When it comes to hand pies, there are two main techniques used to seal the edges: folding and crimping. Depending on the type of filling and personal preference, either method can be used. In this article, we will explore the differences between folding and crimping and which technique is better for different types of fillings.
What are hand pies and why do they matter?
Hand pies are small, portable pies that can be eaten with your hands. They are perfect for a quick snack or meal on-the-go. Hand pies are also a great way to use up leftover ingredients or as a way to experiment with new flavours. They’re easy to make and customize, making them a popular choice among home bakers.
Hand pies have a long history, dating back to medieval times when they were known as “pasties”. They were a popular food among miners and laborers, as they could be easily carried and eaten without utensils. Today, hand pies have evolved to include a wide variety of fillings and crusts, from sweet to savory. They have become a staple in many cultures and cuisines, and are enjoyed by people of all ages.
The art of folding and crimping hand pies.
Both folding and crimping involve sealing the edges of the hand pie to prevent the filling from spilling out. However, the techniques differ in how they achieve this. Folding involves folding the edges of the dough inwards, while crimping involves pressing the edges of the dough together using your fingers or a fork.
When it comes to choosing between folding and crimping, it often depends on personal preference and the type of filling used. Folding is a great option for fillings that are chunky or have a lot of texture, as it allows for more flexibility in sealing the edges. On the other hand, crimping is ideal for fillings that are more liquid or runny, as it creates a tighter seal and helps prevent any leakage during baking.
The anatomy of a perfectly folded hand pie.
A perfectly folded hand pie will have even edges that are sealed securely to prevent any filling from escaping. The folded edges should be compact and tightly packed to create a neat and tidy appearance. The dough should be tender and flaky, creating a delicious contrast to the filling.
In addition, the filling of a perfectly folded hand pie should be evenly distributed throughout the pastry. This ensures that every bite contains a balanced amount of filling and pastry. The filling should also be flavorful and well-seasoned, complementing the pastry rather than overpowering it. Lastly, a perfectly folded hand pie should be served warm, allowing the flavors to meld together and the pastry to maintain its crispness.
The anatomy of a perfectly crimped hand pie.
In contrast, a perfectly crimped hand pie will have evenly pressed edges that form a decorative design. The crimped edges will create a strong seal, ensuring that the filling stays inside the pie. Like a folded hand pie, a perfectly crimped hand pie will be tender and flaky, complementing the filling.
One of the key factors in achieving a perfectly crimped hand pie is the dough consistency. The dough should be pliable and easy to work with, but not too soft or sticky. It’s important to chill the dough before rolling it out and crimping the edges to prevent it from becoming too warm and difficult to handle. Additionally, using a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges can create different designs and textures, adding to the visual appeal of the hand pie.
The pros and cons of folding vs. crimping for hand pies.
Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. Folding is generally easier to do and requires less precision. It also creates a more rustic appearance that some people prefer. However, folding may not create as strong of a seal as crimping, and the edges may not be as decorative. Crimping requires more precision, but it can create a visually striking appearance. However, the crimping process can lacerate the dough, potentially affecting the texture and flavour of the hand pie.
How to fold and crimp your hand pies like a pro.
Regardless of which technique you choose, practice and patience are key when it comes to mastering the art of folding and crimping hand pies. To fold a hand pie, simply fold the edges of the dough inwards and press them together with your fingers. To crimp, press the edges of the dough together with your fingers or use a fork to create a decorative edge. Take your time, and make sure the edges are tightly sealed and the dough is not lacerated.
Another important tip to keep in mind is to not overfill your hand pies. Overfilling can cause the dough to tear or break apart during the folding and crimping process. It’s best to use a small amount of filling and evenly distribute it throughout the dough. Additionally, make sure the filling is not too wet or runny, as this can also cause the dough to become soggy and difficult to work with. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to fold and crimp your hand pies like a pro in no time!
Tips for achieving a perfect fold or crimp every time.
When folding or crimping your hand pies, try these tips to achieve perfection every time:
- Keep the filling away from the edges to prevent spilling
- Chill the dough before folding or crimping to prevent it from sticking to your fingers
- Trim any excess dough before folding or crimping to create a neat appearance
- Use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to create clean edges
Another tip for achieving a perfect fold or crimp is to brush the edges of the dough with an egg wash before folding. This will help the dough stick together and create a seal, preventing any filling from leaking out.
Additionally, if you’re having trouble getting your hand pies to hold their shape, try using a fork to press down on the edges instead of crimping them with your fingers. This will create a tighter seal and help the pies hold their shape during baking.
Common mistakes to avoid when folding or crimping your hand pies.
