Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hand Pies ~ Happy 4th of July

A few weeks ago, I borrowed a lot of cookbooks from the library. After flipping through Better Homes and Garden's Baking cookbook, I came across their pie pop recipe. The photograph of the pie pops was really cute. I was super inspired to try making my own pie pops.

Instead of pie dough, I went with a puff pastry dough for flakier result. The fillings were apples, strawberries, and blueberries, keeping the 4th of July in mind. Since I used a ravioli star stamp, I couldn't get the stamp to press and close the dough because of the stick. I luv how easy it was to use the stamp, so I decided to make hand pie instead.

My ravioli star stamp is pretty small, less than three inches in diameter. If you don't have a ravioli star stamp, you can use star cookie cutter in any size. Then use a fork to crimp the edges. Alternatively, the hand pie can pretty much be in any shape, such as round or square. How about a heart shape hand pie for Valentine's day. See, the possibilities of having fun hand pie shapes are endless. Think of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Xmas....

*UPDATE: Because the ingredients have gotten really expensive, I revised my puff pastry dough by using 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup of palm shortening. I stopped using coconut oil.

Hand Pies
inspired by Better Home and Garden's pie pops
makes 6 mini hand pies

Puff Pastry Dough:
1 cup (4 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (2 oz.) palm shortening*
1/4 cup (2 oz.) ice water

Egg Wash:
1 large egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water

Pie Fillings:
1/8 cup each apple, strawberries, and wild blueberries
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
3 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 Tablespoon raw sugar (optional)
  1. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper or a nonstick mat. Set aside.
  2. Making the dough, by combining the flour, salt, and palm shortening, using your hand.
  3. Add half tablespoon of ice water at the time.
  4. Knead the dough until it comes together. Set aside.
  5. For the egg wash, whisk the egg yolk with water. Set aside.
  6. For each filling, dice each fruit, except the wild blueberries.
  7. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of flour to each diced fruits.
  8. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the apple filling. 
  9. Mix all the filling then set aside.
  10. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape and half inch thick.
  11. Cut the dough in half.
  12. Place 1/2 teaspoon of filling on one of the dough.
  13. Brush the dough around the filling with the egg wash.
  14. Place the other dough on top, be careful to keep the filling in a dome shape.
  15. Using a ravioli star stamp or a cookie cutter, press it over the filling. If using the cookie cutter, be sure to crimp the edges with a fork.
  16. Using a spatula, move the hand pies on to the baking sheet. NOTE: If the pie dough is too soft, especially on a summer day, refrigerate the hand pies for about 5 minutes. Then move the hand pies to the prepared baking sheet.
  17. Make three small slits on each hand pie.
  18. Freeze the hand pies for at least 30 minutes. TIP: These hand pies can be made ahead. Keep them frozen until ready to bake.
  19. When ready to bake the hand pies, preheat the oven to 375F degree.
  20. Bruch the hand pies with the egg wash.
  21. Sprinkle the raw sugar on top of each pie.
  22. Bake in the preheated oven until gold brown, about 20 minutes.
  23. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to a wiring rack to cool completely. Keep them in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 days.
TIP: Organic fresh blueberries will work with this recipe. Be sure to select the firm and small size blueberries.

These hand pies are made for July 4th celebration. I bet you can come up with your own pie fillings. The savory filling is possible too. How about cooked sausage with cheese or veggies hand pies. So many pie fillings options!!!

Allergy Info: These hand pies are free from or can be made without dairy, egg, corn, legumes (soy), nuts (not coconut or palm), and fish. To make them egg free, use milk or water as a wash instead.

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