The super-concentrated flavor of ripe strawberries had permeated our house. We had hit our limit on the berry in its raw form, since I grabbed multiple boxes for multiple weeks when they were on sale at the grocery store. Now what to do with the last box before they go bad? Ah Ha! I thought I’d take another stab at making hand pies, but this time a sweet take on the pleasureful pocket. My version of the store-bought breakfast toaster pastry, but in this adaptation there’s real fruit and not nearly as much sugar. Not to mention that these babies are pretty easy to make and store for a quick breakfast on the run.
1 package pre-made pie dough (includes 2 dough circles)
1 lb. strawberries, roughly chopped to about 2 cups
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
powdered sugar for dusting
cookie cutters for fun shapes
1. Remove pie dough from the refrigerator, but not packaging. It must come to room temperature before working with it.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your baking pan with parchment paper or silpat for even baking.
3. In a small sauce pot on medium heat cook the strawberries and sugar until the strawberries start to resemble jam.This will take about 15 minutes.
4. Remove the strawberries from the heat and let them cool while you are working with the dough.
5. On a floured cutting board, unroll one of the pie dough circles. Cut out 6 3-inch rounds using either a highball glass or cookie cutter. Smoosh together the remaining scraps and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut two more rounds. These are your bottoms. Lay them out on your baking sheet leaving about an inch between them.
7. Now, unroll the second pie dough circle and repeat the process to make 8 3-inch rounds. With this set of rounds you need to create a vent so the pies don’t explode. I cut out little ovals with a tiny cutter, but you can snip a 1/2 slit in the center of each.
8. Spoon about 1 tablespoon strawberries on top of the first set of pie rounds, leaving about 1/2 inch border on the edge of the dough. Moisten the edges with just enough egg wash to get the dough wet.
9. Place the vented circle on top of the first one and press them together with your fingers or gently with the back of a fork. Paint a bit of the egg wash on the tops of the pies, so that they get golden brown while cooking.
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the pies are golden and cooked through. Dust with powdered sugar or make your own icing for more sweetness.
**Friendly Tip: You can let these cool and then pop them in a freezer-safe bag. Just like the store-bought brand you can pull one out of the bag at a time and reheat it in the toaster before you head out the door.
***Variation: You could replace the strawberries with other fresh berries, stone fruits or apples.
Makes: 8 hand pies