When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of strawberries. And chocolate. So fair warning that I have a few more recipes to share with you in the coming days that involve one or both of these items. But first let’s talk about these hand pies. I’ve had the idea for these floating around in my head for quite some time. But I thought they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day so I held out on sharing these with you until now.
Let’s first talk about the pie crust. You guys – this is my favorite pie crust. Hands down. I’ve tried a number of different versions that are fairly similar but this one is it for me. It is buttery and flaky and just plain awesome. Now, of course you could use store-bought pie crust for this recipe, but I promise you making it homemade is completely worth it. Trust me. Just do it.
Now, the filling. What’s not to love? Nutella, sweetened up mascarpone and strawberries. It pairs wonderfully with the flaky pie crust and adds just the right amount of sweetness. I didn’t pack these too full with the filling – but that’s just my preference. I wanted the pie crust to take center stage. However, you could definitely increase the filling quantities if you would like them to have more inside.
Cute, portable hand pies for Valentine’s Day? Done and done.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
- 1 cup very cold water
- 3 to 4 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 5 berries)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 teaspoons nutella
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- confectioners’ sugar
- To make the pie dough - in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into ½ inch pieces then add to the bowl with the flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture, redistributing the mixture as you work to make sure you are cutting in the butter evenly. Stop when the butter is the size of tiny peas. Begin by adding in ½ cup of the very cold water. Use a spatula to gather the dough together - you’ll likely need to add in more of the water to bring the dough together (but only add it in about 1 tablespoon at a time). I ended up using about ¼ cup more of the water. Once you are getting large clumps with the spatula, use your hands to form all the clumps together into one ball, gently kneading them together.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Shape each into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and let chill for at least 2 hours.
- When you are ready to make the pies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, gently toss together the sliced strawberries and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside for about 10 minutes. In another small bowl, mix together the mascarpone, ½ tablespoon sugar and vanilla extract.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the two discs of pie dough to about ⅛ inch in thickness. Using a large heart cookie cutter, cut out 16 hearts. Take one of the hearts and place 1 teaspoon of nutella in the center. Top with a few slices of strawberries and then 1 tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture. Brush the edges of the heart lightly with water. Take another heart, place over the top (stretching it slightly as needed) and press the edges together to seal. Use a fork to then crimp the edges. Transfer the pie to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining hearts.
- Brush the tops of the pies with the heavy cream then make a few small slits in the top of each pie to vent. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan once through baking, until the pies are golden brown. Transfer the pies to a wire rack to cool completely. Before serving, dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar if desired.
I used a heart cookie cutter that was 3 ½ inches at the widest point. You could also use a different cookie cutter in a similar size. Alternative, you could roll each disc of dough out into a square that is ⅛ inch thick and then cut each into 4 square pieces (so 8 pieces total). Spoon the filling into the center of each square and then bring two opposite corners together to form a triangle hand pie.
A note on the filling - As stated above, I did not pack these too full with the filling, but that’s just my preference. I wanted the pie crust to be the focus (and I personally prefer more crust to filling!). However, you could definitely increase the filling quantities if you would like these to have more inside.
Pie dough from Smitten Kitchen. Filling from Cookie Monster Cooking.