SWEET CORNMEAL HAND PIES
For the dough-
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
zest from one small orange
2 sticks (8 oz.) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons cream or milk
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, and orange zest. Add the butter pieces, pulsing just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Transfer the flour/butter mixture to a large bowl and add the beaten eggs, using a fork to gently combine. The dough should just hold together. Shape the dough into two equal discs, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a diameter of about 14” and ⅛” thick. Use a 3½” cutter to cut out 6 squares. Place the squares on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Repeat rolling and cutting with the second disc of dough. (Cover and refrigerate the second round of squares.)
For the filling-
4 cups total of your very best abandoned freezer fruit
(I used 2½ cups of frozen cherries, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup frozen cranberries, 1/2 cup frozen rhubarb)
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup (depending on your taste)
⅛ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
pinch of salt
zest from one small lemon
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Place the frozen fruit on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and dab away the excess ice/moisture. You don’t want to defrost the fruit, just remove any ice. Place the fruit in a heavy bottomed saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the fruit and cook over medium/low heat until the fruit thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon zest, vanilla, and the butter. Chill completely before assembling the hand pies.
When ready to bake the hand pies, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
When the filling is cool, retrieve the pastry squares from the refrigerator. Place half of the squares on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the edges of each square with a little of the egg wash. Place one tablespoon (no more than that!) of filling in the center of each square. Place one square atop each hand pie, sealing the edges with a fork, and brushing the edges and the top of each pie with egg wash. Poke a few fork holes in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate the pies for at least 20 minutes before baking to help them hold their shape. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes until golden. Enjoy any additional filling alongside the hand pies or save to use as a topping on yogurt.
Leave a Reply.