get to eat more awesome hand pies!
Strawberry Hand Pies Recipe
(Makes 9 hand pies)
Note: This recipe requires 1 hour of chilling time.
Ingredients for the Pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, cold (equivalent to 2 sticks)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 large egg, beaten (for brushing on top of the hand pies)
- sprinkling of white sparking sugar (optional, for the top of the hand pies)
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions for the Pastry:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Cut the cold butter into several chunks.
- Using a pastry blender or your fingers, add the chunks of butter to the dry ingredients and combine until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
- Mix in the egg and milk until combined.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Lightly flour your working surface and shape each half of the dough into 3 inch x 5 inch rectangles.
- Wrap them each in plastic wrap and chill them for 1 hour.
Directions for the Filling:
- In a medium sauce pan, on Medium heat, mix together the roughly chopped strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
- Cook until the mixture starts to thicken. (For me, it was about 5 minutes.)
- Using a pastry blender or fork, mash the strawberries until you get the consistency you desire. (The strawberries can be chunky or smaller, whatever you prefer.)
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and let it cool to room temperature.
Directions for Assembling the Hand Pies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set them aside.
- Lightly flour your working surface.
- Take one of the rectangle shaped dough pieces and roll it out to a 9 inch x 12 inch rectangle.
- Trim the edges to make them even and straight.
- Using a knife, cut out nine 3 inch x 4 inch rectangles.
- Move the 9 pieces to one of the prepared baking pans.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each hand pie.
- Brush some of the beaten egg along the edges.
- Repeat steps #3 through #6 for the other piece of dough.
- Place the 9 pieces on top of the bottom half of the hand pies.
- Using a fork, press the edges together to create a tight seal.
- Gently cut a vent on the top of each hand pie. (I used 4 slits.)
- Brush the top of each hand pie with the beaten egg.
- (Optional) Sprinkle some white sparkling sugar on top of each hand pie.
- Bake them in the preheated oven for about 28 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (I baked 1 baking pan at a time.)
Adapted from: King Arthur Flour
If you know how to make pie or scones then you’ve totally got this. The only trick to making the pastry dough is that you have to use cold butter. Easy peezy, right? This shot is before the egg and milk join the party.
You have to let the pastry dough chill out in the fridge for a little bit. At this point it’s too soft to roll out.
These hand pies are not difficult to make, but they can be a perfectionist’s nightmare. When the original recipe directions say to roll out the dough into a 9 x 12 inch rectangle, guess who’s there with a ruler? I wish I was kidding. You don’t have to be so precise. Homemade hand pies can look rustic and homey and no one will grumble while they are busy shoving them in their faces. These hand pies are so delicious that it was worth all my efforts, all be it crazy ones.
When I finished baking the last batch, I’m pretty sure I told my husband I’d never make them again. Don’t worry, that was just me in a moment of frustration and it has since passed. Obviously I was even willing to make the same flavor a second time just to make sure I liked the pictures. I’ll definitely be making these hand pies again and experimenting with other flavors.
Make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. When you bake these, some of the butter will seep out of the pies and sometimes a little of the filling. (Both of which are okay, but a bit scary if you’re watching them bake like a neurotic hawk.) With the lining on the pans they will be easier to wash later.
Did you eat Pop Tarts when you were a kid? Maybe you still do. Lol. My favorite flavor was the cinnamon filled ones with frosting on top. Mmm. These hand pies remind me of how I’d use to grab a pop tart on the way to the bus stop. (Strawberry is nothing like cinnamon so I guess it’s really the shape and concept that gets me reminiscing.) My husband fondly remembers the invention of the Toaster Strudel and honestly he may be on to something since these are closer to those than Pop Tarts.
This pastry is phenomenal. It’s so buttery and flaky and it melts in your mouth. It’s like a puff pastry meets a traditional pie crust meets a croissant. How does it do that?
I had a few scraps of pastry dough leftover so I made a couple of heart shaped pieces. Cute, right? Waste not want not.
This past weekend was our family vacation in Lake George. We had a fabulous time and I’ll be sure to include more details soon. In the mean time I’ll tell you that my family totally gobbled down these awesome hand pies for breakfast (or lunch, dinner, snacks, just because, or any other reason they could come up with). The only complaint they had was that I didn’t make enough!
I’ve never made strawberry “jam” until now. That’s essentially what this luscious filling is. Who knew a bunch of strawberries could so easily turn into strawberry goo (yes, that’s a technical term). These hand pies would be great to make in the middle of winter because with little more than an adjustment of the cooking time you could probably make them with frozen strawberries. As a winter twist you could serve them fresh out of the oven with a little vanilla ice cream.
I love the crystal sugar on top. It’s not strictly necessary but it sure does make them look pretty. Plus they add a little crunch to every bite. Is extra sugar ever strictly necessary? I say it is.
Is there anyone out there that’s a fellow perfectionist?
Here are some other phenominal breakfast goodies.