Move over McDonald’s, we’re making our own!
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- 1/4 C powdered sugar , to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp agar agar powder or gelatin
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1 batch Buttery Pie Crust, kept cold
- 1/4 C turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp cold water
- Start by preparing the strawberry filling, so it has time to thicken and cool. Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10 minutes, until the berries have broken down and the mixture has thickened. Give it a taste and add more sugar if it seems too tart. Stir in the agar powder or gelatin and remove from heat. Set it aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once the strawberry filling has cooled, make the cream cheese filling. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk vigorously until everything is well combined and there are no lumps.
- Flour a clean work surface lightly, and roll out your first disc of pie dough, until you have a large oval or rectangle that’s about 1/4″ thick.
- Cut out rectangles that are 2.5″ wide and 4.5″ long. I use the measurements on the edge of my bench scraper for this. If you rolled your pie crust thin enough, you should end up with 5–7 rectangles.
- Place the cut-outs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, with about an inch of space between them. Grab your other round of pie dough and repeat steps 4 and 5.
- Use a paring knife to cut a 2″ line down the center of this second batch of cut-outs and place them on a plate. These are the tops of our pies. Transfer all the rectangles to the fridge to keep chilled.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grab two piping bags or small Ziploc bags. Carefully transfer the strawberry filling into one, and the cream cheese filling into the other. Snip off the edge of the bag to make a hole for piping. We want the hole big enough to allow a thick pipe of filling through, but not too big, so start small if you’re unsure how large to make it. You can always snip a little more off if you need to.
- Pull the baking sheet of cut-outs out of the fridge. Whisk together the large egg and cold water into an egg wash. Use your fingertip to spread the egg wash along the edges of each rectangle you have arranged. Pipe a line of cream cheese filling down the length of each rectangle, leaving about a half inch of space around the edges. Follow this with a line of strawberry filling.
- Pull the plate of cut-outs out of the fridge. Lay one in your palm, and use your finger to spread the egg wash along the edges of the rectangle. Place the cut-out, egg wash side down, over the top of one of the rectangles with piping, lining up the edges as best you can. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat until you’ve formed all the hand pies.
- Use a basting brush to apply more egg wash to the top of each pie, then sprinkle a generous amount of the coarse sugar over the tops.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and the filling is beginning to bubble out of the center slit.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to your mouth or to a wire rack to cool completely. Dassit!
- Store bought pie crust works just fine, just don’t roll it out any thinner than it comes.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes