What’s better than a pie? A pie you don’t have to share with anyone. A pie crust you only have to wrangle into a 6″ circle without disaster and that will give a rustically beautiful result. Your own personal pie, otherwise known as a hand pie. And what should you fill this treasure with? I highly recommend something special and in season, in this case, summer sweet raspberries.
Raspberries are a tart and delicate treat. I rarely buy them from the store, as they are always expensive and are so perishable. I am, however, fortunate to have a friend who has an absolutely glorious raspberry patch that I have had the pleasure of picking on occasion. If you end up with surprise access to some raspberries, I highly recommend treating yourself to these!
Time: Prep 30 minutes, bake 20-25 minutes (+additional chilling time)
Makes: 8 hand pies
You will need:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar(if desired)
- 1/2 lb. or 8 oz. vegetable shortening or lard
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tbsp vinegar
- cold water
- 1 lb of raspberries
- 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your raspberries and your desired level of sweetness)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
Egg wash + sugar for sprinkling
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp sugar if desired, divided (I generally omit the sprinkling sugar, but it does look pretty)
**Both the filling and the pastry can be made the day before and then assembled when needed.
I have successfully worked with this pastry dough after chilling for as little as 10 minutes, but it is much easier to work with when it has chilled for at least an hour.
Make the filling first. Add fruit, sugar and lemon zest to a wide saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 5-6 minutes until fruit is broken down. Add cornstarch and water mixture and stir for a minute until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the pastry.
Stir the flour and salt together. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the shortening is in pea size pieces.
In a measuring cup, combine the egg and vinegar. Add enough cold water to make 1/2 cup.
Stir the liquid into the flour mixture a tbsp or two at a time, mixing with a fork. Add just enough to make the dough cling together. If you need more liquid, add cold water 1 tbsp at a time.
Knead with hands until mixed thoroughly (knead as few times as necessary to bring to dough together. Do not over knead), then gather the dough into a ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour, or you can chill overnight, but leave it at room temp for 10 minutes before rolling.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form a dough piece into a ball, place on a floured work surface, and roll into a circle about 6 inches in diameter. Spoon about ¼ cup of pie filling in the center. Do your best to avoid the temptation to overfill.
Fold dough over filling, leaving about 1/2 inch of dough below the top crust. Press dough closed around filling.
Fold the overhanging bottom part of the dough up over the top edge, working your way around the crust, pinching together
Crimp the edge closed. This video gives a great demonstration of this technique at about 3:22. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Use a spatula to lift pie onto prepared baking sheet. **at this point you can freeze the pies if desired. Pies can be cooked directly from frozen, add about 10 minutes onto the cooking time.
Whisk egg together with milk. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Cut 3 small vent holes in the top of each pie.
Bake in the preheated oven until pies are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.