Strawberry Basil Hand Pies


 
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie

It's cookbook season - my fave time of the year! I just love seeing so many of my friends releasing books they have spent the last few years pouring their heart and soul into - and I now have a fairly long 'to-bake' list. The best! I really love actually following recipes - I feel like I spend so long trying to come up with my own spin on things, or recipe testing things to share here, that sometimes it's just so nice to follow someone else's recipe and not have to make all kinds of crazy decisions and notes. I often follow a recipe for dinner, but it isn't that often I get to do it for baking, so I am going to try and take every opportunity that I get! 

Today I'm sharing a recipe from the lovely Jessie, who's book, The Vintage Baker, came out yesterday! Jessie began collecting vintage baking booklets over ten years ago, and this book is full of vintage classics with Jessie's own spin on them. There's a cute little illustration of the booklet next to each recipe. It reminds me a little of my Grandma's scrapbook recipe book - the best thing ever. Plus, there's grams. Everyone knows how much I love grams. There are some amazing recipes in there and I had a really hard time deciding what to share - I can't wait to bake my way through it! Because I'm not from the States, I actually haven't heard of most of the recipes before, so it adds to the fun! Do yourself a favour and get the book - it is all kinds of delicious. 

There are a bunch of recipes I am dying to try in the book, but I couldn't go past these Strawberry Basil Hand Pies (Jessie Calls them turnovers in her book). We are right on the edge of strawberry season, and handpies are not only super adorable, but they are a great alternative to a big pie, which some people can find a little intimidating. I also love the pastry to filling ratio you get with a hand pie, particularly with these wee turnovers. The flavour of the basil compliments the strawberry perfectly, and the whole thing is rounded out with a little black pepper. These would be perfect to make for a morning or afternoon tea, or to take to a bbq! You can't go wrong with a personal pie! 

A few wee tips:

  • Jessie's recipe makes 8 large turnovers, but I went for little ones instead. For 8 large turnovers, once you have made the dough and rested it, you divide the dough into 8 balls, and roll each out to a 7 inch (17cm) diameter circle. You then fill with 1/4 cup filling! I changed it up slightly and got 18 little hand pies. I also used a little extra dough to make some cut-outs to decorate a bit! 
  • I shot these before I cut the wee air vents. Don't forget this step or they will explode everywhere in the oven and it won't be cute. 
  • The Pie dough is best rested overnight, but you can give it about an hour minimum if you are in a pinch.
  • The filling does take some time to cool, so make sure you account for that. It could definitely be made ahead along with the dough.
  • These are made to be rustic and they will leak a little - don't worry! 
  • Make sure you don't forget to egg wash the edge of the dough before you fold over the edge to make the turnover - I forgot on a few and it was a semi disaster. A fork can help crimp down the edges tightly too! 
 

 

Strawberry Basil Hand Pies

- Makes 8 large hand pies, or 18 small ones -

Pie Dough
2 cups plus 6 Tbsp (340g) all-purpose flour
3 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, chilled
6 Tbsp Ice water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar, chilled

Filling
4 cups (455g) strawberries, sliced
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup (15g) tightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with a splash of heavy cream
Turbinado / Raw sugar to finish

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into cubes, add to the food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 

Add the water and vinegar slowly, pulsing the machine only until the dough is crumbly, and a bit of dough can be pinched together between two fingers and hold its shape. Pour the dough into a bowl and, using your hands, shape into two disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days (overnight if possible). 

 

FILLING

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and lemon juice until sputtering, stirring frequently. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring constantly, until thickened. Bring to room temperature before adding basil, and stir to combine. Can be made ahead. 

ASSEMBLY

*Note: See 'a few wee tips' for Jessie's method which yields 8 large hand pies. I have included my method here for smaller ones, which yields 18. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Working with one disk at a time, roll out on a lightly floured work surface until it is approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Cut out circles approximately 4 inches (10cm) in diameter, layering on a sheet pan with pieces of parchment between them. Repeat with the second disk of dough, then gather and roll out scraps to get as many circles as you can. If desired, cut out shapes with the scraps of dough using plunger cutters. 

