Tuesday, February 12, 2013

At Home: Fruit Hand Pies

Do you remember those individually packaged fruit hand pies from 7-11? They were a favorite snack for me as a child during road trips and got me through many early morning classes during college. Yet, they are loaded with tons of sugar and extra preservatives that give them a long shelf-life. After picking up some beautiful fruit at Eastern Market the other day, I decided to make my own little Fruit Hand Pies for breakfast. I made two kinds: strawberry and apple-cinnamon.  Check out my next creation of What Micky Eats... At Home.

Fruit Hand Pies (Makes 6 pies)
  • 1 package pie crust (2 dough pieces)
  • water or egg wash
  • colored granulated sugar, for decorating
For apple filling:
  • ½ medium apple, peeled, and finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
For strawberry filling:
  • 6 fresh strawberries, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp strawberry jam
  • 1 Tbsp sugar 

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the diced apples into a medium-size bowl. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir everything together until evenly coated.  Set aside.
- Place the diced strawberry in a second bowl. Add the jam, sugar, and mix together until evenly coated.  Set aside.
- Prepare your favorite pie crust. Roll it out into a thin strip to cut.  Use a 4½-inch biscuit or cookie cutter (or mouth of a small bowl) to cut out as many circles as possible. (Save the scraps as they can be re-rolled. I was able to get 3 circles out of each pie crust.)
- Place the cut-out circles of dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Use your finger to moisten the edges of each circle with water.
- Add about 2 Tablespoons of the apple filling into the center of the circles (be sure to leave about a 3/4-inch of bare dough around the edges or your filling will seep out).
- Fold each circle in half and pinch the edges together to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Cut two small slits into the top of each pie, brush with egg wash or more water and sprinkle with granulated sugar. (I used green sugar for the apple and pink for the strawberry).
- Repeat with the remaining apple and strawberry fillings.
- Bake for 18-23 minutes or until the pies are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo: Farm Chicks
These little hand pies are rustic, homey, and perfect to nibble on for breakfast while on the go, or as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Whether you use store-bought pie crust, or make your own from scratch, the flaky, buttery crust is the perfect "holder" for the sweet strawberry or cinnamon-y apple filling. The hand pies are best enjoyed on the same day that they're made, but well-covered, they will still be good the next day.  Instead of folding over a circle, you can use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make a perfect little homemade Valentine treat. Try other fruit fillings too - whatever is in season or whatever you have on hand!

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