Hand Pies

I have a very important question to ask you today.  Are you ready?  Here it is:

Do you eat the crusts from a loaf of bread?

This is not a question I would have pondered ten years ago.  In my family, all crusts were eaten.  Period.  There were no bread bags with dried up curled end pieces wasting away.  No pizza crust scraps tossed in the trash, no ma’am.  We were a bread-eatin’ family.  It never occurred to me that there might be other perspectives on the matter.

Then I got married.

The hubster has very specific views on crusts – which I learned immediately after we moved in together.  You see, I was so used to eating crusts that I would eat the end crust first – as in, the first time the bag was opened – not even waiting until it was the last piece of bread available.  Perfectly logical and efficient.  Until hubster saw what I had done, and informed me that was absolute blasphemy.  The crust pieces, you see, have one single purpose in existence.  They are there to keep the rest of the bread from drying out.

You heard it here first.

In my newly in-lawed family, apparently, crusts are not eaten, but serve only as bookends for the rest of the loaf, waiting to be tossed aside at the end.  Actually, now that I think about it, I have never verified this with the rest of the family – so it is entirely possible this theory exists only in the mind of the man I live with.  But don’t get me started on that line of discussion.

So.  Tell me about you – are you a crust eater?  A crust hater?  Do you distinguish between store-bought bread and home-baked bread when it comes to crust eating?

For me, being a crust eater translates to all baked things.  No matter what it is, I really want the crust more than the inside.  Cobblers are all about the biscuit topping, and pies are definitely all about the pie crust.  Which is why I love me some hand pies – the higher crust to filling ratio!  Regular pies have all that filling to eat through before you even get to the crust.  Why waste time?  And hand pies are cute and portable as well. ‘Nuff said.

These are my shortcut hand pies, using store bought pie crust (or use this recipe if you like) and berries straight out of the garden, barely sweetened.  If you want something a little more indulgent, try mixing up some powdered sugar and milk into a nice thin glaze and drizzling on while the pies are still warm.  Or, if you’re looking for a fried pie, this recipe might suit you better!  Really, you can’t go wrong with a hand pie.

If you have issues with portion control (I hear ya, sister), let your pies cool on the baking sheet, then pop the whole thing into the freezer for 30 minutes.  Pull it back out and pile your pies into a freezer bag for cold storage.  They keep well and the reheat time (a minute or two in the microwave) is just enough to slow a person down.

The first wave of berry harvesting is pretty much over in my garden, but I’ve got at least one more berry recipe to come.  And round two of harvesting will be on us before you know it!  I love double harvest crops.  It suits my love of laziness efficiency.

One year ago on C & T:  Birthday Butter Crumb Cakes

This isn’t an exact science, obviously.  Dress things up or down to your liking.  I like to keep things simple!

Berry Hand Pies

  • 3 cups berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
  • 1/4 cup sugar, more or less
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • one generous squirt lemon juice
  • 2 nine inch pie crusts, store bought or prepare your own
  • cold water
  • cinnamon sugar or egg wash

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, lightly toss your berries with 1/4 cup sugar (or an amount that suits your tastebuds), a tablespoon of flour (more if your berries are really juicy), and a big squirt of lemon juice.  Roll out your pie dough and cut circles the size of the pies you want (I used a six inch cake pan as a guide).  Lay a circle of dough on a baking sheet with raised edges (to contain leaking juices) lined with a silpat or parchment paper.  Place a heaping scoop of berries on one side of the circle, leaving a generous 1/2 inch border at the edge, mounding the berries slightly in the middle.  Brush the edges of the circle all the way around with a little cold water.  Carefully stretch the dough up and over the fruit, folding it in half to form a semicircle.  Press the edges of dough together to seal (use a fork to make a decorative edge if you like).  Using a fork or knife, carefully prick a few holes in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape.  Sprinkle generously with a cinnamon sugar mixture, or, brush with an egg wash (one egg lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water).   Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.

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5 thoughts on “Hand Pies

  1. Wow, these pies look delish!! I so wish I had a couple right now. No freezing them until I ate a few. 🙂 I don’t eat the crusts/end pieces from a loaf of bread either. I do save them, along with other pieces of bread, in the freezer and use to make a bread pudding. That’s my idea of food recycling.

    Have a wonderful week!

  2. The pies look delicious.

    And I – generally – love crusts. Pizza crust and the end crusts of homemade bread are my favourite bits, but supermarket packaged bread is the sole exception to me. I don’t like the end crusts and, bizarrely, I think I do leave them in the bag with the idea that they’ll help keep the inner slices fresh. So I’m partly in agreement with your husband!

  3. These look delicious! I’m with you all the way on this one. I grew up in a crust-eating family and my husband and I still stake our claims for the crusts/edges on everything from bread to pie to bar cookies. I agree that the crust is the best part: chewy, flavorful, and satisfying (especially on homemade treats). What’s not to love?!

  4. I love the crust of homemade bread, I love the crust of pie (I never ate the inside of an apple pie until I was in my 30’s but I’d eat the crust).

    I also feel that the heel of the bread is there to keep the loaf fresh. I do like the heels toasted but I rarely if ever eat them like in a sandwich. I’m weird!

  5. We were to poor growing up to not eat the crust. I like the heels of the bread. I don’t understand people who won’t eat the crust of bread but eat hamburger and hotdog buns (they are covered with crust).
    I’m going to have to try the hand pies, they look great.

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