Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies are the perfect portable treat for spring and summer! The sweet, juicy strawberry rhubarb filling is wrapped up inside a buttery, flaky pie crust. Drizzle a little glaze on top for an extra pop of color, or eat them plain, straight from the oven!
Spoiler – these won’t last long! Good thing the recipe makes 24 of these perfectly portable little pies! The best way to eat them is while they’re still a bit warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Hand pies are simple to make – and you can sub store-bought pie crust if you’re not ready to tackle homemade pie crust. However, I will always plug homemade pie crust because it just has a level of flaky-ness and flavor that you don’t get with store-bought. My post on How to Make Perfect Pie Crust has TONS of photos and troubleshooting tips to help you if you’re nervous about making pie crust from scratch. You can do it!
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies:
Once your dough is ready, roll it out, and cut small shapes out using a cookie cutter or a drinking glass. I happened to have these star cutters on hand already, so I used those! Each pie needs two pieces – the top and bottom. Cut a little vent slit in the top halves, and spoon a small blob of the fruit filling onto the bottom halves. Brush the edges of the bottom halves with a beaten egg (egg wash). This step is imperative to making sure that the top piece of dough adheres to the bottom! If you skip this, a ton of your filling is likely going to seep out in the oven and we don’t want that.
Place the top pieces on the egg-washed bottoms, and press down around the edges with a clean finger to seal. Then, use the end of a fork to crimp the edges all the way around – it looks nice and adds an extra seal to the pie!
Freezing Hand Pies (Make Ahead Tip!) :
At this point, you could freeze the assembled hand pies to bake at a later time! I have done this and it works beautifully. I recommend freezing them on a baking sheet, then moving them into an airtight container with a lid once they’re frozen. This way, they don’t all freeze together into one big blob.
When you’re ready to bake them, do NOT thaw the pies! Simply transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, brush with a little egg wash, add a sprinkle of coarse sugar (optional but delicious) and bake!
If you want, you can add that little glaze on top like I mentioned earlier, or just eat them as is! I prefer them without the glaze, Grant prefers them with – there’s no right answer! BUT – you really should eat these the day they’re made. On the second day, the crust will have lost a ton of it’s crisp, flakyness. Unfortunately that’s just how hand pies are.
But fortunately, that means you get to spend your day consuming this whole pan of starry little hand pies!
I hope you give these a try! Happy baking – and happy rhubarb season! If you love rhubarb, give one of these recipes a try next!
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Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
For the Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
- 8 ounces strawberries, quartered if using frozen, don't thaw
- 6 ounces rhubarb, chopped if using frozen, don't thaw
- 1 TBSP salted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup granulated or cane sugar
- 2 TBSP brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp corn or tapioca starch
For the Pie Crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 and 3/4 sticks salted butter, cold 14 TBSP
- 1/3 cup + 2 or 3 TBSP ice cold water
- raw sugar, optional for sprinkling on the pie crust
- 1 large egg for egg wash - don't skip this
- Make the Pie Crust: Before you begin, make sure your butter is cold and in the fridge - don't remove it until you're ready to use it. Measure out the water and keep it in the fridge or pop it in the freezer for a few minutes, so it's extra cold. Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cube the COLD butter and add to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until you have a crumbly mixture, with some smaller pieces and some larger pieces. Add the COLD water, a little at a time, stirring with a fork between additions. Continue until the dough starts to clump/come together. Gently work the dough into a ball - if it's really sticky, add a bit of flour, and if it's a tad dry, add a sprinkle more water. (I sometimes need to do this to the bits in the bottom of the bowl - the dry crumbs tend to hide there. Just run your hand under the faucet and flick a little water from your hand into the bowl. It may seem like a tiny amount, but you don't want to overdo it so do it this way!)Gently flatten the dough ball into a 1-inch thick disc and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the freezer fo 30 minutes or in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Make the Strawberry Rhubarb Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Stir everything together well, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. No need to stir the mixture during this time! When the 15 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat and give it a stir.Cool the Sauce: Let the sauce cool at room temp for a bit, then let it chill in the fridge at least 3 hours, or for a few days (this is a great make-ahead component!)
- Prep: Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Beat an egg in a small bowl with a small splash of water - this is your egg wash.
- Roll the Dough Out: Let the dough sit at room temp about 10 minutes before rolling. Beat the egg in a small bowl and add a splash of water or milk (for egg wash).Flour your counter & rolling pin. Gently begin roll the dough out in all directions. Turn the dough every few rolls to make sure it's not sticking to the counter. Continue flouring the counter and rolling pin as you go. Roll until it's about 1/8" thick - it'll be a large piece of dough. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes - I used a star cookie cutter. You could use a drinking glass or small bowl to make round pop tarts. or cut out rectangles like I did for these blueberry pop tarts. Gather the dough scraps into a ball and chill again until cold (20 minutes) while the first batch bakes. Repeat these steps with the dough scraps - rolling them out about 2-3 additional times, chilling in between. (It's important to chill in between so the butter stays cold, which will keep the crust flaky when it bakes).
- Assemble the Hand Pies: Place 8 stars onto prepared baking sheet. Top each one with about 1 tsp of the strawberry rhubarb filling. Brush the edges with the egg wash using a pastry brush. Cut a small slit in 8 more stars, and press a second star on top of each bottom star, and pinch the edges together to seal the pop tart. Crimp the edges by pressing the tines of a fork into them, all the way around. Brush the whole pop tart with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little raw sugar.
- Bake: Bake the hand pies for 15-22 minutes. The crust will be golden brown and the filling should be bubbling. They'll be super hot out of the oven, but they should be enjoyed as soon as they're cool enough to handle!
- Serve + Store: These are best enjoyed while fresh, on the day you bake them, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The crust will lose quite a bit of its crisp, flaky-ness by the second day so I really don't recommend saving leftovers - they'll be a bit soggy and disappointing. Eat these all at once. 🙂
- Make Ahead Tips: Filling can be made up to 4 days ahead and kept in the fridge in an airtight container or mason jar. Crust can be made up to 2 months ahead and kept (well-wrapped) in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using. Assembled, unbaked hand pies can be frozen (place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then gently layer them in a tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid) for up to 1 week before baking. Do not thaw them before baking - follow all the steps as given above in the same way. This recipe can be halved. The sauce makes 2x the amount you need, but you'll be glad to have extra. It goes well on toast, in yogurt, and on ice cream.
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