Avoid these common mistakes when folding or crimping your hand pies:
- Overfilling the hand pie, which can lead to spilling
- Not sealing the edges tightly, which can lead to spilling
- Lacerating the dough with the crimping tool, affecting the texture and flavour
Here are two additional tips to keep in mind when folding or crimping your hand pies:
- Make sure the dough is rolled out evenly, so that the filling is distributed evenly and the hand pie cooks evenly.
- Use a fork to crimp the edges of the hand pie if you don’t have a crimping tool. This will help seal the edges tightly and prevent spilling.
Exploring different folding and crimping techniques for hand pies.
There are countless ways to fold and crimp your hand pies, each with their own unique appearance and texture. Some popular techniques include:
- Braid: Create a braid pattern along the edge of the hand pie for a decorative touch
- Lattice: Weave strips of dough together over the filling for a beautiful, open-top design
- Pierced: Use a small cookie cutter or knife to create a design in the dough, allowing the filling to peek through for a unique appearance
Another technique to consider is the crimped edge. This involves using a fork or your fingers to press the edges of the dough together, creating a seal and a decorative pattern. It’s a simple yet effective way to add some texture to your hand pies.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try the pleated edge technique. This involves folding the edge of the dough over itself in a series of small pleats, creating a ruffled appearance. It’s a bit more time-consuming, but the end result is a beautiful and unique hand pie.
Which technique is better for different types of fillings?
The type of filling can influence which method is better suited for your hand pie. Crimping is better for fillings that are more fluid or runny, such as fruit or cream fillings. The strong seal created by the crimping method helps to prevent the filling from spilling out. Folding is better for thicker, meaty fillings, as it creates a nice pocket to hold the filling without spilling.
It’s important to note that the size of the filling can also impact which technique is best. For smaller fillings, crimping may be more effective in sealing them in, while larger fillings may require folding to ensure they are evenly distributed throughout the pie. Additionally, the type of dough used can also play a role in determining which technique to use. For flakier, more delicate doughs, crimping may be too heavy-handed and cause the dough to tear, while folding can help maintain the integrity of the dough. Ultimately, the best technique for your hand pie will depend on a variety of factors, including the filling, dough, and personal preference.
How to choose the right folding or crimping technique for your hand pies.
Ultimately, the choice between folding and crimping comes down to personal preference and the type of filling you are using. Consider the appearance and functionality of each method, and choose the technique that best suits your needs. Or, get creative and experiment with different techniques to create unique and delicious hand pies!
If you are making a savory hand pie, such as a chicken pot pie, crimping may be the better option as it creates a tighter seal and prevents the filling from leaking out. However, if you are making a sweet hand pie, such as an apple pie, folding may be more visually appealing and give the pie a rustic look.
Another factor to consider is the size of your hand pies. If you are making mini hand pies, folding may be easier and quicker than crimping each individual pie. However, if you are making larger hand pies, crimping may be necessary to ensure the filling stays inside during baking.
The impact of folding vs. crimping on the texture and flavor of your hand pies.
While both folding and crimping can create delicious and visually appealing hand pies, the method used can have an impact on the texture and flavor of the final product. Folding can create a more delicate texture, with the edges of the dough remaining light and airy. Crimping, on the other hand, can create a denser texture, with the dough being compressed by the crimping tool. Depending on your personal preference, either method can create a delicious and satisfying hand pie.
Another factor to consider when choosing between folding and crimping is the filling of your hand pie. If your filling is particularly juicy or runny, crimping may be a better option as it can help to seal the edges of the dough and prevent the filling from leaking out during baking. However, if your filling is more solid or dry, folding may be a better choice as it allows for more air to circulate around the filling, resulting in a more evenly cooked and flavorful hand pie.
It’s also worth noting that the size and shape of your hand pie can affect the outcome of your chosen method. For example, if you are making smaller, bite-sized hand pies, folding may be easier and more practical than crimping. On the other hand, if you are making larger, more substantial hand pies, crimping may be necessary to ensure that the filling is evenly distributed and the dough is properly sealed.
Frequently asked questions about folding and crimping for hand pies.
Q: Can I fold and crimp my hand pies?
A: Yes! There’s no reason why you can’t use both folding and crimping techniques on the same hand pie for a unique appearance.
Q: Can I freeze hand pies that have been folded or crimped?
A: Yes, hand pies can be frozen regardless of the sealing method used. Just make sure to wrap them tightly to prevent freezer burn.
Conclusion: Which technique will you choose for your next batch of delicious hand pies?
Whether you choose to fold or crimp your hand pies, both methods can create a delicious and visually appealing treat. Consider the type of filling and personal preference when choosing which method to use, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques to create unique and tasty hand pies!