Summer might be my favorite baking season, if only for the proliferation of beautiful fruit pies. But pies aren't always the easiest dessert for any occasion – such as when plates and forks are at a minimum. Enter hand pies, which combine the flaky pastry and tasty fruit from pies with the portability of a cookie. And they're adorable.
Making mini pies is a little more work than the full-sized version, but they payoff – i.e. squeals of delight – is worth it. It's not hard though, you just need a large surface, a large cookie cutter (or cup/jar with a smooth rim), a rolling pin and a lot of flour. And some patience. You can cut out rounds of dough, spoon in some filling and fold them in half for a half-moon pie, or sandwich two together for a round look. (Or even cut out squares if you're in the mood).
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Peach Strawberry Hand Pies
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup (2 sticks/225g) butter or margarine, diced and frozen
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
2 medium peaches
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor (or with a pastry cutter) mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs. Add in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough starts to come together.
Divide the dough in half, form each piece in to a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Dice (and peel if desired) the peaches in to small chunks. Place them in a bowl with the strawberries and sugar, and let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain any liquid that accumulates, and taste a piece of fruit. If more sugar is desired, add to taste, a tablespoon at a time.
Mix the lemon zest and the cornstarch in to the fruit mixture and set aside.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out on a well floured surface. Use a round cutter to create as many circles as possible. Fill each with approximately, one tablespoon of filling, then use a moist finger to wet the edges of the crust, fold over and press around the pie with a fork to seal. Alternatively, use slightly more filling and sandwich two rounds together, sealing in the same manner.
Repeat with the remaining dough, rolling out scraps as necessary.
Place the mini pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and brush each with a lightly beaten egg, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut a small hole with a knife near the bend of the pie for half-moons or in the center for round ones.
Bake on 375 F for 16 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.