I’ve finally done it. I made pie. Mini pies, so not sure if it totally counts as an official pie yet, but they’re within the grand scope of pie, so maybe I’ll just count this as my introduction into the world of pie. I feel like this is silly, but making pie is an actual bucket list item for me. A pie seems like such an official thing to bake! I’ve watched cartoons and people bake pies on television forever, so it just seemed like something I’d want to do in my lifetime. At least once and maybe a few times badly before it gets better, but I wanted to do it and I’m so happy I did.
Not sure if I loved how these were decorated, and almost made some more to take pictures of instead for this post, but I realized that not everything is going to be absolutely perfect right off the bat. I forgot that firsts are worth celebrating just for proudly existing and making their way into the world. (And this blog is meant to share my joy of making, not the joy of making perfect things).
I love firsts though. It’s like the first time I try anything feels like I’m looking at life through a sparkly lens. Growing up, whenever I opened up a fresh book or started a new video game it felt like I was being granted access into a whole other world. Dipping into that newness just felt so exciting and still does today. I always get that rush, and then I want to do more, more, more, of whatever it is I learned. It’s my habit of having no routine. My happy pursuit of big little obsessions.
And now I’m looking into more mini cookie cutters, pastry stamps, and sprinkles so I can decorate more pies!
I will say though, once I exhaust whatever it is I’ve wrapped myself up in, I stumble across my next project and get caught up in that. But I feel like each new item I learn stays with me, and I return to it somewhere down the line with a more normal and level-headed, but still enthusiastic approach.
Anyway, let’s get into these pies.
Once again, Better Homes and Gardens, baby. From the same magazine I found the soft almond cookies recipe from, BH&G provides once again with this mini jam-filled hand pie recipe. For as simple as this recipe was to make, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it was a delicious success. So good in fact, that when I brought them in to work, headed to my desk to grab my tumbler and fill it up with water, then walked back into the kitchen, I found my coworkers had already sampled their first several. They clapped when I came in, to my embarrassment and joy. I really like making things, and it’s nice to be able to share it with people and know they like it too.
Since I didn’t make the jam, this recipe for me was more about the crust. And I’m deeming this crust a must moving forward. Flaky and nicely balanced, with a full flavor too. The hand pies I made were smaller than your usual hand pies, practically cookie-sized, but I think they make for nice two to three bite treats. These are raspberry and guava jam-filled pies! I actually originally wanted strawberry jam, but I couldn’t get the exact one I wanted, so I opted for raspberry jam and guava jelly. For some of them, I mixed the two flavors together before filling the pie-- that was a nice blend of tart and sweet flavors. I’m calling them Mini Jammy Hand Pies because I love the way that sounds.
MINI JAMMY HAND PIES
RECIPE COURTESY OF BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 17-20 minutes
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-4 tbsp. milk
6 tbsp. jam of choice
½ cookie glaze (optional)
INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIE GLAZE:
(you’ll only need half this recipe when making mini pies!)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
5 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
pinch of salt
DIRECTIONS FOR THE MINI HAND PIES:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Slice butter into small pieces, then add to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a pastry blender, use your hands like I did!) Stir in beaten egg. Add in 1 tablespoon of milk over part of the flour mixture, then gently toss with a fork. Move the moistened mixture to the side of the bowl. Repeat the process, adding in a tablespoon of milk until mixture begins to come together. Gather pastry dough into a ball, kneading gently until the mixture just holds together. Divide pastry in half; form two balls. Cover one half with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. (Keeping the dough slightly chilled will help the pie crust maintain its shape, especially if you’re planning on cutting out shapes to create designs in the top crust.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, slightly flatten one pastry ball. Roll until a little more than ⅛ inch thick, then use a 3’’ circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Re-roll leftover pastry dough, and repeat until you have an even number of circles. If you’d like to punch out shapes or designs in the top of your hand pies, use a tiny cookie cutter or sharp knife to do so now on half of the circles.
Spread 1 tsp. jam on the center of the cut out pastry dough circles, leaving a little more than ¼ inch of space around the edges. Moisten edges with additional milk and gently lay remaining pastry dough over on top. Press edges of pastry dough with a fork to seal. Using a lightly floured spatula, transfer filled pastries to the parchment paper-lined baking sheets, about 1-2 inches apart. Brush tops of pastries with additional milk. (This will give it a beautiful golden color!)
Bake 17-20 minutes or until golden. Remove, let cool before drizzling with cookie glaze.
Makes about 25 mini hand pies.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE COOKIE GLAZE:
Whisk together powdered sugar, corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. If needed, add a pinch of salt until smooth. Add food coloring to tint.