Hand pies have become increasingly popular in recent times. These small, hand-held pies are a practical way to enjoy pie on the go. With their portable size, they are also great for portion control. But, making your own pie crust can be time-consuming, and not everyone has the skill or patience for it. As a result, some people might be tempted to use pre-made pie crust for their hand pies. In this article, we will explore the question, “Can I substitute pre-made pie crust for hand pies?” and also look at using pre-made pie crust for making different types of hand pies.
What are hand pies?
Before we dive into the topic of using pre-made pie crust, let’s first define what hand pies are. Hand pies are miniature pies that are easy to hold and perfect for eating on the go. They are usually filled with sweet or savory fillings and can be made in a variety of shapes. The crust is a critical component of the hand pie and is what gives it its signature flaky texture. When filled, hand pies can be baked, fried, or even grilled, depending on the recipe.
Hand pies have been around for centuries and have been a popular snack or meal option for people on the move. In medieval times, hand pies were known as “pasties” and were often filled with meat and vegetables. In the United States, hand pies are commonly associated with Southern cuisine and are often filled with fruit, such as apples or peaches. However, hand pies can be found in many different cultures and can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including cheese, chicken, or even chocolate.
Why use pre-made pie crust for hand pies?
Using pre-made pie crust for hand pies has several advantages. Firstly, it saves you the time and effort required to make your own crust. Secondly, pre-made pie crust is generally more consistent in texture and can be easier to work with, as it doesn’t require as much kneading or rolling out. Finally, pre-made pie crust is readily available at most grocery stores, so it is always convenient to have on hand when you want to whip up a quick batch of hand pies.
In addition to these benefits, pre-made pie crust can also be a great option for those who are new to baking or who may not have a lot of experience working with dough. It can be a good way to practice making hand pies without the added stress of making your own crust from scratch. Plus, with the variety of pre-made crusts available, such as gluten-free or vegan options, it can be a great way to accommodate different dietary needs or preferences.
The advantages of using pre-made pie crust
There are several advantages to using pre-made pie crust for hand pies. Firstly, it saves you the time and effort required to make your own crust. Secondly, pre-made pie crust is generally more consistent and easier to work with. Finally, pre-made pie crust is readily available in most grocery stores.
Another advantage of using pre-made pie crust is that it can be a more cost-effective option. Making your own pie crust requires purchasing ingredients such as flour, butter, and salt, which can add up in cost. Pre-made pie crusts are often sold in packs of two or more, making them a more affordable option for those on a budget.
Additionally, pre-made pie crusts can come in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate or graham cracker, which can add an extra layer of flavor to your hand pies. This can be especially useful if you are making a dessert hand pie and want to add a unique twist to the traditional crust.
How to make hand pies with pre-made pie crust
Now that we have established that using pre-made pie crust is a viable option, let’s take a look at how to make hand pies using pre-made pie crust.
The first step is to prepare the filling. Once the filling is ready, you can start working on the pie crust. Begin by flouring your work surface and rolling out the pre-made pie crust to the desired thickness. Using a cutter, cut out circles of the desired size. Next, place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle. Fold the pie crust in half, pinching the edges together to seal the filling inside. Finally, cut a few slits on the top to allow steam to escape during baking.
One important thing to keep in mind when making hand pies is to not overfill them. If you put too much filling, the pie crust may break open during baking, causing the filling to spill out. It’s better to err on the side of caution and use less filling than to risk a messy outcome.
Another tip is to brush the top of the hand pies with an egg wash before baking. This will give them a nice golden brown color and a shiny finish. To make an egg wash, simply beat an egg with a tablespoon of water and brush it on the top of the pies using a pastry brush.
The taste difference between using pre-made and homemade pie crust for hand pies
The taste difference between using pre-made and homemade pie crust for hand pies is subjective. Homemade pie crust has a distinct flaky texture that some people prefer, while others don’t notice a significant difference in taste. Pre-made pie crust tends to be consistent in flavor, while homemade pie crust can vary depending on the recipe. If you are someone who enjoys the taste and texture of homemade pie crust, then using pre-made pie crust might not be the best option for you.
