Happy late Fourth of July folks. Yesterday I headed to a friend’s house and enjoyed some lovely company as well as some tasty veggie dogs. I’m usually not a big processed soy faux-meat fan, but there’s just something about eating food straight from the grill and loaded up with ketchup and mustard. Especially on the Fourth.
To prepare for the festivities I ran out and bought some puff pastry and some strawberries. Earlier last week I saw this recipe for Cherry Hand Pies on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, and was stuck with the idea as a perfect treat. I looove me some pie and the idea of bringing it on the go made me swoon. No bothering with slicing or plates or forks for me, just a delicious handheld single pie. It’s the sophisticated cousin to the poptarts of my childhood. Oh and not to mention the fact that having a set size makes my inner food-hog very satisfied. No waffling between big and small slices or trying to hide the fork from the (always stealing bites of my food) boyfriend…
In short, the hand pie is a perfect dessert.
So, not wanting to be one who shows up empty handed to a party, I hauled ass to the grocery store and bought a package of puff pastry and a quart of strawberries. I liked that Tracey made her hand pies with cherries, but I was really feeling in the mood for fresh strawberries. They were calling out to me from the berry stand.
I ended up following the recipe almost exactly. I changed the cherries out for strawberries and just ended up cooking the entire quart. It was more than I needed, but I froze the extra filling for another day (mini pie? crumble? ice cream mix-in?). Also, oh by the way, I was amazed at how quick and easy the whole process was. The only time I found myself nail-biting was during the “chill for 30 minutes in the fridge” moments. And the only suggestion I have for the other impatient cooks out there is to put on a good show or pull out your current book. The time goes by fast as long as you aren’t in a hurry to get to a barbecue.
|4th of July Strawberry Pie|
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 quart sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb puff pastry
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tbsp water
- Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add the strawberries, sugar, vanilla, and salt to a saucepan and heat on medium.
- You want to cook them for about five minutes until they get juicy, then add the cornstarch mixture.
- Bring to a boil, making sure to stir pretty consistently.
- When it reaches a boil, take off the heat and let cool to room temperature (I popped the pan in the freezer for a few hot seconds to speed the process up).
- Unfold your puff pastry (there should be two sheets in a package) and cut each sheet into 6 equal rectangular shapes (they’ll be adorably miniature).
- Place a spoonful of filling into the center area of each rectangle and fold over until you make a nice little pocket. Seal the edges with a fork’s tines and slice steam vents in the top of each mini pie.
- Beat the egg white and tablespoon of water together and then wash over the top of each hand pie. Then let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Bake the pies for 30 or so minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they’ve puffed up and turned a nice golden brown color. Also the aroma in the kitchen will be driving you wild.
- Cool and devour!
And, oh by the way, these babies were kind of a hit. You’ll amaze your friends into thinking you’re some kind of genius baker. And I guess making such a tasty yet easy dessert does make you some kind of a genius baker. I give them two thumbs up, you should definitely try them next time you’ve got a barbecue to attend or an extra quart of strawberries.