Hand Pies have been around as long as people have been cooking. Anything enclosed in bread or pastry that can be eaten out of hand qualifies. It can be a turnover, English pasty, a calzone, or Russian pierogis. Every culture has a hand pie no matter what they call it.
While many hand pies are savory, sweet hand pies qualify and have been front and center of late. Any pie filling or sweet filling can be used as long as it isn’t runny. A number of pastries can be used but I particularly like this Mock Puff Pastry. The recipe has been around a long time. I remember seeing it first in the ’80’s. It combines two techniques – pie crusts and the laminating of doughs. This dough contains no water. It is held together with sour cream which makes a very tender, as well as tasty, pastry.
It is important when making the pastry to make sure the butter stays in pea size piece as in a pie crust. The pastry should not come together in the mixer. It should be removed as soon as it clumps together. It is pushed together into a cohesive dough on the work surface and rolled into a rectangle. I fold mine into what is called a book fold as has more layers than the traditional three fold laminated pastry. Continue reading