Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb join together in these cute little portable Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies!
Happy 4th of July! The thing I love most about holidays, besides gathering with family and friends, is that baking up some delicious treat is usually involved. And July Fourth is no exception. So the next question is, what to bake? Since it’s our country’s birthday in a few days, it seems appropriate to bake something all-American. And what’s more American than pie?
I still have a lot of rhubarb left, so that seemed like a good place to start. And it’s red, which ties in with the festive red, white and blue occasion. Besides, rhubarb was always a family favorite when I was growing up, so I have a number of rhubarb pie recipes to choose from. But rather than making a traditional pie, which requires plates and silverware to eat, I took my mom’s favorite recipe and turned it into little individual hand pies. They make the perfect, portable picnic dessert and because you eat them with your hands, that means no extra dishes to wash! (I think we all can agree that this is a definite bonus!) Just look how cute they are!
To make them extra special, I used the little scraps of leftover pie dough to make the little star cutouts. Just cut out little shapes either with a cookie cutter or freehand, brush them with water and place them on the top before baking. The golden, sugary crust comes from brushing them with an egg yolk mixed with water and a generous sprinkling of sugar. This gives them a little added sweetness and creates a wonderful texture.
The added bonus of this recipe is that you can make these ahead and freeze them, then bake them the day you need them. Simply follow the recipe up until the part where you brush them with the egg. Then place them on a tray and freeze them. When they are frozen, put them in freezer bags until needed. On the day you need them, take them out of the freezer and place on parchment-lined pans. Let them thaw a bit for 30 minutes. Brush them with the egg, sprinkle with sugar and pop them in the oven. They will take about an extra 5-10 minutes of baking, but that’s it! Easy peasy!
I hope you have wonderful plans for the upcoming holiday! Find one of your old family favorites to bake for your family and friends, or try these delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies. Happy 4th of July and Happy Baking!
Yields 10 hand pies
- Pie Dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced rhubarb
- 1 1/4 cups chopped strawberries
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- In food processor, stir together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Add butter pieces to flour mixture, and toss lightly to coat. Pulse food processor 5 quick times.
- Add shortening and pulse 4-6 more times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with vinegar and half of the water. Pulse 3 quick times; add additional water, and pulse just until dough begins to stick together.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured board and shape into a 6-inch wide disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make filling: In medium saucepan combine rhubarb, strawberries, orange peel, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil and thicken.
- Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Divide pastry dough in half; keeping half refrigerated. On lightly floured board, roll half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
- Using a 4-inch diameter circle cutter, cut dough into circles and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Reroll scraps and cut additional circles until you have ten.
- Divide filling evenly among dough circles, placing filling in center and leaving at least a 1/4-inch clean dough edge around filling. Brush edges of circles with water.
- Roll remaining refrigerated half of dough into 10 additional circles. Place circles on top of filling.
- Using a fork, press edges of circles to seal. Reroll any remaining pastry dough scraps and cut shapes with small cookie cutters. Brush back side of cut outs and place on pies.
- Using a sharp knife, cut small slits in tops of each pie.
- Brush pies with egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 -25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly on pans. Serve warm or cool.