It’s impossible for me to resist cute things. And these mini red fruit hand pies with an einkorn flour crust are no exception.
If you show me a photo of your new puppy, I’ll be there tightly grasping your phone, my face right up against the screen, cooing and whispering about how he’s such a good boy.
Yes he is! YES. HE. IS. Such a good boy!
If I see a family of deer relaxing in the backyard, snacking on all the shrubbery I just planted the other day, I won’t be upset. All of that wasted hard work will be wiped from my memory, replaced by the names I have so lovingly given each doe and young buck as I (a little too) enthusiastically watch them from my deck.
Hello, Little Miss Veronica, Mr. Spots McGee, Winifred Whitetail…
You know what else is super cute? Maybe even cuter than a fluffy goldendoodle puppy or a doe gnawing on an uprooted azalea?
Mini hand pies.
It’s no surprise why – mini hand pies have many advantages over the full-scale ones.
First of all, they’re simply ADORABLE. Look at them! So cute! So tiny! So whimsical! And you can eat them with your hands in just a few bites!
The little half-moon shapes are fun, and you can easily add playful touches like mini cut-out flowers, hearts, and other shapes with any extra dough that you have.
Aside from their pretty appearance, they’re significantly easier to prep as well.
Working with smaller amounts of pastry at a time and using a round cookie cutter, they are quick to assemble with less risk of ripping, tearing, and utterly failing.
There is no pressure to make perfectly crimped edges like you might with a traditional pie. All you have to do is seal the edges of each hand pie with a few quick presses from the tines of a fork.
Since we know the right strategy of how to make and bake dough like a pro, these pastries maintain their shapes beautifully. Before baking, you chill them for an hour until completely cold and hardened.
And, last but certainly not least, they taste amazing.
The top of each buttery and flaky einkorn crust is covered in a layer of crunchy turbinado sugar. Ripping one open reveals a thick and juicy filling, with meaty bites of perfectly cooked cherries, strawberries, or any other red fruit you might like to use.
You’ll want to take photos of these when they’re fresh out of the oven. Show them off to your friends like a proud parent. Revel in the cuteness overload.
Fuzzy-wuzzy puppies and plant-noshing deer have nothing on these hand pies.Print
For a fun take on pie this summer, make our red fruit einkorn flour hand pies. They’re easy to assemble, and everyone will love the mini size.
For the Filling:
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups chopped red fruit (combination of fresh or frozen strawberries, cherries, raspberries, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the Pastry:
- 1 cup all-purpose einkorn flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water, divided
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
For the Filling:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Combine the fruit and sugar/cornstarch mixture in a medium saucepan.
- Cook the fruit over medium heat, stirring constantly with a sturdy spoon or spatula, until the fruit softens and the liquid is thick and shiny, about 10 to 12 minutes. The liquid in the mixture should not be runny, and it should thickly coat the back of the spoon.
- Stir in the lemon juice, and set the filling aside to cool completely. The filling can also be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble the pies.
For the Pastry:
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut and mix the cubed butter into the flour and salt mixture, until it resembles cornmeal with some larger crumbles that are about the size of peas, and until each piece of butter is entirely coated in flour.
- With your hands, knead in 1/8 cup cold water. Mix just until a dough starts to form. If the dough feels too dry and crumbly, add the additional 1/8 cup of water.
- Form into a flat disc, cover completely in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
To Assemble and Bake:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
- Once the dough is chilled, lightly flour a clean countertop with more einkorn flour and place the unwrapped chilled disc on top. Let the disc sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Lightly dust the top of the disc with more flour. With a rolling pin, roll out and flatten the dough into a large circle until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
- Using a floured 6-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles. Re-roll the dough only once and cut out a few more circles. You should have a total of 8 circles.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of the chilled fruit filling in the center of each circle, leaving a clean border around the edge about 1/2 inch wide.
- Set a small bowl filled with 1 tablespoon of water next to you. With your finger or a small brush, lightly coat the border with a very thin film of water. Seal the edges with the tines of a floured fork. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining circles, leaving about an inch between each pie on the baking sheet.
- Transfer the baking sheet uncovered to the refrigerator. Refrigerate the hand pies until fully chilled and hardened, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk together the egg with the remaining 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to make an egg wash.
- When fully chilled, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Lightly brush the egg wash on top, and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut one or two narrow slits in the top of each pie.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned on the outside. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve while still warm, or at room temperature.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Pie
- Method: Baking/Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: hand pie, red fruit, pie, strawberry, cherry
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
You may need to chop the fruit, depending on its size. Raspberries and blueberries will be small enough to use whole, but strawberries or cherries may require chopping if the pieces are large.
Remember, they’re going in small hand pies!
Also, don’t forget to pit those cherries first if you purchased them whole, using one of our recommended cherry pitters!
Step 2 – Make the Filling
Combine the fruit and sugar/cornstarch mixture in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a sturdy spoon or spatula, until the fruit softens and the liquid is thick and shiny. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes.
