If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have probably surmised that I am pretty much obsessed about anything wrapped in dough. Sweet and savory. I think most cultures have some sort of wrapped morsels in dough. If it is wrapped in dough I will try it. I really think that it goes back to my early love of pie. I heard someone say, “I only like two pies… warm pie and cold pie”. That pretty much sums me up. My beloved Grampa Campbell loved pie and I always think of him while I am eating a beautiful pie. It is like I am sharing it with him.
I always was in the kitchen when my mother was making pies. I remember climbing on the kitchen stools and watching her roll out the dough and fill them up with fruit. She always made several at a time. She would give me all the cut away raw pie crust, pull a jar of preserves out and give it all to me to make my own hand pies. I loved rolling and rolling out the dough in different shapes before I finally shaped and filled my own little pies. Can you imagine how tough that dough was after I had worked it for so long? Yikes, but I remember it tasted delicious. I had made it all by myself. Nothing, though, tasted better then my mom’s pie.
This really got me thinking about hand pies in an adult way, kicked up pop tarts, or little pies with lots of fruit inside. So I have come up with a few versions here. Use your imagination. All that you will need is dough and fruit. Make your own dough or buy pie dough or puff pastry. Whatever you have an inclination for.
Just a little side note: Puff Pastry from Pepperidge Farms is vegan friendly. Not an ounce of butter in the stuff. It makes me a little sad, loving butter like I do, but I am also relieved that I have something that my son’s allergies can tolerate and it is easy to have on hand. I always seem to have some in the freezer.
My nephew, Robby, was coming to town to celebrate his 21st birthday with some of his buds, so I offered to make the next day brunch for them. Perfect opportunity to experiment with my idea of hand pies. I can do hand pies on the fly. A good jar of preserves and pie crust. Done. I marked them all with Robby’s initial. That’s my thing… putting the initial of my guest in the crust of the pie I made for dinner. They always feel so special that you thought of them during this process.
All you will need to make these yourself is make up some pie dough, roll out in circles (I use a bowl to cut out several the same size), place some preserves on one half of dough circle, fold over, crimp and mark. I like to have my baking sheet lined with parchment before I put the hand pie down. Not necessary, just a little easier on the clean up end. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
1/3 cup lard
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup ice cold water
1. These ingredients make one nine-inch pie shell. If you are making a traditional pie, double the ingredients. If you are making four individual pies, triple the ingredients.
2. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the lard and butter into the flour using a fork or cutter until the fat pieces are the size of peas.
3. Add water gradually, gently mixing with your hands until dough hold together. Do not over mix or the crust will be tough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill before using.
I made these dumpling like pies with puff pastry and a muffin cup. I wanted to have a hand pie that had lots of fruit inside and this version seems to do the trick. I was also shocked how easy this was to put together. If you are one that doesn’t like to bake, hand pies are perfect for you. They are always a crowd pleaser.
Take one sheet of puff pastry (usually 2 sheets come per box) and cut it into six squares. Stretch each one a little before putting it into a muffin tin. I have silicone one, but if you have a metal one, spray it with some non-stick spray before putting the pastry squares in the tin.
I used one peach per dumpling, but you can use whatever fruit that you fancy or whatever is in season. I cut up the peach and toss it with some sugar. How much depends on how sweet the peach is and then I add a pinch of corn starch. I added some blueberry preserves to some of the them and it was a great idea. Blueberries and peaches go together beautifully.
Pull up each corner of the square to the center and then twist. Place muffin tin on a baking sheet(helps if something bubbles over) and place in preheated 400F oven for about 30 minutes.
Oh my, we were so happy when we saw these flaky bundles of goodness. Gabriel, my son, kept asking when they would be cool enough to eat.
This had the perfect amount of fruit to crust ration. I was so pleased that I put that dollop of blueberry preserves in a few. Super satisfying. I will make little pies year round this way. I can’t wait to make an apple version with some sharp cheddar when the weather becomes chilly. There are endless possibilities.
Did the cat swallow the canary or is that Gabriel sneaking another pie dumpling? Wanting more is the biggest compliment.
Can’t wait for you to pull up a chair and taste these yummy treats,