Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pie is the new cupcake?

I've read articles recently both from the Washington Post and the New York Times that have proposed that pie is the new cupcake. NPR declared the cupcake dead and put pie on its throne. Never fear cupcake lovers, your beloved little cakes aren't going anywhere. They just have a little competition for dessert supremacy from the lowly pie. Hand pies just may have a shot at beating out the cupcake. I have to admit, the hand pie has won my heart. Hand pies are a smaller, portable version of a pie, much like a cupcake is to a cake. However rather than frosting, its delicious filling is ensconced in a flaky, buttery crust. For me, a good pastry crust trumps frosting any day.

This month Half Baked turned 5! I can't believe it's been 5 years since I started this little blog. My own birthday is also just a couple days away. How better to celebrate than with some hand pies! I really love cherries so I filled the pies with a sweet cherry filling....move over cupcake, there's a new kid in town!

Cherry Hand Pies
Yield: about 6 hand pies
Printable recipe
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup(1stick) cold butter, cut in small pieces
1/8 cup shortening- chilled
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water

Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter and shortening over the dry ingredients and pulse until it is coarsely cut in-you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Drizzle the water over the mixture. Using on/off pulses, pulse just until the dough holds together when pinched. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.


8 ounces fresh or frozen sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375°

Pit and roughly chop the cherries. Place in a bowl and add the sugar, almond extract, lemon juice, and corn starch. Mix well and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4 inch cutter cut out circles. (I got five 4 inch and 1 smaller circle out of my dough) Place the cut out pieces of dough onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the cherry mixture onto one-half of each round. Lightly brush a little milk around the edge of the covered half of each round. Fold remaining dough over to enclose, forming a half moon. Gently press edges together with the tines of a fork to seal. Brush the tops of each pie with milk. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie.
Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pies to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Dust with powdered sugar. Pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
*NOTE: I used Rainer cherries because they are my favorite but Bing cherries are great too.You could also use sour cherries if you want, just add a little more sugar to the filling.

Just in case you thought that having pie meant you'd have to sacrifice your sprinkles, who says you can't have sprinkles on your pie? Just top the hand pie with a powdered sugar glaze and add sprinkles. Be afraid cupcakes, be very afraid!


Elizabeth King said...

Congrats on turning 5! These pies look so delicious and I love that you topped that pie with glaze and sprinkles! ^_^

bethan hancox said...

Ooh can't wait to have a pie filled day of baking these! X

Tan Cale said...

Looks delicious! I just made some raspberry ones this past weekend. Yours look great!
href="http://sweetlifebyt.blogspot.ca"The Sweet Life by T

Tan Cale said...

Looks delicious! I just made some raspberry ones this past weekend. Yours look great!

Ashlee Christopher said...

What a cute blog! LOVE! Thank you for sharing so excited I found you! So excited to be your newest follower


M. said...

Rainier cherries are my favorite, too. This recipe sounds great!!

Half Baked said...

Thanks Ashlee and welcome to my little blog!!

grace said...

happy birthday to you and your blog! i love me some hand pies. :)