Another factor to consider when choosing between pre-made and homemade pie crust is the ingredients. Pre-made pie crust often contains preservatives and additives, while homemade pie crust allows you to control the quality and source of the ingredients. This can be especially important for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.
Additionally, making homemade pie crust can be a fun and rewarding experience for those who enjoy baking. It allows for creativity and experimentation with different flavors and textures. However, it can also be time-consuming and require more effort than using pre-made pie crust. Ultimately, the decision between pre-made and homemade pie crust comes down to personal preference and priorities.
Tips for making the perfect hand pies with pre-made pie crust
Here are some tips for making the perfect hand pies with pre-made pie crust:
- Make sure that the pie crust is not too thick or too thin.
- Use a filling that is not too wet, as this can make the crust soggy.
- Don’t overstuff the hand pies with filling, as this can cause them to burst during baking.
- Be sure to pinch the edges of the crust together firmly to avoid any leaks.
- Bake the hand pies at the appropriate temperature for the correct amount of time, keeping a close eye on them to avoid overbaking.
Another important tip is to let the hand pies cool for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the filling to set and prevent it from spilling out when you take a bite.
You can also experiment with different types of fillings to create unique and delicious hand pies. Some popular options include apple, cherry, blueberry, and pumpkin.
How long can you store hand pies made with pre-made pie crust?
Hand pies made with pre-made pie crust can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze them for up to three months. Simply thaw them in the refrigerator, and then reheat them in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
It is important to note that the storage time may vary depending on the filling used in the hand pies. If the filling contains dairy or meat, it is recommended to consume the hand pies within two days of refrigeration. Additionally, if the hand pies have been left at room temperature for more than two hours, they should be discarded to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
How to make different types of fillings for hand pies
Now that you know how to make hand pies using pre-made pie crust, let’s look at how to make different types of fillings for them. The possibilities are endless, but some popular options include:
- Sweet fillings such as apple, blueberry, or cherry.
- Savory fillings such as chicken pot pie, spinach and feta, or ham and cheese.
- Vegetarian fillings such as mushroom and onion, or mixed vegetable.
The versatility of pre-made pie crust in making different types of hand pies
Pre-made pie crust is incredibly versatile and can be used to make a variety of different hand pies. From sweet to savory, there is a hand pie filling to suit everyone’s taste buds. With pre-made pie crust, you can whip up a batch of hand pies in no time, making them perfect for a quick snack or lunch.
Pros and cons of using pre-made pie crust versus homemade pie crust for hand pies
Here are some pros and cons of using pre-made pie crust versus homemade pie crust for hand pies:
Pros of using pre-made pie crust:
- Saves time and effort.
- Convenient and easy to find in most grocery stores.
- Consistent texture and flavor.
Cons of using pre-made pie crust:
- May not have the same taste and texture as homemade pie crust.
- May contain additives and preservatives.
- May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions, such as vegans or people with gluten sensitivities.
Pros of using homemade pie crust:
- Distinct flaky texture.
- Can be customized to suit your taste preferences.
- Does not contain additives or preservatives.
Cons of using homemade pie crust:
- Time-consuming and requires skill and patience.
- May not turn out consistently each time you make it.
- May not be as convenient to make as using pre-made pie crust.
Frequently asked questions about using pre-made pie crust for hand pies
Here are some frequently asked questions about using pre-made pie crust for hand pies:
- Is it okay to use frozen pie crust for hand pies?
- Yes, frozen pie crust can be used for hand pies. Simply thaw it out before using it.
- What is the best way to store Hand Pies?
- Hand pies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. They can also be frozen for up to three months.
- Do I need to prebake the crust before filling it?
- It depends on the recipe. If the filling is cooked, you may not need to prebake the crust. If the filling is uncooked, you may need to prebake the crust before filling it.
Conclusion: Should you use pre-made or homemade pie crust for your hand pies?
The choice between using pre-made or homemade pie crust for hand pies ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you have the time and skill to make homemade pie crust, you may want to opt for that. On the other hand, if you want to save time and effort, using pre-made pie crust is a viable option. Whatever you decide, with the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can make delicious hand pies that will be enjoyed by everyone.