Place the dough rounds in the fridge for 10 minutes before starting assembly. 

To assemble, brush half of the edge of the dough round with egg wash. Place about 2 tsp of filling in the center of a round. Gently fold over the dough ,forming a half moon shape. Pinch the edges together to seal. Use a fork to decoratively mark the edge of the hand pie (I didn't do this step). Add decorations if using. Using a paring knife, make 3 small slits in the top of the hand pie. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Remember : these hand pies are rustic, and they will leak. 

Transfer the hand pies on the baking sheet to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or overnight, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 days. Do not thaw before baking. 

Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. 

Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating at the half way point, or until the juices are bubbly and the crust is nicely browned. 

Let cool for 15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream. The Hand pies will keep on the counter, tightly covered in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. 

Strawberry Basil Hand Pies - Strawberries are cooked down with basil and black pepper until they are perfectly jammy, then enclosed in tender flaky pie dough. The perfect summer treat. #Strawberry #Basil #Handpie

This Recipe was reprinted with permission from The Vintage Baker, ©Jessica R Sheehan. The Vintage Baker was published by Chronicle Books in 2018. 

Chicken Pot Pie


 
Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food
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Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food
Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food
Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food
Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food
Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food

Well, I think it is fair to say that we are elbow deep in silly season. There are orders coming out our ears, I've put off making my great grandma's christmas cake at least four times because I'm scared of the recipe (it bakes for SIX HOURS), and I have a list a mile long of things I want to do before Christmas. I will admit that it doesn't feel very festive around our apartment - we aren't getting a christmas tree this year. As much as I would love to, our current foster cat Winnie doesn't have the best track record with leaving the plants alone, so I have a feeling that a tree would result in far too many ingested pine needles on her part. Not a fun time. 

The best part about Silly Season though, is all of the comfort food. I'm still getting used to it not being boiling hot over xmas like it is back in NZ (and continuously in a state of denial that a cold Christmas is FINE and I'm not at ALL homesick), but am taking every chance I can get to make us cozy meals to take the edge off a little. 

This is one of my absolute faves, and for Rich is a total taste of home. The recipe for this comes from a laminated piece of paper they have in their kitchen at home - I think it might be from his sister's cooking class when she was at school or something along those lines. Regardless, it's an epic recipe. It's a flavourful veggie-chicken-bacon-sauce situation, covered with a lid of flaky pastry. I made my own for this pie because I had some in the fridge, but store bought works just as well and is equally as delicious, and much easier. There's a little chopping and cooking and mixing to do to prepare the base but it's totally worth it. I've also made this a couple of times after thanksgiving, adding turkey and stuffing, and it is next level. This is what comfy and cosy is meant to taste like. 

A few wee tips:

  • I made this with home made pastry, but 500g of ready made puff pastry, thawed, works perfectly in it's place! 
  • I pulled my best Julie Jones with the lattice - it was easier than I thought! I just latticed on a piece of parchment, then popped it in the freezer for a little bit to firm up. I then used a round tin the same diameter as my dish, and cut out a circle, which I slid onto the top of the pie. It was super effective and there were no edges to fiddle round with 
  • A plain lid of pastry works just as well here! You do you.
  • I often make this earlier in the day, and keep it in the fridge until I'm ready to bake it for dinner. That way you can just throw it in the oven when you need! Make sure to adjust the cooking time slightly if you are cooking it from cold. 
  • I use two pans to make this - one for the bacon and chicken and one for the veggies. It makes it much easier but you can do things in batches if you just want to use the one frying pan!
 

