These hand pies made with a fresh bourbon and strawberry jam filling and a perfect flakey and buttery pie crust are the perfect and easy bite-sized pie treat!
What is a hand pie?:
A hand pie is a pie that has been turned into a cookie. It is two layers of pie dough that have been cut with a cookie cutter in 2-3 inch sizes filled with delicious filling; this recipe is filled with homemade strawberry jam.
Key ingredients for this recipe:
- Butter: Butter is incredibly important in pie crust. Butter not only adds fat and flavor, but it is what helps create all the flakey layers.
- All-purpose flour: flour adds structure to the pie dough, it's what holds all the butter together.
- Sugar: sugar adds sweetness and enhances the flavor in the pie crust and in the bourbon strawberry jam.
- Salt: Salt is the ultimate flavor enhancer, and fun fact, if you ever want a dessert to be sweeter, a lot of times, it means you need to up the salt and not the sugar.
- Water: Water helps hydrate and bind the pie dough together
- Bourbon: bourbon is used both in the pie crust and in the jam. In the pie crust, it helps to make a really flakey crust. Part of the alcohol evaporates and makes a very flakey crust. The bourbon also adds a gorgeous flavor to the jam.
- Fresh strawberries: fresh strawberries are used to make this wonderful strawberry jam. You can use frozen, but it will take longer to cook.
Tips and tricks for pie crust dough:
- Use cold or frozen butter. Cold butter helps create air pockets in the dough, which helps creates flakey layers. Room temp butter will thoroughly blend into the dough and not create those layers.
- I use a food processor to make my pie crust pastry; bakers much debate this method. Pie crust pastry gets its magic from adding just enough water for it to hold together, and it's easier to tell how much water is needed by mixing it by hand. It also is easier not to over-mix the dough when it's done by hand. But it is also a lot more work.
- To make sure you don't over blend the dough, pulse the food processor a few times, and then check to see the butter crumbles' size. You are looking for the pea to lima bean size chunks. When it looks ready, grab and handful and squeeze it together; if it forms into a dough, it's ready!
Tips and tricks for homemade jam:
- Put a cold plate in the freezer before you start making jam. The cold plate will help you judge the consistency of your jam.
- Strawberries have a lot of water in them so you will have to cook them for about twice as long than your would for a blackberry or blueberry jam.
- To speed up the process, you can start to mash the strawberries on the side of your pot as they are cooking.
- When the strawberries have thickened, put a tablespoon on the frozen plate, freeze for 1 minute, and then look at the consistency. If it's thick and jammy, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool.
How to make this recipe:
- Start by making the jam. The jam takes 40 minutes to an hour, so start this and then move on to your pie crust.
- Next, make your pie dough and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll it out into a thin layer.
- Use a cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter to cut out 2-3 inch shapes.
- Put 1-2 tablespoons of jam onto the bottom layer of dough. Use a little water to wet the outer rim of the dough.
- Place the top layer on top and seal by pressing the rim with a fork.
- Use a knife the cut vents into the pies.
- Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until golden brown.
How to store hand pies:
Hand pies are really easy to store. They can be left covered at room temperature for two days can be sealed in an air-tight container for four days.