Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pear, Brie & Raspberry Hand Pies

Pie is awesome! We can all agree on that, right? Once you find that perfect pie crust recipe, you're pretty much set for life. I've always loved my simple pie crust recipe, but with the addition of chopped walnuts, this crust becomes extra delicious. I used it to make these pear hand pies because I love individual servings. Plus, mini pies are adorable! Pears seemed the natural choice given the season and raspberries add beautiful color and a sweet tartness. The brie adds an unexpected savory punch. Also, who doesn't love melty brie!? All-in-all, this combo makes for one heck of a dessert.

Walnut Pie Crust
Makes enough dough for about 12 hand pies
1 cup walnuts
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces 
1/3 cup ice water

1. Use a small food processor or knife to finely chop walnuts then toss in a large bowl. Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Use a pastry blender or a large fork to cut the butter cubes into the dry ingredients, working quickly and incorporating all of the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Make sure you don't over-work the butter. Visible chunks of butter = tasty flakiness!

2. Slowly drizzle the ice water into the flour mixture. Mix until the dough just begins to pull together, drizzling more water if needed. Pull dough together, divide into 2 disks and wrap each one tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pie Filling
3 large pears (any variety you like), peeled cored and diced
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. chilled brie cheese, rind removed and diced (if the cheese isn't cold enough to cut with a knife, use your hands to pull into small pieces)
1 6oz. pack of raspberries, rinsed

Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir to make sure everything is lightly coated with the flour/sugar.

Assemble the Pies
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge and roll out to about 1/8" thickness on a floured work surface. Use a large circle cutter (Or an upside down mug) to create circles about 4" wide. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat until you've used up all the dough.

2. Place a giant spoonful of the pie filling into the center of the circles, then top with another dough circle. Crimp the edges with a fork and cut slits in the top to let them vent. 

3. Create an egg wash by mixing an egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water. Use a pastry brush to cover each pie with the egg wash, then sprinkle with a pinch of turbinado sugar.

4. Bake pies for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let them cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth!

Don't let a little runaway pie filling scare you. They'll still taste great!

1 comment:

  1. WOW These look absolutely divine!! Love the salty/sweet combo of the brie and fruit!