Welcome back to Part II of “Barbecue Week”! It’s Friday, and the long Fourth of July weekend is about to begin. I can’t believe that tomorrow is July 1st–where did June go?!
In keeping with the focus on barbecues, today I have a fun dessert idea that would be perfect to serve at or take to a cook-out–hand pies. Sweet, round, fruit-filled miniature pies. The concept is brilliant, and I can’t think of anything more American, or better suited for a Fourth of July barbecue than hand pies. They require no cutting or serving; guests can just grab them and eat them on the go.
My vision was to make both strawberry and blueberry filled hand pies with star cut -outs in the middle of the top crusts to carry out the Fourth of July theme. I had picked up this recipe card at Stonewall Kitchen recently, which I thought would be perfect for the blueberry hand pies.
After a little more research, I found a strawberry hand pie recipe that I liked, so all that was left was for me to put on my apron and get to work. I will share the links for both recipes at the end of this post.
Both recipes provided instructions on how to make hand-made crusts, but I used prepared pie crusts instead. I wanted my hand pies to be round, although they can be made in all kinds of shapes–half moon, triangular, rectangular, etc. I did make each of the fillings, and the blueberry filling consisted of both blueberry-rhubarb jam and a cream cheese mixture.
The blueberry fillings were pretty liquidy–how’s that for a technical cooking term! Because I didn’t want all of the filling to escape out the star-shaped hole, I followed the recipe exactly and just cut a slit in the middle of the top crusts. The strawberry filling, on the other hand, was very congealed, so I did use the star cookie cutter on those top crusts.
Here’s what my pies looked like just out of the oven:
and the strawberry. Look how sweet my little pies look with the star cut-out. In the end, I could have used the star cut-out on the blueberry pies, as the filling didn’t seep out of the slits at all.
While the pies were cooling, I started working on a packaging idea, which is where the diaper fold comes in. The diaper fold has been around for a long, long time and when all of the folding is done, you end up with a pouch. The best part about the diaper fold is that you only need a square piece of paper; no special tools or adhesive is needed. Just a square piece of paper.
Let me show you:
I chose to use parchment paper, as it is food-safe and I really like how crisp and white it is. After some trial and error, I determined that I needed to start out with a 9 1/2″ square in order to fit the hand pies.
Start by folding the paper corner to corner to form a triangle:
Next, fold one of the bottom corners over to the other side, making sure that you have a straight line across the middle of the triangle.
Repeat with the other bottom corner.
Fold down the top flap, and you’re done. The flap keeps everything closed together–as I said, no adhesive is needed.
Here’s what the pouch looks like inside. This is going to be a perfect for the hand pies! Now it’s time to dress these pouches up–I can’t serve my cute hand pies in plain white pouches!
I ended up making some paper rosettes and decorating them with layers of stars. The rosettes reminded me of the buntings you see everywhere, and they also mirror the round shape of the pies. My plan was to tie some baker’s twine around each of the pouches, and then tie the rosettes onto the twine.
I didn’t like how this looked, however, so I went back to the drawing board. I ended up making double baker’s twine bows and I tied the rosettes to the bows.
And there you have it–really cute, food-safe diaper fold pouches for my sweet, round, fruit-filled miniature pies! Wouldn’t you just love to serve or take these cutie pies to a get-together?! Better yet, wouldn’t you just love to sink your teeth into one of these cutie pies?!
Speaking of taste, I know you’re dying to see the inside of the pies, and I’m not going to disappoint you:
It’s hard to see in the close-up picture of the blueberry pie, but the two different fillings really didn’t mix together during the baking. If I were to make these again, I would add the cream cheese filling first, and put the blueberry-rhubarb jam on top, so that the blueberry filling showed through the star cut-out. And, how did it taste, you ask? It’s not bad–you definitely need the cream cheese mixture, as it tones down the tartness of the jam. I don’t think I would make the recipe again, however. I think I’d be happier with a blueberry filling similar to the strawberry one.
Now on to the strawberry:
The strawberry pie gets my vote, hands down! This is exactly what I wanted–a round hand pie with a star cut-out in the middle of the top crust. The filling was congealed enough that it didn’t ooze out during baking, nor did it ooze out when you broke it in half. And the taste–simply divine! I would definitely make this recipe again–the filling isn’t complicated to make, and the whole process goes pretty quickly if you use prepared pie crusts.
Before I go, I just have one more thing to show you:
Look how cute this diaper fold pouch is as a silverware holder! I’m telling you, these pouches couldn’t be any easier to make, and they are so versatile. The sky is the limit!
Here are the recipe links:
That’s it for today, and I’ll look forward to seeing you again on Monday for Part III of “Barbecue Week”. Enjoy your weekend, and, as always, remember:
“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.