You don’t want the mixture to be runny – it needs to be able to hold its shape when you are assembling the pastries. If the liquid can thickly coat the back of a spoon without quickly running off, your filling is cooked perfectly!
Stir in the lemon juice, and set the filling aside to cool completely.
Low on time? Prepare the filling up to three days ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an airtight container until you’re ready to assemble the pies. No need to reheat!
Step 3 – Make the Dough
Whisk together the einkorn flour and salt in a large bowl.
For the best possible dough, be sure that your butter and water are as cold as they can be before incorporating them into the mix! If the butter softened slightly after cubing it, you may want to place the cubed butter back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so to re-chill.
Use a pastry cutter to cut and mix the cubed unsalted butter into the flour and salt mixture, until the mixture resembles cornmeal with some of the larger crumbles being about the size of peas, and so that each piece of butter is entirely coated in flour.
With your hands, knead in an eighth of a cup of cold water. Mix just until a dough starts to form. If the dough feels too dry and crumbly, use the additional 1/8 cup of water.
Also avoid using too much water! You don’t want the dough to be too soft with extra moisture. This may cause the shape of the final product to spread.
It’s a fine and tricky balance with any pie dough recipe!
Form into a flat disc, cover completely in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
If you need more pointers, follow the instructions from Foodal’s pie crust tutorial.
Step 4 – Roll and Cut the Dough
Once the dough is completely chilled, dust a clean work surface with einkorn flour. Place the unwrapped disc on the surface, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
If you try to roll it immediately after removing it from the refrigerator, the dough will be too hard to roll out and it will crack.
Lightly dust the top of the disc with more flour. With a rolling pin, roll out and flatten the dough into a large circle until it is about 1/8 inch thick. You may need to use more flour to prevent sticking.
Using a floured 6-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles. Re-roll the dough scraps only once, and cut out a few more circles. You should have a total of 8 circles.
Be sure to re-flour the cookie cutter to get the cleanest cuts, with no torn edges!
Optional: Love that extra touch of flair? Hate wasting dough? Save those scraps! Use mini cookie cutters to cut out mini shapes like flowers and hearts to place on top of each pastry. Transfer them to a lightly floured plate and keep them refrigerated until you have finished assembling the hand pies in Step 5.
Step 5 – Assemble
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the chilled fruit filling into the center of each circle, leaving a clean border about 1/2 inch wide around the perimeter.
You don’t want to fill these with any more than a tablespoon of the fruit mixture each – if you use more, you’ll have a difficult time trying to enclose the filling in the pastry, and it may spill out. The pastry may also burst as it bakes if you overfill.
With your finger or a small brush, lightly coat the border in a very thin film of water. Fold the pastry over the filling in half. Seal the edges with the tines of a floured fork.
Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining circles, leaving about an inch between each pie on the baking sheet.
You want to work quickly – the butter will melt the longer the dough sits at room temperature, causing the dough to soften. And excessively soft dough is difficult to shape cleanly.
If needed, you can transfer some of the circles to the refrigerator as you prepare a few at a time.
Optional: After all of the hand pies are on the baking sheet, stick the mini decorations you cut out in Step 4 on the tops of each, using a very thin film of water.
Step 6 – Chill
Transfer the baking sheet uncovered to the refrigerator. Refrigerate the hand pies until fully chilled and hardened, for about 1 hour.
This step is crucial to maintain the shapes of the hand pies! Don’t skimp on the full hour of chilling – patience, friends!
This is the perfect opportunity to start preheating the oven to 375°F, preparing the egg wash by whisking together one egg and 1 tablespoon of water, and cleaning any dirty dishes.
Step 7 – Bake
When the pies are fully chilled, remove the baking sheet from the fridge.
Brush the tops with a thin layer of the egg wash, and generously sprinkle each with turbinado sugar.
Make a small slit or two with a knife on the top of each one to allow steam to escape as they bake.
Transfer to the preheated oven, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. You may be able to see the fruit filling bubbling under the slits, another sign that the pies are nearing the end of the baking process.
Step 8 – Cool and Serve
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let the pies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool until ready to handle.
Serve them while still warm, or at room temperature. Enjoy!
The Perfect Size for a Sweet Summer Adventure
A natural bonus of the hand pie is that you can take it with you to go on any summer adventure you have planned!
What will you be doing this summer? Whether you’re biking with friends on a trail, taking the kids to a playground, or enjoying a beautiful picnic date at your favorite park, these mixed fruit hand pies travel well.
Pack some in an airtight container before you head off for the day, and you’ll be set for a sweet and effortless ending to your fun event.
No spoons, forks, or knives required!
Do you already know what types of fruit you’ll use for the filling? For next time, I have my eyes on my neighbor’s wild raspberry bushes! Let me know what you decide to use in the comment section below.
For more mini pies and sweet tarts that are bursting with fruity flavors, you’ll love these recipes:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 16, 2013. Last updated on May 29, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.