Hand pies are fun – even the name puts a smile on your face. Cakes are good but, somehow, a little more serious. Cakes are for events like birthdays, weddings, etc. There is more gravitas attached to cakes. Pie in the Sky, Pie in the Face; there is a bit of a silly attached to pies. Sweet pies are wonderful, savory pies are as well. Hand pies are really non-serious, fun, and delicious. The recipe below is super simple. The dough may not qualify for the “super” part but if you have a food processor, it’s pretty close.
There are a couple of rules of the road for hand pies. The crust to filling ratio is critical. It’s a Goldilocks thing, and needs to be just right. The filling can’t be too wet or you won’t be able to eat it out of HAND, right?
You can play with the shape. I have a soft spot for half moons because there was a local bakery where I grew up that made half moon shaped pies. Make them extra large to be the main star of a meal requiring fork and knife, or smaller versions for a true hand pie that’s portable and easy to eat on the run. Whatever the size and shape you choose, feel free to experiment with all of these options and enjoy #InternationalPieDay!
Beef and Mushroom Hand Pie
Makes 4 pies
2-½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled butter cut into pieces
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten for egg wash.
Pulse flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Combine vinegar and ½ cup ice water.Pulse and drizzle in vinegar/water until dough holds together. Turn out and divide dough in half. Press into discs, wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or as long as 2 days. Can freeze for 2 months.
2 tablespoons McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ pounds crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
¾ pounds grass fed ground beef
Salt and pepper
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Saute mushrooms in olive oil until browned. Add beef to pan, crumble and cook until no longer pink. Add Bruschetta and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit out and warm for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface.
Cut 4 – 8” circles out of the dough – two out of each disc. You may have extra dough which can be frozen and used at a later time. Spoon ¼ of filling onto one half of each of the circles, leaving a ½” border.
Top each pie with 1 ounce of shredded cheese. Brush edges of dough with egg wash and fold over to seal, making a half circle. Crimp edges together with the tines of a fork. Cut a few small vents in the top of the pastry. Brush egg wash over top of pies.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until pastry is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. A glass of McEvoy Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon made the pie even more fun and delicious!