A hand pie is what Pop-Tarts wish they were: hand-held individual pies that completely enclose their filling. (I think of them as the cupcakes of the pie world.) I was thinking of my mother when I made these: she loved all things strawberry, and most especially when combined with rhubarb.
When we were little, my mother made what she called Rhubarb Soup, which was really rhubarb stewed with a whole lot of sugar and occasionally a handful of strawberries. It was tart and sweet and I loved it– but somehow never got the recipe from her. I am hoping it is in the pile of recipes my daughter Rachel has: she is making a cookbook from the hundreds of recipes my mother kept neatly filed in her wallpaper-covered file box. The cook book will have to be at least two volumes, but it should be relatively easy to put together. My mother’s file box was meticulously alphabetized, and most of the recipes were neatly typed on file cards and included (always in the right hand corner) where or from whom she got the recipe. (I am proud to say a number of them are labelled “Margie”.)
I will share the rhubarb soup recipe when we dig it out. In the meantime, here are the hand pies, from “Margie”.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Hand Pies
1 cup (4 ounces) whole strawberries, cut in 1/4-inch dice (yields about 3/4 cup diced)
1 6-inch long rhubabr stalk, cut in 1/4-inch dice (yields about 1/2 cup diced)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar (or more, if berries are not sweet), plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 prepared 9-inch pie crust (I use these Pillsbury crusts)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine the strawberries, rhubarb cornstarch, sugar, and orange zest in a bowl.
3. Roll the dough out to a 12″ by 12″ square on a floured surface. Use a 3-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut rounds: re-roll scraps until you make 16 circles. (Set additional scraps aside if you want to add decorative elements to the tops of the pies, such as the hearts in the picture above).
4. Place 2 teaspoons of the rhubarb mixture in the center of a round. Dip your fingertip into the egg and wipe a 1/4-inch wide rim around the edge of the circle. Top with a second round and use a fork to press the edges together. Poke a few holes in the top of the pie, brush lightly with egg and transfer to the prepared sheet pan. Repeat, forming 8 hand pies. Adhere decorative dough to the top of the pie by brushing the underside with egg, if desired. Sprinkle the pies lightly with sugar and bake 20-25 minutes, until the dough sounds hollow when tapped. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 8 hand pies