Well, hello there! Thanks for joining me…
Over the weekend, the girls and I made these awesome little portable pies. We had them for dessert on Father’s Day, but what they’d be super-perfect for is a picnic. We take a lot of picnics during the warm months, do you? We’re always schlepping our meals places this time of year…like to the playground, the beach, or to the Valley for concerts. Sometimes, we just feel like eating outside for no other reason than we can. Over the years, I’ve shared a few picnic-friendly tips with you guys and I’ve always stressed that we should make these meals special for ourselves as well. Kids could eat PB & J’s every single day…and sometimes they do hit the spot; but, it sure is nice to have something in the cooler or picnic basket (like one of these or this) that feels like a treat for us adults.
Speaking of treats, I guess I better get on with giving you the recipe for this picnic-worthy dessert kids and adults would love. (For the record, these did take a little time. For some reason, I’m willing to put extra effort into homemade sweets. I take shortcuts cooking dinner, making crafts, doing chores…but when it comes to dessert, I take my time.)
Strawberry Hand Pies (only slightly adapted from Country Living)
2 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (After how well these turned out, I’m hoping to make raspberry and peach versions, too.)
3 T. strawberry jam (I used strawberry freezer jam made from the same fresh strawberries and I think this helped with the fresh flavor)
In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 c. of the flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp. of the salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add 1 egg yolk, 1/2 cup ice water, and 1/2 tsp. of the vanilla and mix until just combined. (If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add 1 T. of ice water at a time.)
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 2 to 3 times, just until dough comes together. Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the filling.
In a medium bowl, combine strawberries and jam, plus remaining flour (1/8 c.), remaining vanilla (1/2 tsp.), and remaining salt (1/4 tsp.).
In a small bowl, beat remaining egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water for egg wash; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into 6 rounds.
Roll 1 round into a 6-inch circle. Spoon a heaping 2 T. of the filling onto half of circle, leaving 1/2-inch border. Brush the edges with egg wash, then fold dough over filling. Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal hand pie. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough rounds and filling.
Brush with remaining egg wash. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden.
And just for fun, here’s a word on dining al fresco from Manny of Modern Family. If you’re not watching this show, you’re missing out. Seriously. Belly laughs every single episode.
Gloria: “Manny, why did you have breakfast alone outside?”
Manny: “I felt like eating al fresco.”
Jay: “Does that mean he had his pants off? Because if I can’t, he can’t!”
And some eye candy, too. Don’t worry, our picnics look nothing like these.