Because my lil’ blueberry and almond hand pies were so popular, here’s a quick and easy – and even cuter – hand pie recipe. Adorable little pockets of pastry are filled simply with dates, glazed with simple sugar syrup and topped with beautiful flecks of ground pistachios. You can grind shelled pistachios in a food processor or coffee grinder, but because it’s not a large amount you can easily do it in a pestle and mortar.
For the pastry:
2 cups white spelt flour (or sub plain white flour)
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch o’ salt
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 cup chilled diced vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
cold water, as needed
For the filling:
1 cup chopped dried dates1/4 cup
hot water straight from the kettle
For the glaze and topping:
4 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp hot water straight from the kettle
a few tbsps of roughly ground pistachios
Start off by mixing the dates and 1/4 cup hot water in a bowl and popping a plate on top of the bowl so the heat doesn’t escape and leave to the side whilst you get on with the other bits like the pastry.
To make the pastry grab a mixing bowl and chuck in the spelt flour, baking powder, salt and the 3 tbsp golden caster sugar, stir everything together. Rub in the vegan
margarine until the mix is crumbly and the margarine is evenly dispersed amongst the flour. Add the vanilla, then add cold water, a little at a time, and mix it in, keep adding a little bit of water and mixing until you have a nice dough. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
Now’s a good time to check on your dates, they should be nice and soft, so go ahead and mash em up a lil’ with a fork, if you need to add a touch more hot water.
Pop the oven on to preheat at 180c/360f and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment, now grab your pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface and cut into about 20-24 hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (or you can use a different shape, your choice) Pick up one heart shape and spoon a teaspoon of the mashed dates into the centre, brush around the edge of the heart shape with a little water and place another heart shape on top and gently press the edges together, repeat with the rest of the heart pastry pieces and transfer to the lined cookie sheet, and gently press around the edges with a fine pronged fork. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
About five minutes before your lil’ pies are done baking, whisk the golden caster sugar and hot water together until the sugar is dissolved, brush generously over the pies as soon as they come out of the oven and sprinkle with the ground pistachios. Transfer the pies to a wire rack to cool and enjoy!