Do you know what I love about these raspberry lemon hand pies? The ratio of pie crust to filling. Normally, I’d say you get about 30% pie crust to 70% filling in a slice of classic pie. It doesn’t matter what kind of pie, that’s just usually how it ends up on the plate. With a hand pie, I’d say it’s the almost exact opposite. If you’re like me and live for the flaky, golden crust of a dessert pie, then you will love these raspberry lemon hand pies.
If you’ve been following the blog, then you’ll know I recently made a charlotte framboise using beautiful raspberries I picked up from my local market. So, you might be thinking more raspberries? And I would answer you by saying yes, sorry, but not sorry! You see, I’m pretty sure other food bloggers (or just bloggers in general) tend to plan out their blog posts in advance. They don’t just turn to the scraps in their kitchen and hope to make something of it.
They actually plan and shop for their recipes. Then, they may bake up a variety of goods in advance and blog about them a few days later. When I first started food blogging, I gave that method a try. What I found was that it didn’t work out very well for me at all. I’d be sitting in front of my laptop, trying to write out a blog post for some cake I had made over the weekend, or whatnot, with no enthusiasm whatsoever.
Two or three days after having made and ate the cake I was to be blogging about, I could no longer taste the buttery, vanilla cake layers on my tongue, nor could I bask in the warm, inviting scent that had once wafted through the kitchen. I had no tangible inspiration to help me write the blog post.
So, I then tried organized blogger method 2: write your blog posts the same day that you cook or bake your item, and then just publish and share on social media the day you want readers to actually see it. But this also didn’t work out for me because I would find my blog post queue set up to share the cake recipe I made a few days ago, when all I really wanted to do was tell everyone about the amazing burger recipe I tried the evening before.
For me, food blogging is so much about what my reality is and what my heart and soul are feeling. I cook and bake in the moment, and blogging about it lets me share that enthusiasm and love for whatever I’ve just made.
I think when any writer talks about an experience that they’re no longer in the midst of or cannot relive with overwhelming feeling, the insincerity shows through. I’m also really big on not wasting food. I share everything that I make with family, friends, and neighbors.
If I have leftover raspberries, I am going to utilize them in another recipe before I go out and shop for some different kind of fruit or berry. So that’s how these raspberry lemon hand pies came to be in my kitchen yesterday.
It was cold and gloomy in Southern California, and all I wanted was warm pie. I opened my kitchen drawer to get out some of my pie crust tools, including my pastry blender, at which point I came across a heart cookie cutter. It reminded me of a recipe I saw Joy the Baker once share, and I decided to go with it and try out her recipe.
Like I said, these hand pies are amazing because of all the flaky crust you get in each bite; you can see all the layers of buttery goodness in each pie. The filling is also a perfect balance of sweet and tart from the combination of lemon and raspberries, and can be whipped up like most pie fillings in a total jiff.
These raspberry lemon hand pies would make for a fabulous picnic item since they’re so easy to transport and enjoy sans utensils. Wrap each up in some deli paper or store in a ziplock bag and toss into your picnic basket for a simple and delicious treat. I can see this recipe becoming my go-to summer dessert recipe!
for the crust
- 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c very cold unsalted butter, 1 stick, cut into cubes
- c about 1/4 to 1/2 c cold milk, or as needed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- in turbinado sugar, example: Sugar the Raw, for topping
for the filling
- 1 c raspberries, rinsed and dried
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- In a medium bowl, stir the raspberries with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt. Stir just until combined; set aside. In a large bowl, add your flour, salt, and sugar; whisk to combine. Drop in the cubed butter and use a pastry blender (or two knives, or a fork) to cut the butter into the flour until you end up with clumps no bigger than the size of peas. Grab a wooden spoon and stir the flour mixture together as you stream in the cold milk. Start out with 1/4 cup of milk, and add more if needed. You should end up with a dough that clumps together but isn't very wet.
- Turn out your pie dough onto a floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour over the pie dough and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Roll only in one direction and turn your pie dough clockwise often to create an even layer dough.
- Dust your heart cutter in flour before cutting out heart shapes from the dough. Place 8 of the pie hearts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Scoop 2 to 3 raspberries, depending on how big your raspberries are, on the center of the hearts that are on your baking sheet. Top these filled hearts with the remaining unfilled hearts. You should have 8 heart pies total.
- Use a fork dusted in flour to make indents all along the border of the heart pies. It's okay if filling juices seep out. Refrigerate the pies while you preheat your oven to 400°F. Then, brush the heart pies with the beaten egg. Make small X-shaped cuts with a sharp knife in the centers of your heart pies to create vents for the steam. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over all of the heart pies.
- Bake the pies for 12 to 15 minutes on an upper rack (not the highest rack, the second highest would be better) of your oven, or until the pies are golden. Let the pies rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a cool racking to cool completely or enjoy slightly warm.