Tag Archives: hand pies

Fried Pineapple Pies

Fried Pineapple PiesI had big plans for Pi Day, the day on which we celebrate both pie and math, which falls on March 14th (aka 3.14, aka tomorrow). For months, my plan had been to make an Old-Fashioned Pineapple Pie, the sort of southern grandma food that makes my heart sing. I had read about this dessert sometime last year and decided that I would aim to have it perfected by today, but as usual, my plans never play out in the linear fashion that I’d prefer.Fried Pineapple PiesMy attempt at Pineapple Pie was ostensibly fine. The crust was golden, the filling was set, the crimp was maybe my best ever, but when I went to try a slice, all I could think was how…soft…it was. The flavor was good and I suppose I’d prefer that it be soft over crunchy, but still. It was just so…soft.Fried Pineapple PiesI was ready to go back to the drawing board, looking over my (long) list of recipe ideas when I noticed “fried pies” tacked onto my future-pie-inspo. That’s when it hit me: while I may not want an inch-thick layer of pineapple filling, a little bit folded into a crispy southern-style fried hand pie seemed like a very good idea.Fried Pineapple PiesNow, having made these Fried Pineapple Pies twice, I can confirm that they are indeed a very good idea. A phenomenal idea, really. The combination of sweet, tangy, lime- and ginger-spiked pineapple filling and flaky fried crust is one of the best things to come out of my kitchen this year!Fried Pineapple PiesThe crust and filling come together ahead of time—the filling in five minutes on the stovetop and the crust in the bowl of a food processor—and are then combined shortly before frying. Pineapple filling is doled out by the tablespoon before being folded into a triangle. The pies are sealed with egg and crimped with a fork before being lowered into a pot of 350F oil. Two or three minutes later, they are lifted out, golden and flaky and begging for a dusting of confectioner’s sugar before being eaten warm ❤Fried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple PiesA few things about the crust before I get to the recipe:

  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can absolutely make this dough with a pastry blender (or two forks) in a mixing bowl.
  • The dough will stay soft even after a multi-hour chill. This is because there’s a fair amount of buttermilk in relation to the flour and butter, but rest assured that a chill will allow it to roll like a dream.
  • Don’t stress yourself out about keeping the dough cold after you shape the pies. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have space for two sheet pans full of raw hand pies in my fridge. If these were being baked, I’d probably advise you to make a greater effort at chilling before cooking, but I’ve had no issues letting these pies sit at room temperature before they hit the oil. The crust still fries up nice and flaky. Love that.

Fried Pineapple PiesNo need for words on the pineapple filling—it’s basically the same as the filling in my Coconut Pineapple Cake and Pineapple Sweet Rolls! Sweet, tart, jammy, and so deliciously easy.Fried Pineapple PiesWell, I think that covers the pie portion of Pi Day. Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to properly celebrate the math…but probably not.Fried Pineapple Pies

Fried Pineapple Pies
makes 20-22 hand pies

Crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk

Filling:
16 ounces (2 8-ounce cans) canned crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
zest of 1 medium lime
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

To Seal:
1 large egg, beaten

For Frying:
canola oil, safflower oil, shortening, or other oreferred frying fat

For Garnish:
2-3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

One Hour to Three Days Ahead:

Make the dough. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter and process until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Add buttermilk and process until dough clumps, stopping to scrape down the bowl if needed. Give dough a knead or two before dividing it in half, forming each into a disk, and wrapping them in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Dough will remain slightly soft even after chilling.

Make the filling. Combine crushed pineapple in juice, sugar, cornstarch, ground ginger, salt, and lime zest and juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until juices are clear and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool to room temperature before chilling in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

When You Want to Fry:

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. Line another baking sheet with paper towels and set a cooling rack over the top. Set near where you will be frying.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a ruler and a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice the dough into 4×4-inch squares. Stack squares on a plate. Chill scraps and squares while you roll and cut the second disk of dough. Scraps may be kneaded lightly and re-rolled.

Working with one square at a time, roll lightly on the floured surface just to expand another 1/2-inch or so. Drop 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the square. Brush two meeting-edges with beaten egg and fold the square diagonally to create a triangle. Press to seal with your fingers before crimping with the floured tines of a fork. Place pie on parchment-lined pan. Repeat with remaining dough/filling. Don’t worry too much about dough becoming soft or sticky.

Pour canola oil (or other frying fat) into a very dry heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 350F.

Working with 2 pies at a time, fry them for 1-2 minutes per side, until golden, before using a frying spider to remove to prepared rack/pan. Repeat with remaining pies, letting the oil return to temperature as needed.

