Fruit-filled hand pies

By David Robertson
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What’s not to like about a deep-fried pie? The hand pie is a nod to the southern U.S. This pie dough is a Dirty Apron favourite because the dough has both butter and cream cheese, two fats that taste delicious and melt at different temperatures, creating a flavourful and distinctly textured crust. And you can use just about any fruit that’s in season. 



Pastry dough:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 (85 grams) package cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Blackberry filling:

  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Blueberry filling:

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Apple filling:

  • 4 cup sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • 2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water, coffee or citrus juice (such as lemon, lime, orange or yuzu)
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste


  • Canola oil, for deep-frying
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cinnamon sugar, non-melting sugar or Glaze (see here)


Pastry dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flours, salt and baking powder. 
  2. In a food processor, combine a small portion of the cubed cream cheese and the flour mixture and pulse until the cream cheese cubes are a quarter of their original size. Repeat until all the cream cheese has been added, then repeat with the butter. Transfer mixture to a bowl. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and 3 tablespoons ice water. Using your fingers, add vinegar mixture, a tablespoon at a time, to the flour mixture. The pastry dough should appear shaggy and barely hold together. Add a few more drops of ice water at a time, if needed. Do not knead.
  4. Pat the dough into a flat disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


  1. Choose your filling. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes to macerate, allowing the juices to come out of the fruit and until the sugar mixture looks like wet sand. (If needed, add up to 1 cup of water or juice.) Cook over medium heat for eight to 12 minutes, until the fruit is softened and the mixture thickens and bubbles. Transfer to a bowl and chill.


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then add your preferred liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in sugar and vanilla paste. Keep warm and set aside.


  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to a temperature of 350ºF. (Use a thermometer for an accurate reading.)
  2. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to a three-millimeter thickness and cut out eight circles with a ten centimeter cookie cutter. Add cold fruit filling to one half of each circle.
  3. In a small bowl, combine egg yolks, salt and two tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on the perimeter of the circles and fold in half to create semi-circle pies. Using a fork, press along the edges to seal. (Alternatively, pleat the edges.)
  4. Carefully lower the pies into the oil and deep-fry for five to seven minutes, until both sides are golden brown. (Turn if needed.) Transfer pies to plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Immediately roll pies in cinnamon sugar or dust with non-melting sugar and place them on a wire rack to cool. Alternatively, dip hot pies into warm glaze and allow to cool. Serve.


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This recipe appears in Gather (© 2019)

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