 

Chicken Pie

- Serves 4-5 people -

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups (310g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 sticks (226g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
One medium onion, finely diced
3 ribs of celery, finely sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
Salt and pepper to season
100g bacon, de-rinded and roughly chopped
750g skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes. 
3 Tbsp Flour
1 1/4 cup (315ml) chicken stock
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp dried Thyme

1 Recipe Pie dough, alternatively 500g puff pastry, thawed
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Prepare a dish with a 6 cup capacity (I used a 9 inch diameter casserole dish, but a rectangle shape would work well too)

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook gently, stirring often, partially covered, until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Season well with Salt and Pepper. Remove from the heat while the chicken and bacon is finishing.

After the vegetables have been cooking for 10 minutes, heat a second frying pan over high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of butter, then add the chopped bacon and chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden brown, and cooked through. 

Return the pan of vegetables to low heat, and add the flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir well, then add the stock, cream and thyme, and stir until well combined. Fold through the cooked chicken and bacon and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and turn the filling into a dish with a 6 cup capacity. 

Remove the pie dough from the fridge. Roll out until it is approximately 1/8" (3mm) in thickness. Cut a thick strip (as shown in photos) and use to place around the edge of the dish to help seal. Brush the strip lightly with egg wash. Cut the remaining dough into strips, and decorate the top with desired lattice. Alternatively leave the piece of dough whole, and make a plain 'lid' for your pie - be sure to cut a small vent to allow steam to escape. 

Brush the top of the pie all over with egg wash. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to stand 10 mins before serving.

Chicken Pot Pie - a rich and flavoursome chicken, bacon, and vegetable mixture is topped with a flaky tender crust, and baked until deeply golden. The perfect winter comfort food

Chocolate Cream Pie with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream


 
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream

It's just me, dropping by with another peanut butter and chocolate combo. Seems like with this autumn situation (that's pretty much winter now, yuck), all that is happening in my kitchen is either a PB / chocolate combo, or something involving apple or pumpkin. Hopefully you like one, or the other, because there's a couple more apple recipes coming your way soon in the coming weeks, and if you don't like peanut butter and chocolate, well that's just on you, because you should ;). Kidding, but you need to give this pie a try, even if you tweak it to suit your liking. 

This is my first ever chocolate pie I've ever made! They aren't really a thing in New Zealand. And what better recipe to use than one from my lovely friend Erin's new book, 'The Fearless Baker', which came out earlier this month! Despite only having met Erin IRL a handful of times, I am super lucky to be able to call her a friend, and am so proud of this amazing book! It's full of all kinds of incredible gems to help you overcome any fear you may have in the kitchen. There's foolproof tips, and recipes for almost every baked good you can imagine. I definitely see a chocolate puff pastry dough happening very soon in my life. Congrats Erin, the book is AMAZING! If you don't have a copy already, you can get your hands on a copy here!

I had my mind blown a couple of times making this recipe. The first was with the pie dough - Erin instructs you to spread smooth peanut butter on some parchment, freeze it, then chop it up and rub it into the flour with the butter. Not only is this genius, but peanut butter pie dough is damn delicious. The dough has a wee nap in the fridge, then is rolled out, used to line a tin, and blind baked. I added a little line of stars as a border, or you can crimp it how you wish! Once the crust has cooled it is filled with a silky chocolate pudding which is super easy to make. The pudding is left for a little bit to set, then the pie is topped with mind blowing ingredient number two: peanut butter whipped cream. I can honestly say that there would have been more on the top of this pie, but I ate a lot of it before it even made it on there. AMAZING. I made this pie over a couple of days - the dough the first day, then baked it and filled it the next day, and finally finished it the day after, which makes it the perfect prepare ahead dish. It would be great for thanksgiving, or just something that comes together quickly for a celebration. Amazing. You need. 

This pie is part of a wee collab organised by the lovely Nate of TermiNatetor Kitchen! A bunch of my faves and I have gotten together to all share pie recipes - I can't wait to give some of them a try! I have popped all of the other links at the bottom of this post! Happy #piesquad party!

