This party season, serve these perfectly portioned desserts
They’re less daunting than fudge or divinity and perfect for people seeking some portion control. Hand pies, also called pocket pies, are perfect for holiday parties. These hand-held mini desserts allow you to make several fillings at once and can be frozen and stored until needed. Plus, they taste just as good as the regular-sized pies.
This is a simple pie dough recipe, but you could try puff pastry from the store, if you like.
11⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup cold butter
3 tablespoons ice water
Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal, add cold water and pull together with a fork. Place on work surface and knead until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Chill for several hours or over night.
1 cup fresh or frozen fruit. (Blueberry, apple, pineapple, cherry and strawberry are good options). I usually make several different ones, so I can make a variety. You’ll need to chop larger fruit into bite-sized pieces.
1 tablespoon cornstarch (Add an extra 1⁄4 tablespoon if using frozen fruit.)
1⁄4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1⁄2 tablespoon of lime juice
1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
Place fruit in saucepan. Whisk sugar and cornstarch together. (Add cinnamon or nutmeg at this point, if using). Pour over fruit, add salt and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until it begins to simmer. Lower temperature to medium and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool before using or refrigerate for a future time.
Roll out dough to 1⁄8-inch thick, cut an even number of 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center, brush the edge with beaten egg. Place another circle on top, crimping the edges with the tines of a fork. Dock the top to let steam out. (I dock each flavor with a different design.) The pies can be frozen at this point, or you can brush the top with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
Preheat oven to 425 F with rack in the middle position and place pies on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and bake until golden, 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.