Hand pies are the ingenious way of eating pie on the go with literally just your hands. I mean they’re delicious and easy to make so why not give it a try! The pie dough I created uses all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and cornmeal. The all-purpose flour has a higher gluten content than the whole wheat and cornmeal so it will keep the dough together and make it less crumbly. I like the addition of whole wheat and cornmeal mainly for the texture aspect. Strawberry fillings can get gummy or just be very liquid-y and a little bit of grit from the cornmeal really makes these a cohesive dessert.
Strawberries are currently the majority of people’s favorite fruits. Juicy and when perfectly ripe also sweet, who couldn’t resist a fresh strawberry? However strawberries haven’t always been so popular. People didn’t even start to eat them until the Renaissance period. When settlers came from Europe to North America in the 1600’s they sent the plants back to Europe. Strawberries are native to all of the Northern Hemisphere but the plants in North America were larger than the European variety. During the 19th century when strawberries became more popular to bake and cook with, New York turned into the center of the strawberry industry. Strawberries would be sent via railroad all over the US. Nowadays strawberries are in the supermarkets, farm stands, or still wild in our back yards.
STRAWBERRY HAND PIES
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- In a food processor combine the flours, cornmeal and salt.
- Cut the butter in large pieces and add to the food processor.
- Slowly, one tablespoon at a time, pour in the water.
- Mix until it comes together, then form dough into a thin disc and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Scroll down and make the filling while the dough is in the freezer!
- After 20 minutes, using a lot of all-purpose flour, roll dough out until 1/4 inch thick.
- Use circle cookie cutters (or the lip of a glass) to cut circles, re-roll pastry as needed.
- Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- 3 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons orange juice (or lemon juice)
- zest of an orange (or lemon)
- pinch of salt
- In a saucepan combine all ingredients, heat to a simmer.
- Stir and break up strawberries, it will thicken and continue to simmer for about 5 more minutes.
- Take off heat, roll out pie crust.
- Once all the circles of crust are cut, spoon a teaspoonful of filling into each circle.
- Make an egg wash (one whole egg mixed with a splash of water) and rub a little bit along the edge of the circle.
- Fold the circle in half, over the filling and lightly push dough pieces together to seal. Use the end of a fork too to seal it.
- Egg wash the whole hand pie and cut some holes in the top for steam to escape. (You can use scrap dough and cut it into shapes for decoration)
- Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.