Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies, with Toasted Almonds

An impromptu Memorial Day BBQ + it being rhubarb season = these little gems. Made on a whim. Really easy to make. Nothing much more to say [grin].

for the pastry
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, diced
6 tablespoons (or more) ice water

for the filling
4 8-inch stalks of rhubarb, cut to 1/2 inch pieces
1 quart strawberries, hulled and cut to 1/2 pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as turbinado

Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening and cut in using purses until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather into ball, divide, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours.

In the meantime, make your filling as this should also cool. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the rhubarb, then the strawberries. Once both have softened a bit, add the brown sugar and pinch of salt and let come to a simmer. Once simmering, add the corn starch slurry, let come back to a boil and then remove from the heat. The mixture will thicken somewhat as it cools.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut it into 6 x 6 inch squares. It is easiest to measure the pieces with a ruler, score the crust with a knife and cut it with a pizza cutter. If you want to make the pretty flower cut-outs, use a very small cookie or fondant cutter in the shape of a flower, star, heart or circle on one side of the squares (remember that you will be folding them diagonally). You don’t have to do this; you will need to make vents in the top part of the pies, but you can also just cut little slits in the folded over part.

Spoon about 4 tablespoons or so onto one half of the squares, leaving about 1/4 inch of space before the edge. using a spoon or folk, crimp and seal the edges. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling. You should get 6 hand pies from this recipe. Once all are done, cut vents slits onto the tops (not necessary if you have made the cutouts, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with almond slices and coarse sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before eating (the filling will be very hot). Can be eaten hot (with ice cream) or at room temperature out of hand.


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