We finally have winter weather back in Texas, at least where I am. I think the high for today is in the upper 40s as opposed to the upper 70s. Yippee! I made sure to stock up on firewood so I can enjoy this wonderful weather before the warm weather starts creeping back and stays for good.
Even though I love wintry weather, sometimes I find myself longing for spring and summer. It's not the temperatures that I miss, but the bounty of new fruits and vegetables that will be in season. I think I have said on this blog before how much I love dewberries, but really, I love any berry. I don't discriminate when it comes to berries, especially when they are in season, ripe, and oh so juicy!
To satisfy my berry craving last weekend, I decided to use up some dewberry and green apple jam I made in the summer and bake it into little hand pies. Sweet, tart, and thick dewberry jam is enveloped in a lemon-scented whole grain crust and then baked until just golden. They are the perfect size to fit in your hand, making them portable and oh so cute, too! These little beauties are vegan so you can enjoy them without worrying about the sticks of butter you might be eating. Oh, and don't be frightened by the length of the recipe, it's mostly just a lot of detailed information about how I formed the pies.
Dewberry Jam Hand Pies
notes: This recipe makes 10 hand pies using a 3 7/8 inch circle cookie cutter. Using a different size will yield a different number. I used dewberry jam because it is what I had, but any berry jam will work nicely.
1 - 8 oz. jar of dewberry jam
1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats (not instant oats)
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup barley flour
heaping 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
zest of 1 small lemon
scant 3/4 cup coconut oil, very cold (I put mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes)
3 tbsp agave or maple syrup
2 to 3 tbsp ice water
In a food processor, process the oats until they are finely ground. They should look fine like flour. Next, add the spelt flour, barley flour, salt, and lemon zest and pulse until combined. Add the cold coconut oil and pulse until the dough looks crumbly. Add the agave and then add 1 tbsp of ice water at a time, pulsing the dough until it just comes together and forms a ball. I only needed about 3 tbsp for this, but you may need slightly more. Make sure not to overmix the dough. After the dough has come together, dump it out onto a piece of plastic wrap and knead it a few times before forming it into a disc. Wrap it with the plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough has rested and chilled, remove it from the fridge. Roll it out on a sheet of parchment paper dusted generously with spelt or barley flour to about 1/16 of an inch thick. Using a 3 7/8 inch (or similar size) circle cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Transfer the first cicle of dough carefully to a lined cookie sheet. Spoon about 1 1/2 tbsp of your jam onto the circle slightly off center. You want the jam to be a bit closer to one side of the circle of dough so you can fold the other side over easily. Once you have the jam in place, dip your finger in a bit of cold water and run it around the edge of the dough. This will help it to seal. Next, gently fold over the piece of dough opposite from the side with the jam. It should now look like a half moon shape or an empanada. Using the tines of a fork, gently crimp the dough together, forming a seal. Using a small sharp knife, cut 2 small slits into the top of the dough (I made an X shape). Continue these steps for the rest of your hand pies. It's okay if a little jam spills out of them when folding the dough over, they will just look more rustic and homemade! Once all of your hand pies are formed, place them in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
While your pies are chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the pies in the upper 1/3 of your oven for 18-20 minutes until they are golden brown around the edges. Cool on the pan at least 15 minutes before enjoying or before moving to a rack to cool further. Enjoy!