Hi, we’re back. What a delicious three weeks we had meandering through Japan. The food! The places, the people! All amazing. But there was one thing back home I pined for…our strawberries. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see them this week at the farmers market, because I felt sure they would be done and gone, by the time we got back. But there they were, with their happy little faces smiling up at me. In Japan, fruit was such a luxury, it was so expensive. It made me realize how lucky we are in our little pocket of the world to have such an abundance of berries and fruit, all around us throughout the whole growing season. Travel is good for the soul on so many levels, but one thing I seem to come home with is a renewed appreciation for where we live and all it has to offer. Sometimes it’s easy to forget.
These Rustic Strawberry Hand Pies, or turnovers if you prefer –are like summer wrapped up in buttery pie crust. They are packable and transportable– perfect for potlucks, picnics and summer gatherings when you don’t want to deal with dessert plates and forks. Simply pick them up and eat them.
Make the dough from scratch, or use store-bought pie dough for even faster assembly. The secret to hand pies and turnovers is the “double fold” — which prevents all the delicious filling from oozing out while baking. Make sure to follow the directions carefully – it’s not hard, just worth noting.
You’ll need two pints of berries or fruit. Remember the riper the fruit, the more intense the favor will be.
Cook the berries down into a jam like consistency thickening with arrowroot ( or cornstarch) and sweetening with a little maple syrup. A few drops of lemon, brightens the strawberries, not only in flavor, but in color.
Divide your favorite pie crust dough into golf-ball sized balls. Roll out the dough into 6 inch rounds.
I used a six inch bowl as a template, and pressed out the dough for a clean edge. But feel free to leave it a little rough.
Place a little filling in the center.
Then fold over ….but not all the way. Leave about an inch of dough on the bottom for the double fold.
Seal the filling in on the first fold, pressing down. You don’t really even need egg wash, just press it down firmly.
Then fold over the overlap, pressing down and crimping as you go.
Brush with an egg wash over the top and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool at room temperature for a bit before biting into one… and taste the true essence of summer.
Pack them up for a picnic, or leave them on the kitchen counter and watch them disappear. They also make a delicious breakfast.
Hope you enjoy…..happy summer!
- 2 pints fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot ( or corn starch)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- generous 3 finger pinch salt
- 14- 16 ounces Prepared pie crust
- You can either premake this, or use store bought.
- I often use this recipe
- 1 Egg
- 2 teaspoons milk or cream
- sugar for dusting
- Wash and cut strawberries into slices, enough to make about 2 cups.
- Place in a medium pot or sauce pan, and mix in 2 tablespoon maple syrup, arrowroot, salt and lemon juice. Simmer on med-low heat, about 10 minutes. (If mixture seems too dry, add a little water.) Taste, add more maple to taste. Let cool completely in the fridge. You can do this the night before and chill in the fridge until ready to assemble.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Divide dough into 10 generous golfball sized balls and place on a floured work surface, and roll into a circle about 6 inches in diameter. ( See notes for store bought dough)
- Spoon 3 tablespoons filling in the center. Fold dough over filling, leaving about 1 inch of dough on the bottom side visible below the top side. Gently press dough closed around filling, using your fingertips.
- Fold the overhanging bottom part of the dough up over the top edge, working your way around the crust, and pinch the overhang tightly to the top part of the crust.
- Crimp the edge tightly closed, pinching a little bit of dough with the thumb and forefinger of one hand and using your index finger on the other hand to push a small notch into the pinched dough. Continue pinching and notching all the way around until the crust is tightly crimped together. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Transfer pies onto parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush with egg/milk mixture.
- Sprinkle with sugar.
- With a sharp knife, slice three slits not the top for venting.
- Place in 400F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
- NOTES: If using store bought dough, unroll the dough on a floured surface, roll out with rolling pin from the center out, just a few times. Using a 6 inch rimmed bowl as template, press out 3 x 6 inch rounds from each roll of dough. Combine the scraps into a ball, then divide into 3 balls and roll out into 3 more 6 inch disks ( for a total of 9 hand pies)
- If using very ripe local strawberries, you may need less maple syrup, and if using store bought not quite ripe strawberries, you may need a little more. Make sure to taste the filling. 😉