Smitten Kitchen: Hand pie dough

I haven’t had a lot of time to experiment with hand pies, and to be honest, my desire to mess around with different kinds of recipes is not what it used to be. That’s why I count myself fortunate to have come across this recipe, because even though I thought I had messed it up slightly the first time I made it (too wet a dough) the pies I baked still ended up with flaky, tasty, sturdy, buttery crusts. It turns out that this recipe does call for too much water, at least for my non-arid sea-level environment, so I’ve adapted the water amount to suit.

I used this recipe for cherry pies made using two pounds of sour cherries, and I had a small amount of filling left over. Very likely I could have rolled the dough out a bit more to get a couple more pies out of it. You can expect a yield of 18 or so pies if you cut 4.5-inch circles for your dough, but you might be able to squeeze more out of it, depending on cutter size and thickness of dough.

You can find the original recipe here.

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Smitten Kitchen: Hand pie dough
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
pies
Ingredients
Dough ingredients
When ready to bake pies
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
pies
Ingredients
Dough ingredients
When ready to bake pies
Instructions
Making the pastry
  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture and toss with a fork until flour coats all of the butter shreds, then make a well in the centre.
  3. Separately, whisk together sour cream, lemon juice and water. Add half of this to the well in the flour, then mix lightly with two forks until large lumps form. Sprinkle remaining liquid over dry areas and toss, and pat dough into a ball. If dough doesn't come together, add water spoonful by spoonful until it just comes together.
  4. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, or wrap well and store in the freezer up to one month.
  5. Divide cold dough in half and return one half to refrigerator. Lightly flour a surface and roll remaining dough to about 3mm thickness.
  6. Use a circular cutter between 4 - 5 inches in diameter to cut out circles and lay them on a lined baking sheet, then roll out the scraps and repeat until scraps are gone. Alternatively, cut the dough into squares about 5" across.
  7. Put baking sheet in refrigerator to chill.
  8. Repeat steps 6 through 8 with the remaining half of the dough.
  9. Remove dough from refrigerator and, on each dough circle, spoon 1 - 2 tablespoons filling on one half of each dough circle (leave about 0.5 inch around the edges clean).
  10. For each circle, brush cold water around the edge of the dough and fold in half over the filling, then seal by using the tines of a fork to press edges together. Cut a small slit in the top of each.
  11. Place unbaked pies back into the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, about half an hour, or freeze to bake later.
When ready to bake pies
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and beat the egg yolk with the water.
  2. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator and lightly brush with the egg yolk mixture.
  3. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the pies, then bake until they are golden brown (about 20 minutes).
  4. Let cool slightly before serving.
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