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Strawberry Hand Pies with Roasted Strawberry filling

Strawberry Hand Pies are the perfect early summer treat. Roasting the strawberries for the filling intensifies the flavor. Grab a pie and dig-in, no utensils required!

strawberry hand pies on a plate

When strawberries come into season I mostly prefer to eat them out of hand. Here in the northeastern U.S., we get to enjoy local strawberries for just a few short weeks. 

Once I get my fill of fresh berries, then it’s the time for shortcakes, tarts, tempura strawberries (yum, more on that in a later post) and pie.

The tips for making the best Strawberry Hand Pies

  • A seasonal strawberry is glorious to eat because it’s so juicy. But this is also what makes cooking strawberries in a pie a bit tricky. Put uncooked berries into a pie crust you’ll end up with a soggy crust and a mushy filling.
  • This is especially a problem when you’re making hand pies. Hand pies, as the name suggests, need to be sturdy enough to pick up and eat without falling apart in your hands.
  • For my Strawberry Hand Pies I wanted a filling that tastes as close to fresh strawberries as possible. My goal was to pre-cook the berries enough to avoid a soggy pie, but not so much that I made strawberry jam.

Hmmm, seems like a little experimentation is in order. You know I’m always looking for an excuse to do another kitchen experiment!

Two easy steps to great strawberry hand pie filling:

  • There was no question how I would start the filling – macerate the berries to draw out some of the juice. Macerating helps the berries keep their shape while cooking. I use the same technique for making Peach Pie
  • After macerating I planned to roast the berries because roasting intensifies flavor. But rather than just assume roasting was the way to go, I made the filling two ways to be sure.
  • After macerating and draining the juice from the berries, I cooked half the strawberries on the stove top and the other half I roasted in the oven.
  • I preferred the filling made with the roasted berries because the flavor was a little more intense and the fruit remained whole rather than breaking down.

Scroll through the process photos to see how to make a great Strawberry Hand Pie:

a bowl of strawberries with sugar

Macerate the berries to draw out the juice and help them keep their shape when they’re roasted.

two trays of roasted strawberries

The roasted berries have intense flavor and they keep their shape.

Cream Cheese Crust is perfect for sturdy hand pies:

The crust for the hand pies has both cream cheese and butter. By mixing in the cream cheese first you’ll coat the flour to help keep the dough tender and by leaving the butter in large flakes you’ll help create flaky layers.

It’s a very easy dough to work with. Of course you can use your favorite pie crust recipe for the hand pies, or you can use puff pastry.

cutting dough rounds

Cut the dough rounds then refrigerate to rest the dough.

dough rounds with egg wash

Line up the dough. Egg wash half the rounds for the pie bottoms, and make steam vents in the other rounds for the tops.

unbaked strawberry hand pies on a tray

Assemble the pies, pinch the edges together to keep the juices in.

freshly baked strawberry hand pies on a tray

a hand holding a strawberry hand pie

a plate of hand pies filled with roasted strawberries

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Strawberry Hand Pies

Strawberry Hand Pies

Yield: 18 pies
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

When strawberries come into season I mostly prefer to eat them out of hand. Once I get my fill of fresh berries, then it’s the time for shortcakes, tarts, and pie. Roasting the strawberries for the filling intensifies the strawberry flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Flaky Cream Cheese Dough
  • 1 Pound (1 dry quart) strawberries, clean, hulled- cut in 1/2 if small and 1/4 if large
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) granulated vanilla sugar (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

Assembly

  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Prep

  1. Make the dough at least 2-3 hours ahead of time so it has time to rest.
  2. Toss the strawberries with the sugar and allow to macerate for 1.5-2 hours.
  3. Roll the dough to 1/8" thick. Use a 3.5" cookie cutter to cut circles. Place the circles onto a parchment lined sheet pan with a sheet of parchment between each layer of circles.
  4. Piece together the scraps and form them into a disc, re-roll and cut until all the dough is used. Cover and refrigerate the dough rounds while you make the strawberry filling
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Drain the juice from the berries. Place the drained berries onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes until the berries are nicely browned and fragrant.
  6. While the strawberries are roasting, pour the drained juice into a small sauce pan with the lemon juice/ Whisk the cornstarch into the juice until there are no lumps (do not heat up the juice before adding the cornstarch!)
  7. Cook the juice mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil, thickens and becomes translucent. Toss the thickened juices with the roasted berries. Allow the berries to cool completely (you can put them in the fridge to speed up the cooling)

Assemble and Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Whisk the egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Lay 1/2 the chilled dough rounds on your work surface/ Brush the rounds with egg wash, making sure to go all the way to the edge of the round. Divide the strawberries among the egg-washed rounds, there should be about a tablespoon per pie.
  3. Place a top onto each pie, being careful to keep the strawberries in the middle of the dough. Gently pinch together the edges of each pie, making sure they are well sealed. Place filled pies on the prepared baking sheet. Cut vent holes in the top of each pie. Brush each pie with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  4. Bake until puffed and golden brown. The pies are best the day they are baked but will keep at room temperature for a day or two.

Notes

I used vanilla sugar for the filling. If you don't have vanilla sugar you can add a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the juice.

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cherry almond hand pies

Flaky Cream Cheese Dough

Yield: Enough for 2 crust pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A great flaky pastry made with cream cheese and butter. This dough rolls beautifully

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups (13.75 oz 385g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (.5 oz, 14g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) cream cheese, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 stick (4 oz, 112g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120ml) cold water

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Toss in the cream cheese. Using your fingers, mix the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse corn meal.
  3. Toss the butter into the flour and use your fingers to work it in. Allow the flakes to break up into slightly smaller pieces. Work quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Don't break the butter down completely. There should be some large flakes remaining.
  4. Pour the water onto the flour all at once and toss to combine. Gently work the dough just until it comes together. Form the dough into a rectangle or square, wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or make it the day before and let it rest overnight.
  5. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Debra

Thursday 28th of July 2016

Great recipe - I will be making these in a few days! I am wondering if I could put them together and freeze them before baking ?

Eileen Gray

Friday 29th of July 2016

I didn't try freezing them before baking, but I'm guessing that you could. Let me know how it works if you try it.

Wayne

Saturday 7th of May 2016

We just came back from a nice long walk and I KNEW I should not have clicked on your pinterest photo! Now I need to just have enough self control not to eat the strwberries before putting them in the little pies :) YUM!

Eileen Gray

Saturday 7th of May 2016

Thanks, Wayne. Just buy twice as many strawberries so you can eat and bake with them!

Christie

Saturday 16th of April 2016

I bet those strawberries just get even more sweet and intense when you roast them. Then you put them in that deliciously flaky crust? YUM!

Eileen Gray

Saturday 16th of April 2016

Thanks, Christie. Yes the flavor intensifies but they still taste fresh.

Maria

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

I can't wait for strawberry season to begin...can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

I belong to a cooperative farm and the season always begins when the strawberries are ready. They taste even better when you have to wait for them.

Tammi @ Momma's Meals

Sunday 10th of April 2016

These look delish! I just made roasted strawberries for the first time this year this is a great!

Eileen Gray

Sunday 10th of April 2016

Thanks, Tammi!

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