The East India Company has struck again! Last time, they bestowed upon me some of the most flavorful pepper jelly I'd ever encountered, and now they're back with some extraordinary strawberry and pepper jam.
Are you noticing a theme here?
This jam was, first of all, gorgeous to behold, with the deepest burgundy hue imaginable. Secondly, it tasted fantastic--very complex, sweet with a bit of a kick in the background. No, let's call it more of a nudge than a kick. Whatever its degree of potency, it was a joy to eat on my morning biscuit.
I also tried the jam mixed with fresh strawberries as the filling to some hand pies. The
|Houston, we have a cinnamon dispersal problem.|
The East India Company is officially two for two.
Spicy Strawberry Hand Pies
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and mashed
1/2 cup strawberry & pepper jam (or whatever sticky product you have on hand)
1 cup whole strawberries, stemmed and chopped
Sweet Butter Pie Dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons cold buttermilk (or milk with a bit of lemon juice)
In a small bowl, combine vanilla and buttermilk, stir to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk mixture a bit at a time and stir in until dough comes together.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling by stirring together the mashed berries and jam and then folding in the remaining berries.
After the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a floured work surface and divide in two; rewrap one half and place it back in fridge to stay cold. Roll the pie dough out until it reaches a thickness of about 1/8". Using round pastry cutter (or a bowl, if that happens to be all that you have...), cut out about 4-5" rounds. Place rounds onto the baking sheet and back into the fridge if necessary. If not, place about 2-3 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture into center of each round.
Using a pastry brush dipped in a small amount of egg, brush the edge of half of each round. Fold dry edge onto egg-brushed half, forming semicircle shape, and press edges together with a fork to seal in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. Brush the top of each pie with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use a small knife to make a 1 inch slit in the top of the pie for steam to escape. Repeat with remaining pastry dough.
Place the pies in the oven and bake at 350F until tops are beginning to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 7-10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably smothered in vanilla ice cream.