Mini pies wrapped in flaky pastry and bursting with fresh spring fruit! Get a pie (or two!) all to yourself with these rhubarb and strawberry hand pies. Just add ice cream.
Pie has always had a special place in my heart and it’s a dessert I’ve been making fairly regularly, in various forms, for 30 years or more. I don’t make it as often as I would like (I am easily distracted by shiny things), so I was really happy to work on these rhubarb strawberry hand pies.
Not only did I get to make the best and easiest pie dough ever. But I also got to have some fun making spring recipes (yay spring!). AND, while I have made a few apple turnovers with puff pastry in my life, I’ve never made a proper hand pie before.
Is that crazy or what?
I guess when I’ve been in the mood for pie, I’ve always thought of a large pie or tart! Happily, now my long abstinence from hand pies is over and it’s time to cut out circles of dough and stuff them full of yummy fruit.
And here I’m not just using strawberries, but one of my favorite spring fruits, rhubarb! If you want to know more about rhubarb, check out my rhubarb ingredient spotlight. I have some good info about it and some tasty recipes.
How do you make rhubarb strawberry hand pies?
Hand pies have two parts: the pastry and the filling. And for these hand pies both the pastry and the filling need to be done ahead and chilled before you can get on with it. So definitely plan on either getting started in the morning for some afternoon baking or getting started the day before and do the assembly the next day.
For the pastry I used my Easy Flaky Pie Crust recipe. Open up that post and you’ll have an excellent step-by-step recipe with pictures showing each stage.
You can also use whatever your favorite pie crust recipe is or pick up some pre-made crust. For a different recipe of crust, use the amount needed for a two crust 9-inch pie and you’ll have about the same amount of dough. For premade, you may want to get three rolls of dough since they seem to be all trimmed. (Not an expert of premade crusts though!)
Once you have your dough made (or bought), it’s time to make the filling.
Dice the strawberries and the rhubarb and add them to a medium saucepan. Mix them with the jam, brown sugar, spices, and liqueur, then bring it all to a boil and let everything cook down until the fruit is soft and reduced. Then cool it completely! You don’t want warm filling or it will melt and soften the pie dough making a mess of things.
Once your filling is cool, take the pie dough out of the fridge and roll it out to about 1/16 – 1/8 inch thick. This is thinner than I would roll for a pie, but it will keep the crust/filling ratio balanced in these small hand pies.
Then cut out your 4-inch circles with the cutter of your choice. Once you’ve cut as many as you can, gather up the scraps and roll it out one more time to get a few more dough rounds.
Take each dough round, fill it with 1 tablespoon of the filling, brush it around the edges with the egg wash, then fold it in half and use a fork to crimp the edges. Once you have a full tray of pies, put it in the fridge to cool and rest while you start on the next tray of pies.
At this point it’s time to turn on the oven and bake them up. Just make sure you add some vents! And don’t, under any circumstances, use the pi symbol. (Unless you are looking for a Halloween treat! Then, go for it! 🙂 ) It works great on apple hand pies, but not so much on deep red rhubarb and strawberry hand pies.
Yeah. We had to not think about what they looked like too much when we were eating that batch! Just go for two or three simple vents and you’ll be good.
Can you freeze hand pies?
Definitely! They freeze wonderfully.
Put the hand pies on a baking sheet and into the freezer until they are solid (about 2-3 hours), then move them to a sealed bag for storage. For extra security you can use two bags and do a double layer, but that’s only necessary if you want to keep them for months.
The hand pies will last up to three months and can be baked right from frozen, adding 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
If you love making pie, hand pies are a great treat and so much fun for parties! Also, a tiny dessert that you don’t have to share? Awesome. 🙂
More Individual Fruit Desserts
- Roasted Berry Shortcakes with Bourbon Whipped Cream
- Easy Puff Pastry Blood Orange Galettes
- Gluten-Free Apricot Upside Down Cakes
- Puff Pastry Plum Tarts with Spiced Honey
- Mascarpone Fruit Tart with Mixed Berries
If you try my recipe for rhubarb strawberry hand pies, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.
Fresh and Yummy Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
- 1 recipe pie dough, link in the directions and the notes
- 1 tbsp orange zest
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
- 4 cups chopped strawberries, about 20 oz
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb, about 10 oz
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup strawberry rhubarb jam, or strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as triple sec, cointreau, or grand marnier
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp coarse white sugar, such as sanding sugar
- Make a recipe of pie dough enough for a two crust 9-inch pie, such as my Easy Flaky Pie Crust recipe, adding the orange zest to the recipe when you are mixing it. Form the dough into two discs, wrap each disc in plastic wrap, and rest the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to three days.
- While the dough is resting, make the hand pie filling.
- In a medium pot, mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, jam, liqueur, salt, zest, and cinnamon. Over medium-high heat, bring the filling to a boil. Then lower the heat and let the filling simmer until the fruit is soft and the liquid has reduced, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the filling to a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
- Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove one of the pie dough discs from the refrigerator and let it warm up enough to be pliable but still cool. If you rested the dough for only an hour, you may be able to work with it immediately, but this process can take up to 20-30 minutes for very cold dough.
- Mix the egg and the water together in a small bowl. Take out a pastry brush, a fork, and round cutter 4 inches in diameter.
- On a well-floured board, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness or even a bit thinner. Using your cutter, cut out as many dough rounds as you can. Gather the dough up again into a disc and roll it out one more time. Cut out some more dough rounds. You will get anywhere from 13-15 dough rounds.
- Place one dough round on a plate. Measure out 1 tablespoon of the filling and carefully place it in the middle of the dough. Using your pastry brush, brush the edges with egg wash. Gather up two sides of the round and pinch it above the filling in the middle. Then pinch all the way down the edges until the hand pie is sealed. Take your fork and press it down along the edge to crimp it. Move the pie to the lined baking sheets. Repeat until the dough rounds are finished.
- While you are finishing up the first set of hand pies, take the second disc of dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up. Then repeat the whole process with this dough.
- (Make ahead: At this point you can move the baking sheets to the freezer and freeze the pies until solid and then put them in a sealed bag. Pies can be frozen - well wrapped and sealed - for up to 3 months. Bake them right from frozen, adding 1-2 minutes to the baking time.)
- Transfer the baking sheets to the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F.
- Bake the hand pies for 18-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the vents.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature with some vanilla ice cream.
- Orange liqueur: While I do recommend using liqueur, you can use orange juice instead in a pinch.
- The cutter you use to make the dough rounds does not need to be sharp, just round and 4 inches in diameter. I use an old Christmas tin which I usually keep tea in. Other options are a bowl or wide jar or a well cleaned 28 ounce can (like the kind tomatoes come in). You can also purchase either a dedicated 4-inch cutter or a Biscuit/Cookie Cutter Set.
- Once you have a baking sheet filled, put it right in the refrigerator and start heating up the oven. That way you can be baking while you are still assembling.