These are smaller versions of the handheld pies we make at the bakery. They are the perfect finish to a special picnic. Be sure to make the filling ahead of time, as it needs to be cold when you fill the hand pies.
Makes 8 individual pies
1/2 pound rhubarb
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches of salt
1 12 x 18-inch rectangle Grand Central U-Bake Classic Puff Pastry
1 egg white
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoon lemon juice
Dice rhubarb and toss in a bowl with sugar and corn starch. Place into a heavy bottom skillet and cook over medium heat until the rhubarb breaks down and has boiled for 2 minutes, allowing the starch to thicken the sauce. Remove the rhubarb from the heat, stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt. Cool and refrigerate until you are ready to form your pies.
Prepare Puff Pastry
Defrost puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for about 3 hours. The dough should be chilled but pliable. Unroll and arrange the rectangle so that the short end is facing you. Use a chef’s knife to cut puff pastry down the middle so that you have two 6 x 18-inch strips. Turn each strip so that the long edge is facing you. Cut the strip into 4 equal pieces, by cutting it in half once and then in half again. You should have 8 roughly 6 x 4-inch rectangles. Place rectangles in fridge with a light dusting of flour or parchment paper between each piece of pastry.
Form Hand Pies
Use fork to whisk egg white with a tiny pinch of salt. Pull pastry rectangles from the fridge and lay out on work surface with the short edge facing you. Leave a small amount of space between each rectangle. Brush a small amount of egg white around the edge of the top half of the rectangle. The egg white serves as glue to keep your hand pies together. (More egg white is not better-you want it to be tacky.)
Scoop 2 tablespoons of chilled filling into the center of each pastry square. Be careful that the filling does not get on the edges. Fold the bottom half over the filling and seal with hand pressure followed by crimping with a fork. Trim the edges with a chef’s knife. Chill before baking.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Score the top of each pie with a small paring knife. Bake pies for 20 minutes at 375°F. Then reduce heat to 325°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Be sure to allow pastry to achieve a rich brown color, even to the point of looking “burnt” on the tips.
Whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle over pies while they are still warm from the oven.