A few wee notes:

  • I made 1.5 times the recipe, just so that I had enough dough to do some cut-outs if I wanted. I just went with little stars, which I popped on after I lined the pie dish, and trimmed and folded the crust. I used a little star cut out, but you could use whatever cutout you like, or just crimp the dough edge. 
  • This can easily be prepared ahead of time - but put the peanut butter filling on the day you serve. I used a large french tip to pipe on mine! 
  • If you aren't a peanut butter person, you can make a regular pie crust for this, or a cookie crust would look great too! Regular old whipped cream on top would be delicious too. 
 

 

Chocolate Cream Pie with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
- Makes one 9" pie -

Reprinted with Permission from 'The Fearless Baker' Copyright Erin Mcdowell, 2017. 
The Fearless baker was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017.

Peanut Butter Pie dough
226g (1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
2.5g (1/2 tsp) salt
102g (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) smooth peanut butter
85g (5 1/2 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
68g (4 1/2 Tbsp) ice water, plus more as needed
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

Chocolate Cream Filling
605g / 2 1/2 cups whole milk
121g / 1/2 cup heavy cream
113g / 4 oz chopped dark chocolate
198g / 1 cup granulated sugar
37g / 1/3 cup cornstarch
3g / 1 tsp instant espresso powder
135g / 5 large egg yolks
28g / 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
10g / 2 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped Peanut Butter Cream
135g / 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
25g / 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
121g / 1/2 cup heavy cream
3g/ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Cut a piece of parchment approx 5" x 5", and spread the peanut butter in a 1/2 inch thick later on the paper and freeze until fairly firm, about 1 hour. Cut into cubes and return to the freezer until you add the butter to the dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter cubes and peanut butter cubes, tossing them through the flour until each piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your palms or your fingers, flattening the cubes into big shards and continuing to toss them through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. Continue to work the mixture together until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas. 

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add 4 1/2 Tbsp ice water and mix to incorporate. Then add more ice water 1 Tbsp at a time and continue mixing until the dough comes together. As it begins to come together, you can knead it a few times to make sure it's fully combined. It's important not to add too much water to the dough, which should never be sticky - it should hold together easily in a ball but still feel almost dry to the touch. 

Form the dough into an even disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to a circle 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan, and press gently to make sure the crust settles all the way to the bottom, but be careful not to poke any holes in the dough. Trim away the excess dough, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang all the way around. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. If desired, roll out extra dough and use pie stamps or small cookie cutters to make shapes to stick around the rim of the crust.

Crimp the edges of the pie crust, or fold the edge evenly underneath and stick on the cut out shapes using a little egg wash. return to the fridge while you preheat the oven to 425˚f / 218˚c, preferably with a baking stone on the bottom rack. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than your pie pan. 

Prick the chilled dough all over with a fork. Place the parchment over the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. 

Bake the crust on the stone or bottom rack just until the edges barely begin to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Take the pan out of the oven and remove the parchment and weights. Brush the bottom and crimped edges of the dough with a thin layer of egg wash. 

Return the pie pan to the oven and bake for another 12 to 17 minutes, until the dough is evenly golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has fully melted. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the mixture to a gently simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and espresso powder together in a medium heatproof bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks until well combined. 

When the chocolate mixture has come to a simmer, pour about half of it into the egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Then pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and cook the pudding over low heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until it gets very thick and comes to a first boil (a single large bubble comes up the the surface in the center of the pudding), 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour the warm pudding into the cooled pie crush and cover with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface of the pudding. Let cool at room temperature until the filling is completely set, 35 to 45 minutes. 

PEANUT BUTTER WHIPPED CREAM

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the peanut butter and sugar on medium - high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and continue whipping until the mixture reaches medium peaks. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. 

Pipe the peanut butter cream onto the pie, or dollop it on and swirl with an offset spatula. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate Cream Pie with a peanut butter pie dough and a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream