I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m now thoroughly keen on the idea of minimizing my sugar intake by changing the way I bake. Holiday weekends being a great excuse both to bake and to cheat on my diet, I decided to try my idea out. I’ve been dying for a good strawberry-rhubarb something, so I decided to go for handpies. The thing about handpies, however, is that I’ve never had much luck getting my normal crust recipes to work well. I came across a recipe for cinnamon buns that looked absolutely incredible recently, so I decided to try turning that bread recipe into a handpie crust.
Results? Ahhhhhhmazing. The dough was, anyway. I was less than thrilled with the filling recipe I found online. I only used it because I couldn’t find the card for my step-mother-in-law’s awesome recipe anywhere, but after tasting the difference, I tore through every single cookbook on myself…until I found the recipe in a, wouldn’t you know it?, recipe book with all my other recipes from my mother and mothers-in-law. Organization, for the fail! Ah well. At least when you make these amazing tasties, you’ll have the benefit of the best strawberry-rhubarb filling ever.
2 1/2 c. strawberries
2 1/2 c. rhubarb
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. tapioca.
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 small lemon, zest & juice (optional)
(1) Wash, hull, and chop strawberries & rhubarb. (2) Combine all filling ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring well. (3) Microwave filling until rhubarb is mostly soft (5-10 min., depending on your microwave). (4) Cover bowl and set it in fridge to chill for a few hours.
Sweet Dough (from the tantalizing cinnamon rolls of Gingerbread Bagels)
1/4 c. warm water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit, or comfortably warm on your wrist)
1 tbsp. dry active yeast (1 packet)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 3.4oz box vanilla instant pudding
1 c. milk
1/4. cup melted butter
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 tsp. salt
4 c. flour
(1) Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and leave them to sit for 5 min. (2) Whisk pudding mix and milk together for 2 min., or until it thickens. (3) Stir melted butter into pudding mix. (4) Stir egg and salt into pudding. (5) Stir the pudding mix into the yeast mix. (6) Stir flour into the wet mix. (7) When you can’t stir by hand anymore, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough comes together. (8) Allow dough to rest for a few minutes (this is a good time to wash and oil your mixing bowl!). (9) Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic – use the windowpane test to determine when it’s ready. (10) Form dough into ball and turn it in oiled bowl. Cover and leave it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 hour. (11) Punch down dough. (12) Cover dough and allow it to rise for another 30 min.
Heavenly Strawberry-Rhubarb Handpies
1 recipe Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling
1 recipe Sweet Dough
1/4 c. melted butter
3 Tbsp. sugar
Bake Time: 20 min./350 degrees Fahrenheit
(1) Divide risen dough into 12-14 equal pieces. (2) Roll out each piece, one at a time,to the size you desire. (Circle, square – it doesn’t matter. I think squares folding into triangles are easy and attractive, myself.) (3) Place 1-2 Tbsp. filling on one side of the rolled dough. (4) Fold dough over and seal edges with a fork. (5) Wrap and freeze for later OR (6) Poke holes in crust, brush with butter, sprinkle with sugar, and bake as directed above.
Note 1: If you chose to freeze them, I would thaw them out in the fridge for a few hours, then bake as directed in step (7).
Note 2: The picture here is of my first pie, which was huge. Cutting the dough into the portions I recommend above will give you something that will actually fit in your hand.
Note 3: The bake time and dough also work as cinnamon rolls, since that’s where I grabbed the recipe from. If your filling and dough yields don’t work out quite right, just slather the leftover dough with butter and cinnamon-sugar, roll it, slice it, and bake it off!