What’s better than a slice of pie? A whole pie, all to yourself. No, I don’t mean consuming one of Abuela’s pies in its entirety; but I am talking about hand pies. You know, those adorable mini-pies that have all the flavor of their older cousins, but with no chance of a messily imperfect cutting job. And they’re easy to make, too, if you know what you’re doing. Get the recipe for Cranberry Hand Pies.
How to Make a Hand Pie
What’s better than a slice of pie? A whole pie to yourself. Here’s how to make the sweet dream a reality.
- 3 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) plus 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen
Filling and assembly
- 1 pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries (about 4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon instant tapioca (not starch)
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- Raw sugar
- A 3-inch-diameter cookie cutter or biscuit cutter
- Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (no big pieces of butter should remain). With motor running, slowly drizzle 1/2 cup ice water through feed tube. Pulse until dough just begins to come together.
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball; flatten into disks. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.
Filling and assembly
- Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice, and tapioca in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Let stand for juices to accumulate, about 10 minutes, then cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer and begins to thicken, 5-6 minutes. (Some cranberries will have burst.) Let cool completely. DO AHEAD Cranberry filling can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin, about 1/16-inch thick. Using cookie cutter, cut out 16 circles.
- Brush edges of 8 circles with beaten egg. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each egg-washed circle. Top with remaining circles to form 8 pies. Using a fork, crimp 1/4-inch around edges to seal. If desired, use cookie cutter to clean edges. Repeat with remaining dough, egg, and filling.
- Divide pies between prepared sheets; chill for 45 minutes. DO AHEAD Pies can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Working with 1 baking sheet of pies at a time, score dough, forming a small X in the center of each pie. Brush tops of pies with beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake pies until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles out of Xs, 17-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining baking sheet of pies.
- Using a cookie cutter, punch out dough circles as close together as possible.
- Spoon filling in the middle, leaving a 1/2-inch border for the egg wash.
- Place the second round of dough on top, and then press the tip of a fork along the edges to seal.
- Use a cookie cutter slightly smaller than the pie to trim the edges and create a clean circle
- Score an X in the center, cutting all the way down to the filling to allow steam to escape. An egg wash and a sprinkling of raw sugar give these hand pies crunch.