I have wanted to try making hand pies since I first got into the online food world–specifically with molly yeh and this post. (by the way, I love her and follow her avidly–check her out here!) Anyways, I am salivating as I wait for summer and peaches so I can finally make that type of hand pie, but in the meantime, I created some of my own concoctions to put in those little puffs of butter-deliciousness.
The first were sautéed mushrooms and onions with basil, garlic powder, and rosemary. I then split that filling between two variations of hand pies: the first group had a honey mustard aioli and the second group had an onion balsamic chutney. (I did not make these sauces–they have been sitting in our pantry for forever and I have wanted to try them on something like this for about the same amount of time, so I finally broke the seal last night and used them! You definitely could make them homemade, though, using, for example, this onion balsamic chutney recipe and mixing honey and mustard on your own!)
The last type of hand pie I came up with was a completely different taste: MEXICAN. These had black beans, corn, and sliced tomato with a slice of cheddar cheese on top, just like the others.
Along with the hand pies, I made three different hummuses! The inspiration behind these was the Indian food my mom makes.
Quick Tangent: She took a trip there last February to see the country, fell in love, and has been cooking Indian ever since (I am not complaining!). This cuisine is incredibly unique because while each dish is carefully formed from a plethora of spices and flavors, each one is eventually meant to taste well with others. The reason behind this lies in the culture of India and the fact that most Indians eat many of the traditional dishes with their right fingertips only. There are many, quite interesting reasons behind this. First, as mentioned before, a lot of meals in India are served with many different flavors physically separated into the chutneys, the rice, the main dish, the bread, but all are meant to be mixed to your unique liking. This mixing is easier to do with your hands. Secondly, contrary to popular belief, eating with your hands can be just as sanitary, if not more, than eating with utensils. When using your hands to eat each meal, you are obligated to wash your hands before and after each of those meals (6 times a day not including if you are cooking as well), so your hands are arguably cleaner overall (do you wash your hands at least 6 times per day?). Thirdly, Indian cooking requires so many spices, some of which are only meant to add flavor and not to be eaten. Eating with your hands makes it much easier to distinguish which are which. Lastly, have you ever had a dish at a restaurant that is presented to you steaming, so you eat something else to let it cool down and then go back to it and it is cold? Indians use their hands as a way to test the temperature of their dish to be sure it doesn’t burn their mouth when they take a bite–how smart!
Anyways, my point is that the use of the chutneys as a condiment of sorts in this type of cooking inspired me to make hummuses that can be used in a similar way. For this meal, I made a pesto, guacamole, and sweet potato chipotle one. I got the pesto and guac recipes from here and the sweet potato one from the same site, but different page found here. I am thinking that I will use them not only with these hand pies (which worked scrumptiously, by the way), but also with any number of sandwiches and panini’s, egg dishes and dips!
As for the hand pies, I took molly yeh’s advice and used this recipe for the dough and it worked perfectly! The only thing I would tell you is to take your time rolling it out into nice, thin, circles before putting in the filling. I was rushing a bit, so I left them a little thick and then they ended up kinda doughy and I couldn’t fit as much filling in (as you can see below with the oozing, which I liked but you may not). The dough is delicious so I’m not really complaining, just letting you know so you can make them better than I did! Also, you can fold them over as pictured, or make two flat, round circles of dough to lay one on top of the other with the filling in between!
One last tip: be mindful of the edges and corners when folding and filling because it is a bit of a bummer to take your first bite and only get dough, so try and spread the filling to the edges, which, I know, is easier said than done. I guess my biggest piece of advice for you with making these is make them when you have time and start early so you can really perfect and be pleased with them.
Okay, my last little piece on hand pies (can you tell I love them?): they are amazingly versatile! With my leftover dough I could try dessert ones with Nutella and some crushed nuts and marshmallow sauce or I could put some peanut butter and jelly for a really fancy lunch, or I could find some apples and brie cheese with some of that onion balsamic chutney! The hand pie is your oyster–they even look a little like oysters!! Ha ha! So, go crazy with them and let me see what comes of it!
~take a bite of life~