Some desserts are elegant and refined, while others are rustic and clearly handmade. These strawberry hand pies fall into the latter category, yet I wouldn’t want them any other way. Hand pies are much more fun than a pie, too – I envision tucking a few into a checked linen napkin to take along on a picnic, or offering them at a barbecue.
While the filling possibilities are endless, I made a quick strawberry compote flavored with fresh lemon zest and vanilla. The jammy filling works nicely with the buttery and flaky pastry, and an egg wash adds a golden glaze. Serve alongside strawberry sherbet for a double delight.
Strawberry Hand Pies
Crust adapted from Cooking Light
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 Tbsp vodka, chilled
6 Tbsp cold water
3 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp water
For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse 10 times. Add frozen butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Place food processor bowl (with flour mixture) into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
Place bowl back on the processor; combine vodka and water and add slowly through the food chute, pulsing just until combined (when large lumps form). Gently pat lumps of dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. At this point, dough can be frozen up to a month.
Divide refrigerated dough in half. Roll out one half on a lightly floured board to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 5-inch round cutter to cut out 6 circles of dough (I used a 5-inch round plate and cut around the circumference). Place the circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with remaining dough.
For the filling, combine strawberries, sugar, water, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low and simmer mixture for 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; let cool to room temperature. Strain off excess liquid.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and let stand 2 to 3 minutes, until pliable. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into each circle of dough. Fold circle over and seal, using the back of a fork to press the edges of the dough together. Whisk together egg yolk and water in a small bowl; brush pies evenly with mixture. Cut one slit across each pie; place pies back onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.
Yield – 12 hand pies (serving size: 1 pie)
Calories – 210
Carbs – 28