Ripe, juicy strawberries are cooked down to sugary perfection, then spooned into buttery pie dough rounds! Baked until golden-brown and coated in strawberry powdered sugar, these Strawberry Hand Pies are this Summer’s sweetest hand-held treat!
I’ve been baking pies for as long as I can remember. In fact, some of my earliest memories are that of cold butter in my fingertips and heavy rolling pins dusted with flour. My Big Mama taught me everything I know, and she knew a whole lot about pie.
During the Summers, Big Mama and I took advantage of fresh fruit to make everything from cobblers ro crumbles. We spent our days together rinsing berries and humming along to whatever was on the radio. By the end of the day, we’d have an assortment of rhubarb cakes, blueberry drop biscuits, and (you guessed it) strawberry hand pies!
I love the idea of pie as a finger food! A plate piled high with warm, flaky, individually-portioned pies is my version of a dream come true. Strawberry Hand Pies are something particularly special; they’re bursting with juicy fruit and vibrant color! On a bright, sunny Summer day, these pies couldn’t be more perfect!
Perks and Highlights of the Best Strawberry Hand Pies
What Are Hand Pies?
Hand pies are a staple of Southern snacking; they can be found at church bake sales, picnics, and reunions all across the South. Portable and capable of withstanding unforgiving heat, these street-food like treats are as convenient as they are irresistible. Fillings for a hand pie can be sweet or savory.
How to Make Strawberry Hand Pies
- Prepare the Dough- The base for these hand pies is my classic pie dough recipe. Simple, straightforward, and easy to make. The key is to not overwork the dough and keep it cold. You should see ribbons and grains of butter throughout the dough, and it should remain cool to the touch at all times.
- Make Strawberry Filling- Be sure to pick bright, plump strawberries with vibrant stems. It’s important that the time is taken to properly clean, dry, hull, and slice the berries. Cook the strawberries quickly, only allowing them to reach boiling point for a moment. If you overcook the berries, they will break down and release too much juice.
- Assemble the Hand Pies- Once you have all the discs prepared, keep them in the fridge and only work with a few at a time. Do not overfill the dough or the pies will burst during baking. Firmly seal the edges, then transfer the prepared pies back to the fridge where they will firm before baking.
- Bake and Cool- After about 30 minutes of baking, you should regularly check the pies. Only bake until golden-brown and puffed, some juice might begin to seep from the edges, that’s okay. Allow the pies to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Don’t Forget the Powdered Sugar- Homemade Strawberry Powdered Sugar is the icing on top here! As the pies bake, prepare the sugar and set aside. Once the pies have cooled a bit, let the sugar rain down!
Leftover Storage and Reheating
Strawberry Hand Pies are best served the day you bake them, either warm from the oven or at room temperature. These pies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I find that after a couple days the dough begins to soften and lose its flakiness.
I’d recommend making these pies ahead and baking them as you need them: this will keep them fresh, and you’ll have a ready-made dessert right at your fingertips!
How to Freeze Hand Pies
If you choose to bake these pies as needed, or save a few for later, freezer storage is ideal. To avoid freezer burn, follow the instructions below:
- Follow the recipe instructions to prepare the hand pies, but instead of baking immediately place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer.
- Once frozen, wrap each pie in plastic wrap, then transfer them to a large freezer-safe bag. Label and date the bag, then tuck it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When you’d like to bake them, just unwrap the desired amount and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven, egg wash the pies, and bake them as directed.
Best Strawberry Desserts
We all know what happens when life gives you lemons, but what do we do with strawberries? Make one of my FAVORITE strawberry-filled recipes of course!
Strawberry Hand Pies
For the Crust
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup very cold unsalted butter cut in cubes
- 1/2 cup very cold water up to 2/3 cup if you need it
For the Strawberries
- 3 3/4 cup strawberries (about 1.5 lb) hulled and sliced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp water
For Strawberry Powdered Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
For the Crust
- In a medium sized bowl, add flour, sugar and salt and whisk together to combine.
- Next add butter cubes to flour and using your pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until various sized crumbs appear.
- Slowly add the cold water into the flour until a ball of dough forms. Start with 1/2 cup and add more water if you need it. Knead the dough quickly to bring it together. Don't worry if there is any flour left in the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, cut into 3 or 4 sections and round into balls. Cover each ball tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to rest.
For the Strawberries
- In a small pot, heat strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat. Stir together until combined and bring to a boil for about 15 seconds.
- Remove pot from heat then add vanilla, orange zest and salt and stir in. Allow the strawberries to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk together egg and water and set aside.
- Remove dough from the fridge and add a bit of flour to a working surface or clean counter and place dough on it.
- Using a rolling pin, quickly roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut out circles using a large cutter the size of about 3 inch circumference.
- Spoon about ¾ to 1 ½ tablespoons of the strawberry filling onto one half of each circle of dough.
- Brush a little egg wash around the outside of the dough circle and place another circle directly on top.
- Seal each hand pie by pressing the edges of the dough together with the tines of a fork then add tiny slits to the top of each pie.
- Place back in the refrigerator for about 20-25 minutes to firm up before baking. Before baking brush with egg wash.
- Once firm, bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. (If you made super thick dough, you would have to bake for up to 40 minutes). Cool until room temperature or just warm.
To Make Strawberry Powdered Sugar
- Add freeze-dried strawberries and powdered sugar to your food processor. Pulse until the mixture turns into a fine powder. Sprinkle pies with powdered sugar and serve.