It's cookbook season - my fave time of the year! I just love seeing so many of my friends releasing books they have spent the last few years pouring their heart and soul into - and I now have a fairly long 'to-bake' list. The best! I really love actually following recipes - I feel like I spend so long trying to come up with my own spin on things, or recipe testing things to share here, that sometimes it's just so nice to follow someone else's recipe and not have to make all kinds of crazy decisions and notes. I often follow a recipe for dinner, but it isn't that often I get to do it for baking, so I am going to try and take every opportunity that I get!
Today I'm sharing a recipe from the lovely Jessie, who's book, The Vintage Baker, came out yesterday! Jessie began collecting vintage baking booklets over ten years ago, and this book is full of vintage classics with Jessie's own spin on them. There's a cute little illustration of the booklet next to each recipe. It reminds me a little of my Grandma's scrapbook recipe book - the best thing ever. Plus, there's grams. Everyone knows how much I love grams. There are some amazing recipes in there and I had a really hard time deciding what to share - I can't wait to bake my way through it! Because I'm not from the States, I actually haven't heard of most of the recipes before, so it adds to the fun! Do yourself a favour and get the book - it is all kinds of delicious.
There are a bunch of recipes I am dying to try in the book, but I couldn't go past these Strawberry Basil Hand Pies (Jessie Calls them turnovers in her book). We are right on the edge of strawberry season, and handpies are not only super adorable, but they are a great alternative to a big pie, which some people can find a little intimidating. I also love the pastry to filling ratio you get with a hand pie, particularly with these wee turnovers. The flavour of the basil compliments the strawberry perfectly, and the whole thing is rounded out with a little black pepper. These would be perfect to make for a morning or afternoon tea, or to take to a bbq! You can't go wrong with a personal pie!
A few wee tips:
- Jessie's recipe makes 8 large turnovers, but I went for little ones instead. For 8 large turnovers, once you have made the dough and rested it, you divide the dough into 8 balls, and roll each out to a 7 inch (17cm) diameter circle. You then fill with ¼ cup filling! I changed it up slightly and got 18 little hand pies. I also used a little extra dough to make some cut-outs to decorate a bit!
- I shot these before I cut the wee air vents. Don't forget this step or they will explode everywhere in the oven and it won't be cute.
- The Pie dough is best rested overnight, but you can give it about an hour minimum if you are in a pinch.
- The filling does take some time to cool, so make sure you account for that. It could definitely be made ahead along with the dough.
- These are made to be rustic and they will leak a little - don't worry!
- Make sure you don't forget to egg wash the edge of the dough before you fold over the edge to make the turnover - I forgot on a few and it was a semi disaster. A fork can help crimp down the edges tightly too!
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Strawberry Basil Hand Pies
- 2 cups plus 6 Tbsp (340g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, chilled
- 6 Tbsp Ice water
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, chilled
- 4 cups (455g) strawberries, sliced
- ⅔ cup (130g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp Cornstarch
- ½ tsp table salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅔ cup (15g) tightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 egg whisked with a splash of heavy cream
- Turbinado / Raw sugar to finish
- Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into cubes, add to the food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the water and vinegar slowly, pulsing the machine only until the dough is crumbly, and a bit of dough can be pinched together between two fingers and hold its shape. Pour the dough into a bowl and, using your hands, shape into two disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days (overnight if possible).
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and lemon juice until sputtering, stirring frequently. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring constantly, until thickened. Bring to room temperature before adding basil, and stir to combine. Can be made ahead.
*Note: See 'a few wee tips' for Jessie's method which yields 8 large hand pies. I have included my method here for smaller ones, which yields 18.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Working with one disk at a time, roll out on a lightly floured work surface until it is approximately ⅛ inch (3mm) in thickness. Cut out circles approximately 4 inches (10cm) in diameter, layering on a sheet pan with pieces of parchment between them. Repeat with the second disk of dough, then gather and roll out scraps to get as many circles as you can. If desired, cut out shapes with the scraps of dough using plunger cutters.
- Place the dough rounds in the fridge for 10 minutes before starting assembly.
- To assemble, brush half of the edge of the dough round with egg wash. Place about 2 tsp of filling in the center of a round. Gently fold over the dough ,forming a half moon shape. Pinch the edges together to seal. Use a fork to decoratively mark the edge of the hand pie (I didn't do this step). Add decorations if using. Using a paring knife, make 3 small slits in the top of the hand pie. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Remember : these hand pies are rustic, and they will leak.
- Transfer the hand pies on the baking sheet to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or overnight, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 days. Do not thaw before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c.
- Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating at the half way point, or until the juices are bubbly and the crust is nicely browned.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream. The Hand pies will keep on the counter, tightly covered in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
This Recipe was reprinted with permission from The Vintage Baker, ©Jessica R Sheehan. The Vintage Baker was published by Chronicle Books in 2018.