When all pies are fried, dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve immediately, while warm.

Fried Pineapple Pies are best the day they are made.

Note:

If you do not have a food processor, this may be done in a large mixing bowl with a pastry blender or two forks.Fried Pineapple PiesFried Pineapple Pies

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Blueberry Hand Pies

 How was your long weekend? Mine wasn’t really a weekend–I worked all but one day. Sunday, the one day I had completely off, my friend (also named Liz) came over and we made two pies for some Fourth of July barbecues she attended.

Liz and I rolled chilled dough and sliced fruit for fillings. We used a star cookie cutter to make the pies a little patriotic. We had a great time baking together, but at the end of the day we both came to the same conclusion: pie is a labor of love. You can’t just make pie on the fly. Nope. It takes about eight hours from the time you start making the dough to the time the finished product is cool enough to slice. 

I’m always up to make pie when I have the time, but it’s a little less fun when I know I’m not going to get to have any when the whole process is through. It’s especially disappointing when I’m making blueberry pie. Juicy blueberries spiked with cinnamon and lime and baked into a flaky crust–it’s the stuff of summertime dreams! But I am just one person. I do not need a whole pie sitting around. And so, after I put Liz and her pies into a cab, I set to work making these Blueberry Hand Pies. They’re classic blueberry pie, but in cute, convenient single servings 😊 

Blueberry Hand Pies start with my Cream Cheese Pie Dough. It’s super simple to put together and is flexible and easy with which to work. I’ve never had it tear, and that structural soundness is pretty important since it has to be cut, folded, and crimped! As with any pie dough, the key to working with this one is keeping it cold from the time you are cutting the butter and cream cheese into the flour to the minute it goes in the oven. If the dough becomes soft or sticky and any point in the hand pie-making process, refrigerate it for fifteen minutes before continuing. Taking the time to do this extra chilling will ensure super flaky crust.
 The dough is cut into 4 1/2-inch circles before being being filled with a combination of blueberries, a bit of sugar, cinnamon, salt, cornstarch, and lime. Then the edge of the dough is painted with a a semi-circle of egg wash before being folded in half and crimped with a fork. The hand pies are chilled while the oven heats up, then vented and painted with more egg wash before baking for 35-40 minutes, until glossy and golden. 
Where regular pies have to cool completely to room temperature before they can be sliced and served, these little Blueberry Hand Pies can be enjoyed just minutes after they come out of the oven! They’re fantastic by themselves, but I highly recommend enjoying one warm with vanilla ice cream! 

 Blueberry Hand Pies
makes 18 hand pies

1 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough,* chilled

Filling:
12 ounces fresh blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
juice of one lime

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

On a floured surface, roll chilled dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a floured 4 1/2-inch round cutter* to cut circles out of the dough. Re-roll scraps as necessary to cut more circles. If dough gets too warm or sticky, place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Place cut circles on a plate and refrigerate at least ten minutes.

Prepare the filling. Place blueberries in a large mixing bowl. Fold in sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt, followed by lime juice. Filling may seem dry. Set aside.

Make egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Set aside.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Assemble the hand pies. Lay a circle of dough on a floured surface. Place one tablespoon of the blueberry filling in the middle. Use a pastry brush to paint a semi-circle of egg wash on one half of the outer edge. Fold the unpainted half to meet the painted half, and press down lightly to seal. Crimp with a fork. Lay hand pie on prepared baking sheet. Continue making hand pies until all circles have been used. If anything gets too warm or sticky, refrigerate for at least fifteen minutes.

Once all pies are made, chill the baking pans in the refrigerator or freezer. Preheat oven to 375F. Once oven reaches temperature, remove full pans from refrigerator or freezer. Cut a small vent in each one* before painting with more egg wash. Bake for 35-40 minutes, tenting with foil at the 20 minute mark. Let hand pies cool on pans for fifteen minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Hand pies may be served warm or room temperature. They are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Notes:

1. You may use an pie dough recipe you like, or purchased refrigerated pie dough. This recipe requires enough dough for a double crust pie.
2. I use this 4 1/2-inch round cutter. If you do not have one, you may slice the dough into 5-inch squares, although you may get fewer total hand pies.
3. Pies may be frozen after they are vented. Lay them on parchment-lined pans and freeze until solid. Put them in a labeled freezer bag or container for up to two months. When you are ready to bake them, paint the pies with egg wash and bake them for an extra minute or two. No need to thaw.