I started this post all “this recipe came to me in a dream” but then I realized that sounded a little silly, mystical, and very B-movie-esque. So now that I’ve acknowledged that it sounds like, you know, something Phoebe Buffatwould say, let me tell you about my dream. In the dream, I was talking with this pie maven. I’m not sure who she represents in real life, but in the dream she was the be all end all of pies and pie dough, so I went to her with my pie concept and asked for her advice. I knew I wanted to make hand pies with strawberries and rhubarb, but I was stuck on how to get the dough right- light and fluffy. So she looks me square in the eye and she says sour cream.
Not one to turn down what is clearly a sign from the pie gods of my subconscious, I listened to my maven and incorporated just a tablespoon of sour cream into the pie dough. And I’m so glad I did because damn was she right. It was light, flaky, tender, and so delicious I was left annoyed with myself for only making three (I was test running the recipe). It was so spot on, I’m considering taking future dream advice as literally as possible. UNICYCLING IN ZERO GRAVITY?!? DONE!
The filling was pretty top notch too. A combination of strawberries, rhubarb, and orange juice, it’s tart with the achingly familiar spring strawberry flavor. And I know that a) I just posted a rhubarb recipe a few weeks ago and b) it’s just barely spring and these fruits are hard to find but I am going so stir crazy in March that I just had to. This is my way of saying, INTERNET, THERE IS HOPE. One day soon, there will be rhubarb and strawberries everywhere, and when there are you can scoop them up, throw them into hand pies, and DANCE.
I may be getting carried away, but I’m not kidding about the stir craziness.
Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
3 rhubarb stalks
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp orange zest
1/8 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 sticks butter
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tbsp orange zest
Pinch of salt
1 egg, for wash
Sugar for dusting
Start with the dough. First off, all ingredients should be cold, so an hour before you’re ready to start, put all ingredients in your fridge. When they’re cold, combine flour, sugar, salt, shortening, and butter in a food processor. Blend until it is coarse in texture. In a separate bowl, whisk the water, zest, orange juice, and sour cream together. If you have a food processor with a lid that allows you to add things while its running, turn it on and slowly add in the sour cream mixture. If you don’t, just pulse, add a little liquid, repeat until they dough forms a coarse ball. You may not have to use all your liquid- use just enough so that your dough forms a nice ball. If you add too much liquid, just adjust with a bit of flour.
Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap, transfer the dough onto it, wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
While your dough is cooling, get your filling going. Remember, these pies are small, so you want your fruit to be cut into smallish pieces. Not minced, but diced. So dice your fruit, and combine it with the remaining ingredients.
When your dough is cooled, take it out of the fridge and flour you counter. Make sure the dough is heavily floured and gently roll it out to 1/4″ and get out your biscuit cutter. My largest biscuit cutter (the largest I’ve been able to find) is 2 1/2″ wide. If you can find one that is 3-4″, that’d be great. Either way, cut your dough into rounds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp of filling into each round, placing center-right. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together. Use a fork to seal the edges and line the pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Whisk the egg together and brush the egg wash over each pie. Cut a slit on the top of each pie and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.