Hand pies are the new cupcake, says the Washington Post. Hand pies seem to be like regular pies, only smaller and more portable, call them palm-sized pastries.
I admit I never fully embraced the cupcake movement so I am not too sad to see them displaced. Which is why in 3 years of blogging I have never presented a single cupcake recipe. Not that I don’t eat cupcakes (everyone eats cupcakes). I just don’t celebrate them the way so many of my blogging brethren do. But hand pies are different. I can embrace something like that. After all they are designed to fit in my hand. The very definition of embraceable. So it’s not really that hypocritical of me to post about hand pies with in 30 days of their coronation by The Washington Post as the next big little thing.
My version is Prosciutto-Wrapped Fig and Pecan Hand Pies with Gorgonzola. It’s just one of the savory pies I am presenting in this week-long tribute to all sorts of pies served before the coffee and dinner mints. This may not be a dessert pie, but it does have some sweet elements to it as well. It’s a fig pie, with honey. But there is more to it than that so it is swimming in enough umami that I see this as a first course, possibly a brunch or even a not to sweet but highly decadent snack on the go.
- 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling surface
- 1 t kosher salt
- 8 oz (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 c ice water
- 5 oz pecan pieces, shelled
- 3 T olive oil
- 0.5 t lemon zest
- 1/2 t thyme leaves, minced
- 1 pn each salt and pepper
- 8 sli prosciutto
- 8 whole figs, stem end trimmed
- 4 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
- honey, as needed
- 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Make the crust: Pulse flour and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream until dough just comes together (no longer than 30 seconds). Divide dough in half, shape each into a square and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days), or freeze for up to 1 month.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out cold dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a paring knife, cut out eight 5-inch squares, and fit into cups of a standard sized muffin tin, leaving an overhang all around. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Save the leftover dough for another use.
Make the nut filling: Put nuts in a food processor. With processor running, slowly add oil until mixture is finely chopped. Add lemon zest and thyme leaves; season with salt and pepper. Scrape mixture into a small bowl and stir until combined. Set aside.
Make the hand pies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide the nut filling evenly in the bottoms of chilled dough-lined muffin tins. Warp each trimmed, whole fig with one slice of prosciutto, placing each into a nut-filled dough-lined muffin tin hole. Sprinkle the tops with gorgonzola, adding a small drizzle of honey. Brush with egg wash.
Place the muffin tin in the pre-heated oven and reduce heat to 375. Bake pies until top crusts are golden brown and the figs are quite soft and the prosciutto is crisp about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Remove hand pies from tins and serve with a drizzle of honey.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD