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Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Servings 8 hand pies

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 5-8 Tablespoons ice water more if needed (see notes)

For the filling:

  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb about 1/2" slices
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons minute tapioca optional, see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 egg lightly beaten (to brush tops)
  • raw sugar for sprinkling tops

Instructions

  1. Make the crust.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives until butter is in various sizes no larger than peas.
  3. Fill a cup with iced water and using a measuring spoon, drizzle a tablespoon of water over the flour mixture. Toss with a fork to distribute the moisture. Repeat this process adding a tablespoon of water at a time and tossing the mixture until your mixture looks shaggy and there's no dry piles of flour at the bottom of the bowl; it shouldn't look wet. (See Galette Post for photos) You should be able to grab a handful of the mixture and squeeze it in your hands and have it hold together. For me, this can take anywhere between 5-8 Tablespoons of water. It varies each time I make it.

  4. Bring the mixture together in a ball. Divide into 8 portions and cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out while you roll each portion.
  5. Tear off two sheets of plastic wrap about 10" long. (You just need it to big enough to give yourself room to roll out the dough.) Take one portion of the dough, shape it into a ball and place it in the center of one of the sheets of plastic and cover it with the other, sandwiching the dough between the two sheets. Lightly press on the ball to flatten it into a disk.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into about a 5"-6" circle. Roll from the center out, easing up on the pressure as you near the edges so that you don't roll them too thin. Your rolling pin should not roll past the edge of the dough and back onto your counter. That would squeeze your dough into paper thinness. Think of the circle of dough like a clock and roll out to the 12 then pick it up and go back to center to roll down to the 6. Use the plastic wrap to pick up and rotate your dough to help you roll out to the different points on the circle. Always roll from the center out and resist the temptation to roll your pin back and forth. Lift the plastic wrap as necessary to release any places where it's stuck together and preventing the dough from rolling out. For this recipe, you don't have to worry that your dough is a perfect circle, but you do want it to be generally symmetrical so that you'll be able to fold it over and have the edges meet.
  7. When you've achieved your circle, keep it sandwiched in the plastic wrap and place on a tray or flat surface in the refrigerator. Grab more plastic wrap and roll out the remaining portions of dough. Refrigerate for about an hour or two or you can store in the refrigerator overnight until you're ready to use them.
  8. Line two large baking sheets with parchment.
  9. Make the filling. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring to thoroughly combine. Simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Taste and add sugar, if desired. Allow to cool completely before using. Hot filling on cold dough is a bad idea. I put mine in a separate bowl and set that bowl in ice to speed up the process.
  10. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator, then peel off the plastic wrap and place the circle of dough onto your parchment lined baking sheet. (Place it wherever it's going to bake because it will be harder to move once you've filled it.)
  11. Spoon about 3-4 Tablespoons of the filling mixture on one side of the dough circle making sure you leave a 1" border on the edge. The photo I show with the filling was probably too much. You want to leave yourself enough room to fold the dough over and seal without having filling squirt out the sides while you're doing so.
  12. Fold the dough up and over the filling, lining up the edges so you are left with a half circle. Do not stretch the dough as you do this. Just fold it over, press on the edges, then use a fork to seal them by pressing the tines of the fork onto the dough.
  13. Finish filling the rest of your pies, removing just one piece of dough from the refrigerator at a time, so that the waiting pieces stay cold.
  14. At this point, I like to pop the trays back into the refrigerator one more time, to insure the butter in my dough is nice, cold and firm before baking. about 30 minutes. You could also use the freezer to do this in less time. (Wait to preheat your oven until after you've put the filled pies into the refrigerator.)
  15. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  16. Just before baking, brush the surface of the dough lightly with the beaten egg, then sprinkle the dough and top of the filling with a coarse, raw sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut a few small vents in the top of the crust.
  17. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is completely golden and filling is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature, but best served the same day.

Recipe Notes

*The crust on these handpies is rolled thin. If you like a thicker crust, make four hand pies instead of eight and roll to desired thickness.

*Becasuse of the thin crust, these little hand pies are best served the same day they are baked, when the crust has a nice crispness to it. Leftovers the next day will still be delicious, but the crust will be softer. Store lightly covered at room temperature

*If you'd rather make one large pie, tear off larger pieces of plastic wrap and roll your dough into one large 12-13" circle, or to about an 1/8" thick. Refrigerate per directions then fill as you would the smaller pies, fold the top over and seal edges with a fork and continue with directions. With the larger piece of dough, you may need to let it sit for a couple of minutes at room temperature to soften up just a little before its pliable enough to fold over. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until crust is completely golden and filling is bubbly.

*I almost always make the dough the day before. It doesn't take long and it's nice to be able to take some dough out of the refrigerator the next day and just fill and bake it.

*You can also freeze the dough after rolling if you're not going to use it the next day. Freeze flat or roll it up loosely into a tube like shape while it's still sandwiched in the plastic wrap, place it in a freezer bag and freeze. When you're ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator, then fill and bake as usual.

*Because I precooked the filling, I could have eliminated the tapioca and just cooked the filling to desired consistency. I didn't think of that before I made them. Pre-cooking helps the liquid evaporate so you don't have watery filling when you bake them. I didn't mind the additional tapioca, though, it did keep the filling thick as the little pearls soaked up any additional juices.

*The chill time in the refrigerator is important! It relaxes the gluten and helps keep your dough from shrinking while it bakes.

*If you end up having leftover filling, it's great on pancakes or oatmeal.

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