Looking for another way to use homemade jam? Try this recipe for Mini Hand Pies, they a great way to showcase homemade jam. I made these Mini Hand Pies for the Palmer Food Swap the other day, they taste like pie but you can eat them in 2 bites and best of all no dirty plates. Or evidence of pie being eaten, except for that smug pie eating smile. Rock on Mini Hand Pies, rock on.
Now you’ll have to make what I use as pie dough, a pate brisee or a short crust, basically an all butter pie dough, if you want o make really good Mini Hand Pies, the kind that hold up to being held. I prefer it for pies because I like the way it tastes and flakes. But if you have a favorite pie dough recipe and you swear by it, by all means use that. I wouldn’t recommend a store bought pie crust dough, I don’t believe they’re really tough enough to hold up without a pie pan. Do not let the idea of making the dough turn you away from this recipe, you can make one easily if you have a food processor, I’ll walk you though it. And if you DON’T have a food processor it’s still totally doable!
Mini Hand Pies
dough instructions for the food processor:
whirl the dry ingredients in a food processor
drop in half the butter and pulse until it looks like coarse meal
drop in the rest and pulse again until that butter is mostly incorporated, you want a coarse meal with a little bigger pieces mixed through, this will give you a nice flaky crust
don't run the food processor when adding the butter just pulse and release, this will chop it and not mix it
mix the cold water and the vinegar if you're using it
add 8 TBSP of water or water/vinegar to flour butter mixture through the feed tube while the processor is running
run until the dough holds together, about 15-20 seconds, if it's still dry add one more TBSP of water and whirl again
take the dough out of the processor, knead it a few times, divide in half, pat to flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate --remove from the refrigerator roughly 30-45 minutes before you want to roll out the dough so it's actually soft enough to roll out yet the butter doesn't melt--if you love in a very hot climate you may need to adjust this to avoid accidentally melting the butter, I don't have to worry about that up here!
dough instructions for making by hand:
mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
using a pastry blender or two knives, cut 1/2 in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal
then cut in the rest of the butter stopping once you've reached the point where it resembles coarse meal with slightly bigger pieces of butter
stir the water and vinegar together, if you're using vinegar that is
add 7 TBSP to the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the dough comes together, if it's still dry and crumbly add 1 more TBSP of water and stir
knead a few times, divide, wrap and chill as directed above
directions for making the pies: preheat oven to 400˚
get a little water in a small bowl for sealing pies, also whisk the egg with a little water for the egg wash, dust your counter and rolling pin with flour
roll one disk of dough until it's roughly a 1/4 inch thick
using a wide mouth canning jar lid cut dough into circles
transfer circles to a baking sheet
top with a dab of jam, about a heaping teaspoon full
dip your finger in the plain water and run it around half the outer edge of each circle
fold each circle over, seal with with a fork
brush finished pies with the egg wash
poke a little hole in them to vent the steam
sprinkle with a pinch of sugar
bake in a preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until baked through and lightly browned
repeat with remaining dough circles, making sure to place them on a thoroughly cool baking sheet
I used a wide mouth jar canning ring to cut the dough into circles, it works well and I didn't have to run out and buy anything for it. If you don't have one any circle cookie cutter roughly 3 1/2 inches will work. If you change the size be sure to adjust cooking times and amount of pies. If you roll the dough thinner or forget to poke holes in the tops or both, you will probably get a fair amount of jam leakage, it's not a big deal the Mini Hand Pies are still very edible.