Summer is my favorite season of the year. I love green nature, fresh, home grown veggies, herbs (I’m already growing basil on the windowsill in my kitchen), fruits and berries, cold refreshing drinks and fruity flavored ice creams when the temperature starts rising… But really, who doesn’t love these things?!
I made these mini hand pies over the weekend with freshly harvested rhubarb and strawberries. Honestly, I go crazy over the combination of strawberries and rhubarb (do you remember this bread?). Sweet and tart, this combo is the perfect way to start the summer! Don’t you think so?
Rhubarb has a unique sour taste and a texture similar to celery. I used to eat it raw fairly often in my childhood by sprinkling some sugar on it but stopped liking it as I grew older. I prefer rhubarb in baked goods now – the end product has a smoother texture, but still has a distinctive tart taste.
Combining rhubarb with strawberries is a classic, time-honored combination loved by all. Sweet, tart and delicious – everything you want in this little pie that fits right in your hand! Sure, they require some extra effort and a bit more patience, but the end result is totally worth it.
For the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cold, cut into cubes
- 2 eggs , whisked
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
For the filling:
- 1 1/3 cups hulled and chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup diced rhubarb
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg , whisked with 1 teaspoon water
- sugar for sprinkling
- Make the dough following the directions given in this recipe. Form dough into 4 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes. A chilled dough is easier to handle.
- In a medium saucepan, mix strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, sugar, salt and orange zest. Cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Cool slightly.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Assembling the hand pies:
- Work with one dough ball at a time (keep the others refrigerated till ready to use). On a floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet (about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). Use a 2 1/2 to 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut as many rounds as possible from the dough. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and repeat the process with the second dough ball. When the baking sheet is full, put it in the fridge. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls. Refrigerate the dough scraps if they become too stretchy and soft. I usually place it in the freezer, so it chills faster.
- Place about a heaping teaspoon or so of the strawberry rhubarb filling in the center of the circle. Layer a second round of dough on top and press the edges to seal. Repeat this process with the remaining circles and the filling. Refrigerate the hand pies for about 20-30 minutes or until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- When all hand pies are chilled, crimp the edges of each pie with a fork. Lightly brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash, then sprinkle them with the sugar. Use a paring knife to cut slits in the top of each pie.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the mini pies are puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and let them cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!