Tomorrow marks the beginning of my favorite part of the year – baking season! It’s the time when I celebrate yeast breads and pie, and make all kinds of candy recipes that I’d shelved because of summer’s humidity. It’s the time of year when I feel most happy and energized with new dessert ideas swirling around in my brain.
Also – school’s in! I don’t have children, but I live close to an elementary school so every day I see little ones at recess enjoying these mild days on the playground. There was definitely some nostalgia involved when I whipped up these hand pies. Peanut butter and jelly appeals to kids of all ages, and this portable version of pie makes a great addition to lunchboxes or as after-school snacks.
This pie crust recipe is a favorite of mine, and it comes together quickly in a food processor. No funny stuff here! Just simple ingredients with all the virtues of real butter – and nothing compares to the flavor of an all-butter pie crust!
I like crunchy peanut butter for these pies, but you could also use smooth. For those who prefer natural peanut butter over the shelf-stable variety, it works well in this recipe. Go for it!
My mom bought me a set of dumpling presses years ago and I’m only just now getting around to using them! I wish I’d been using them all along for hand pies, because they make the prettiest half-moons with neatly crimped edges. A little egg wash brushed around the edges before sealing helps keep all the fillings inside the crust.
Vents are cut in the tops of the pies so steam can escape.
The tops of the pies get a brushing of egg wash and a sprinkling of sanding sugar. This makes them turn golden in the oven, and the sugar makes them sparkle and crunch.
If you don’t have a dumpling press, you can always do it the old fashioned way (which works just as well). Fold the dough and crimp the edges of the pies with the tines of a fork.
This recipe makes about 10 pies, but they’re on the small side so expect them to go fast! The cream cheese-peanut butter filling is the perfect accompaniment for any flavor of jelly you like, but raspberry is my current favorite so that’s what’s listed in the ingredients. Concord grape jelly would also be fitting for these little hand-held gems.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Hand Pies
For the Pie dough:
- 2 cups 240g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks, 226g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
- 1/4 cup 70g crunchy peanut butter
- 1 ounce cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup red raspberry jam
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
For the Garnish:
- 1/4 cup 50g sanding sugar
- To make pie dough, add flour, sugar and salt to bowl of food processor; pulse to combine dry ingredients. Add butter to flour mixture; process again in short bursts until butter is well-dispersed into flour. Add egg and process again in short bursts until combined. Add cold water and pulse until mixture forms a ball on one side of food processor bowl. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover large baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, combine peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar; mix until smooth.
- Roll out pie dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness; cut out 10 circles, about 5-inch in diameter. Place about 1 teaspoon peanut butter filling on each circle (on one side of the circle – not the center); top with 1 teaspoon jam. Brush egg mixture around edges of circles and fold over so that edges meet and form a half circle. Crimp edges with tines of a fork to seal. Cut two slits in top of each pie using a knife and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of pies with remaining egg wash and top each with sanding sugar. Bake 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow pies to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then remove to baking rack to cool completely. Serve with napkins – no plates required!